Many people think branding is purely down to a logo and colours, but it is much more than that. Behind every brand, there is a story that came about and (more often than not) by accidental. Of course, all good brands are known through well-targeted marketing and an example of this was about the Nike tick logo, where the company asked a student to design them a logo and the person just did a tick on a sheet of paper and said there you go.
Regardless if this is true or not, there is a story behind the brand that allows business and people to relate to it.
Branding is in everything your customer experiences about your business. Logos, colours, copywriting, messaging, even down to their experiences with customer service.
Logo – This one might seem self-explanatory, but a company logo does much more than looking nice. A well-designed logo is created to specifically speak to that company’s target audience.
For example, the Apple logo is a tribute to Alan Turing, the man who laid the foundations for the modern-day computer, pioneered research into artificial intelligence and unlocked German wartime codes.
His death, a decade after the end of the war, provides the link with Apple. Unrecognized for his work, facing jail for gross indecency and humiliated by estrogen injections intended to ‘cure’ his homosexuality, he bit into an apple he had laced with cyanide. He died in obscurity on June 7, 1954, 10 years and a day after the Normandy landings, which made copious use of intelligence gleaned by his methods.
Colours – Colours play a huge part in evoking particular emotions. Take a look at many pharmacy websites. The predominant colours are greens and blues and whites. This colour combo reminds people of a medical setting. They are associated with capable doctors and medical experts who are going to make you feel better.
Copy – A lesser-known element in brand identity, the copy is still equally as important. Your brand needs to have a tone, and the copy can enhance that tone where imagery cannot. Great brand copy reflects the rest of the branding elements and engages the target audience.
Imagery – Photography and imagery play a crucial role in telling a story. A big mistake businesses make is to put a generic stock photo on their website that doesn’t match their brand. You see it a lot on accountants’ websites that feature a stock photo of a goldfish in a bowl while they’re talking about tax returns.
I’m often asked why I use certain images and as a rule of thumb, I tend to use either an image that directly related to the user OR has the person or persons looking directly at either the reader or the headline.