The Fundamentals of Branding
Or what you need to ask first
Branding is everywhere and everyone does it. Done well, it catches your interest, sustains it and begins the process of informing your potential customer what it is that you offer and contributes to their return. Are there any general rules that can help in this?
As a communications business, we don’t claim particular marketing expertise, but we do find that all our client conversations will consider two fundamental questions before we look at the communication content and visuals.
How is the customer going to benefit from your product? Famously, Theodore Levitt said “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole.” You need to consider what people will gain from buying from you. If you run a café, it may be that they will leave less thirsty or hungry, but it is immediately obvious that this is not the real benefit. Try to be really clear (and realistically ambitious) about what you want it to be. As your communications partner, we can talk with you about crafting a message to convey this.
What is different about your product? If you try to do too much, or focus entirely on the generic, people will struggle to understand what it is you are offering. Do you have a USP or unique selling point? Is your school, just a school, or is there a particular quality of staff-student relationship that you need to highlight? Again, once this is established, it will inform branding and communication.
When considering our own brand, we quickly realised that a name and logo can help to convey both benefit and difference. Often, however, the narrative about, and the customer experience of, the product will be read back into the name and logo. These need, most of all, therefore, to be appealing and memorable, whilst being consistent with the fundamentals. The sight of them will then quickly be associated with the message you wish to convey.