Brand Identity: Handcraft your signature blend

Q: How do you want consumers to perceive your brand?
A: Naturally, every answer to that question is dependent upon unique factors; discussion and exploration are generally required.

Naming

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”     — William Shakespeare

In Romeo and Juliet, Juliet declares that Romeo being from the opposing house of Montague shouldn’t matter, that names do not affect what things really are. While this is generally true in daily life, it does not bode well for making a lasting impression or a connection with your market.

You could lead with “We are Brand X.”
How does that differentiate you from Brand Y?
It doesn’t.

The wrong name can hinder your program from the very beginning. The quest to create names conducive to connection, memorability and trade-marketability for companies, products and processes takes time, insight, inspiration and devoted energy to be successful. A great name won’t make a marginal product exceptional, but it can be a compelling element in your initiative to reach your audience. If you want them to act, you have to be able to keep their attention long enough to notice they care.

Start with a compelling introduction.

Logo Design

Logo design seems self explanatory; at a base level, it is. However, the development process must yield a unique, complete representation of you and your business with a single character, text combination or icon, which can prove to be a significant challenge.

Of course, every design student, freelancer or your niece’s friend of a friend will offer to create a logo for you at a very low cost. You can even get one for $5 on Facebook. This is definitely an area where you get what you pay for. And, you can go that route the first time, maybe even a second, but the question you have to answer for yourself is: “What will this great deal ultimately cost with regard to image, potential client response and reworks later down the road?”

The best approach is to evaluate all of the factors contributing to the discussion right from the start, prioritize and select key objectives, establish a budget and invest enough in your stamp to relay, not undermine, what you’re trying to achieve in your business.

Brand Programming

Brand programming is ultimately the guidance and brand management of media and budget planning, with measurable effects, in our digital age. It’s a combination of fundamentals and innovation to achieve the goals we’ve established.

That’s just a fancy way of saying that we make it all jive to work together and meet set goals.

Strategy: Leverage brand equity

Brand Strategy

With successful brand strategy, consumers embrace your brand and the culture that surrounds it.

Brand Strategy is the combination of what, where, when, why, how and to whom you communicate brand messaging. Over time, well-executed brand strategy leads to strong brand equity, meaning the added value of your company, product or service over unbranded competitors. The added value frequently comes from perceived quality or emotional attachment. It allows you to charge more for your brand, enjoy increased sales, create greater awareness or build brand allegiance.

Branding extends down to every aspect of your business: dress code, phone etiquette, e-mail signature, sales and more.

Key Messaging

It’s your elevator pitch, your unique selling proposition, the crucial benefits and features of your product. Key messages relay who you are and why you exist as an organization; they speak to your audience, support your goals and can call for action. It’s important to reduce the mass of content into core highlight messages.

Market Plans

We love it when a plan comes together!

And, essentially, that’s what a market plan does. It’s the road map for your marketing efforts from which organization, timing and integration get outlined and implemented.

Advertising: Get the word out

Campaign Strategy

Campaign strategy is the equivalent of:
1) Which road are we on from this market plan road map?
2) Where does it go?
3) What should we see along the way?

Naturally, it’s more formal and detailed  than what the three questions above might lead you to believe. More specifically, it’s a formal document constructed as the blueprint planner with background, evaluation, creative execution, placement and projections for the ad campaign. While the campaign is independent from market planning, campaign planning should be reflective of the overarching initiatives in the market plan.

Print

With so much discussion about marketers adding to their digital budgets, it seems that print can be easily overlooked. However, there is still a place for print. For example, newspapers, magazines, direct mail and leave-behind materials likely meet different goals and enjoy high response rates when paired with a good strategic plan. An overall, healthy mix of conventional media and new media is paramount to achieving the greatest possible return on investment (ROI).

Online

Online marketing, well that’s pretty vague. Your digital efforts can range from social media, to online publications and websites, to paid banner ads etc. One thing remains true: content is king. You have a very, very short time span to engage the user. That engagement is dependent on the presence of the user’s electronic device which goes hand-in-hand with connectivity.

With so many options, developing a multi-platform strategy is highly individual, as a marketer and to its audience.

Print: Put it on paper

Write, edit, illustrate, design, create, print and deliver. In general, if it goes on paper, we can get it there for you. We’re no strangers to critical color, press checks and print quotes… That’s the nitty gritty part for us to handle.

If print is the end game, then that’s it. However, the majority of the time, your plan leverages the print piece in other areas too. Represent, reinforce, repurpose, and reach — pretty important, don’t you think?

marketing communications / brochures / direct mail / kits / presentation folders / packaging / annual reports / label design / product design / product manuals / catalogs / signage / trade show displays / directories / print management / large format

Packaging: Design, build and distribute

Package design is one of the greatest tools in catching the attention, hearts and minds of your audience. Standing out sounds great on the surface, but it isn’t quite enough. However, standing out by communicating brand character while resonating with the consumer, that’s the challenge.

consultation / packaging program audits / competitive analysis / market research / prototypes / dielines / template development / retail packaging / food packaging / boxes and folding cartons / point-of-purchase (POP) / point-of-sale (POS) / corrugated boxes / displays

Websites: Inform, answer, and motivate

Google has updated its ranking algorithms again and has highlighted a much greater emphasis on mobile-friendly sites. Frankly, if you’re not mobile, you’re not relevant.

Whether you have a small informational site or a larger, more elaborate one with more bells and whistles, your site must be relevant, branded and well-written. Aside from good copy and design, Composure puts a signature, user-friendly stamp on the sites we create while achieving all the other higher level, site-specific features required.

websites / web design / search engine optimization (SEO) / responsive design / mobile sites / content development (CMS) / e-commerce

Social Media: Stay current and engage

Online or not, brands need to differentiate themselves and communicate to their audiences, and social media platforms are no exception.

Social media platforms are simply new channels for content that offer direct engagement, collaboration, and connection with users to enhance a sense of belonging through the engagement itself.

However, social media also requires more concentrated attention than many other channels. Being responsive to consumers is key. Strategically, the conversation can help the organization find and maintain a competitive advantage, cross-check whether the brand is communicated properly and being understood, build positive brand associations, build perceived brand quality and support more awareness to audiences it has not yet reached.

Competent use contributes to greater brand recognition, improved search engine ranking, more inbound traffic, higher conversion rates, customer insight and brand loyalty.

Let’s start an offline conversation about your social engagement strategy.

social media / Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn / Instagram / Pinterest / branding / direct engagement / online content development