“Can you write me a blog about branding?”

“Sure”, I said. You know when you have to write something to order and all you are really doing is staring in to the bottom of your second cup of coffee and thinking about the third. That’s just where I am at the moment. I’ve even opened the post in an attempt to find distraction.

Just a moment, the kettle’s boiled…..

Amongst the post there is a clothing catalogue. Not your 2 inch thick Next Directory, but 124 pages of very well designed and presented catalogue containing slightly off the norm clothing, not outrageously odd, but refreshingly different. The thing is that a few years ago, or maybe a few years more than that, I visited this company in one of the less fashionable areas of Leeds. It was little more than a back-street warehouse on a not very nice back street and they were selling very nice clothes over the internet, very successfully and probably many years ahead of their time. This is back in the day when I built IT systems and I can’t claim any influence in the success they have had since then.

A brand should reflect the quality of the product and not the warehouse or offices where they are shipped from.

Cardboard Boxes

The point is that if you were to visit them at their office come distribution centre and see cardboard boxes full of clothes ready to be shipped the length and breadth of the country, you would be less likely to buy from them than if you were to look at the well-presented, fashionable, high quality clothing which has a well-known household brand attached to it. A brand that reflects the quality of the product and not the warehouse or offices where they are shipped from.

Now there is nothing wrong with a sparkling Brand Identity standing between your clients and the harsh, unromantic reality of product distribution or manufacturing.

Its not about the box, but what's in it.

So, what does this strong brand identity provide?

OK, before we answer the question, let’s get one thing straight. There is a very big difference between Brand Identity and a Brand.

Your Brand Identity is the set of rules which specify how you present yourself to your customers. It encapsulates your core values and why your customers or clients would want to purchase your products or services. This is something that we specialise in and you can find out more on our Brand Identity page.

Back to our original question as to what a strong Brand Identity provides:

  • A strong brand identity can improve your brands perceived equity – how much you’re able to charge for you product.
  • Branding creates an emotional attachment between the customer and your product or service.
  • Strong Brand Identity unites & motivates employees making loyal, productive employees.

To strengthen you Brand Identity you need to consider the following:

  • Create a Brand Strategy – Creating a strategy can be the most effective way to strengthen your Brand Identity.
  • Integrate all your communications so they are in line with your Brand Identity.
  • Ensure that all your marketing communication is consistently applied using your logo, colour pallet, typography, website, photography and use of language.
  • Don’t forget to communicate your message to your employees. Not only will this help to motivate them but will also ensure a consistent message.

A strong brand identity can improve your brands perceived equity – how much you’re able to charge for you product.

The much desired Holy Grail.

Get all this right and you will create a Brand. That much desired Holy Grail where your customers become evangelists for your products and services. Remember a Brand can be influenced by you but created by your clients and customers, more importantly it is how they feel about you and your products. It’s what makes them loyally return for the latest version or renew their contract, but most importantly they become Brand advocates.

Now should I go for the 4th coffee…. That may be a step too far even for me. Although, I may order that shirt.

“The key is to set realistic customer expectations, and then not to just meet them, but to exceed them — preferably in unexpected and helpful ways.”

– Richard Branson