Although the business term "brand" originates from branding cattle, creating a strong brand is about far more than creating an appealing logo. Strong branding goes further than creating visual marketing materials too, it is also about experience and meaningfulness.
The world's most successful brands are from a vast range of industries and offer different meanings and experiences. However, they do have five fundamental things in common. These are:
1. Strong brands are recognisable
The best brands are instantly recognisable. Their logos do play a crucial role here, allowing the brand to "stand out among the rest". Consistency is key: fonts, colours and the size of the logo. The themes that the logo emulates should be reinforced in the rest of your marketing.
2. Strong brands are simple
A strong, recognisable brand has a simplistic approach. This links back to the importance of the brand being recognisable as it will be easier remembered.
3. Strong brands are consistent
All imagery should be aligned to communicate more efficiently with your audience. Additionally, language and tone-of-voice should be the same across all marketing materials, social media and customer services.
4. Strong brands communicate values
Branding should be used to communicate your core values. For example, Nike values athletic performance regardless of capability. This is reflected in their logo: the tick in the logo conveys optimism and empowerment and the diagonal lines are linked to dynamism. Additionally, Nike strengthens this further by offering free fitness classes in stores, available to all capabilities.
5. Strong brands are trustworthy
The above four points are underpinned with trust. Trust will create customer-loyalty and recommendations. Your audience are clever and will be able to spot a brand that is not authentic or genuine – and a negative reputation and brand image is a lot harder to try and recover from.
Building a strong brand is time-consuming and requires serious thought. However, if you stick to these five points, your company will be in an advantageous position to drive it forward and achieve your business goals.