On the blank canvas of space, before it was space and spackled with stars and the smear of flaming comet tails, appeared ever so organically and without struggle across the night sky, the Nike swoosh…
Followed by the Starbucks siren,
And definitely the Mac Apple.
Branding this great is creative genius. These brands are iconic and brilliant, they stand out against the rest of their kind.
With Nike, you see the swoosh, you know the quality. You watch their commercials, you are empowered. You wear the gear, you are fashion, you have that Olympic edge.
But where do you start if you are at the very beginning of figuring out who you are as a brand? What is a brand and what does it entail?
Let’s take a look at 4 things to jump start the branding process.
What is a brand?
When someone (whether they are a client or not) comes into contact with you, your company, and how is is perceived – this is your brand in action. Branding is so much more than a cool logo and a sassy tagline. Those things will help, but they are just part of the recipe.
Who is your target market?
Everyone doesn’t want to buy from you, but you do need to figure who does. While this can seem incredibly overwhelming, you don’t have to appeal to everyone. And this is kind of a relief. Having everyone love you is an almost impossible task, so you have to find that target audience. Who are you going to sell your product to? The answer is very specific. You will save time and money and few grey hairs by having a target that is not too general.
Here are some thoughts to ponder:
-Who is currently buying from you?
-Or, if you are not up and running yet, who will buy from you?
-Your arch nemeses? Yeah, those guys, the competition…Who is buying from them?
Now keep on going…
-Nail down the demographics: Know the the age, education, occupation, etc. of your buyer.
-Research to find your target market’s values, attitudes, and lifestyles.
Put it all together…
-Does your product and brand line up with your target audience?
What parts make up the brand?
If you have a kid or a pet, as much as you would like a mini-me, the little creatures have their own set of quirks and personality traits that you know they didn’t get from you. With branding you have a little more control.
Here are some areas to develop and nurture:
-Your visual identity: logo, fonts, colors
-Your voice: language style, taglines, tone
-And everything the light touches
The cry is for authenticity. A brand and product your buyers can relate to. Generic ends where specific begins. If you can tune in and listen to the values and desires of your clients, and then, in turn, respond to fulfill that need, I daresay your brand will be original and worth picking up off the shelf.
Back in 1971, the founder of Nike, Phil Knight needed a logo for his sneakers. With deadlines approaching, he hired college student, Carolyn Davidson for $2 an hour to create a logo. Something to rival Adidas. Carolyn’s work fused the wings of the goddess Nike and bold stripes typically found on the sides of athletic shoes. Nobody liked it at first and Carolyn walked away with $35.00. Knight decided to go with it, and now Nike has the most recognizable logo in the world today, so iconic we even named it “the swoosh.”
If you are wondering where to find your own wings of victory, we’d love to help. Give us a call or chat on in.