The Importance of a Strong Brand Image

Judging a book by it’s cover… It happens.

Your branding is the face of your business and very often, it’s the first impression that your company has on potential customers. So it has to be a good one!

How often, when you’re looking for a product or service, do you compare a few sites and instantly dismiss the poorer looking company? We do. As consumers, we’re fickle and years of pervasive advertising have programmed us to view company branding and imagery as hallmarks of quality and reliability.

Research shows that it takes customers less than 50ms to make up their minds about your brand* and form an emotional attachment – positive or negative – with it. It doesn’t matter how good the product is – if the medium it’s viewed through isn’t, in the back of your mind you’ll likely think it’s dodgy and unreliable and pick the more professional looking alternative.

Is branding just a logo?
Nope… although branding may start with your logo and design guidelines, branding is more than just the visual representation of your company. Ultimately, your branding is how your company is portrayed as a whole, its words and its deeds. Ensuring your message and personality is effectively conveyed throughout everything you do is hugely important, after all, people buy from people.

Very often clients come to us with examples of existing literature, websites and social accounts, where NOTHING conforms – sometimes even the logos are different! Having different styles, looks and messages can be very confusing for your target audience, and as a result they can become disengaged with your brand.

“A brand is whatever the consumer thinks of when he hears your company’s name. Branding is everything.” – David F. D’Alessandro, former CEO of John Hancock

We work with our clients to develop brand guidelines and implement them effectively. These basic rules ensure that their brand image remains consistent throughout all media and comms, whether internal or external.

Let’s start with my logo, should I design my own?
If you’ve got the skills and the time to create a professional look… crack on! However, if you’re not artistically gifted, we’d strongly urge you get in touch with a professional.

Whether you have a strong idea as to how you’d like your brand to look – or no idea at all – having a professional eye and helping hand to guide you through the process is invaluable. Not only will it save you time, it will save you from banging your head against your desk. Trust us – your design will not fall perfectly onto the paper that way. Although that would be quite handy.

I haven’t drawn since I was at school and I’m short on time. What about online logo builders?
Some companies opt for online logo builders as an ‘off the shelf’ solution, however ask most in the trade (well, except for those engineering these tools) and they’ll likely tell you that the trade off for convenience is often customisation. If you’re happy with this, then we’re happy that you’re happy. However, for something more unique that’s bespoke to you and your customers, you’re always better off going directly to an agency or creative that knows their stuff (like us).

Logos don’t just happen: we spend hours researching the market, looking at suitable fonts, colours, graphics and doodling on reams of paper before we even get close to the screen. Logos can appear really simple, but believe us there is a method and thought process behind every (well designed) one.

I’ve already got a logo, but I’d like to improve it.
Excellent! As we’ve touched on, creating positive branding is an endless process. Some of the world’s biggest names are continually updating their brand, the likes of Starbucks, Apple and Google to name a few. Don’t ever rest on your laurels and if it calls for it, move with times!

Once you’ve finished here, why not take a look at our rebranding blog 4 Rules For Updating Your Brand.

So… it’s pretty important.
Yes. It really is. Your branding isn’t just about looking fancy, it’s about portraying the right message to the right audience, all of the time. You can earn trust, recognition and loyalty from a larger pool of customers if you can nail it. Contact us today if you’d like to have a chat about how we can help you.

* source: Google Research Blog, 2012.