Hello guys! You all told me that you would enjoy reading my papers and anything else involving my journey through my Master’s Degree program. This month’s course is called Brand Development. For week two, I had to identify and explain the key concepts behind developing and sustaining a successful brand. I had to persuade the reader that brand development goes well beyond the design of a logo, and requires a strategic and holistic approach. The questions were: =
•Why is a brand not just a logo, a corporate identity system, or a product?
•How are successful brands developed?
•How can a brand be successfully sustained over time
This was not as difficult as my last course’s essay but it was still a challenge since I can only write 1,000 words. So, here we go. Again, thank you for reading my essays.
This paper examines the meaning and reasoning of what a brand truly is. There is an in-depth look at every single key factor in a brand and all that it involves. This paper will cover why a brand is not just one simple factor but many factors that all go into what a brand truly is. This paper will also look at how a successful brand is developed, and the steps taken to build a brand. Key people in brand development were talked about to give a clearer view of how much goes into building a successful brand. Lastly, this paper will cover how thriving brands successfully sustained over time and the keys to all the many brands’ survival.
Keywords: brand development, branding, brands
The Development and Sustainment of a Brand
It might come as a surprise that many people don’t truly know what branding is. If asked, one might say a brand is a logo, or another might say a brand is what the business says it is. While these misconceptions aren’t totally wrong, they are not what a brand truly is. A logo and a business’s message are a part of the brand, but a brand is much more than that. It will probably shock many people what the true meaning of a brand is because all that a brand encompasses can be scary and a lot to take in. According to Neumeier (2005), “A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or company…When enough individuals arrive at the same gut feeling, a company can be said to have a brand” (p. 2). For a business to be successful, the company must develop a brand in the correct way and understand all that a brand involves. If said companies can develop a brand correctly and maintain it, then those brands have the possibility to sustain over time.
A brand is not just a logo, a corporate identity system, or a product. Branding is many things that people don’t even think about. Branding is a company’s strategy. “If you don’t know where you’re going or how you’re going to get there, that’s your brand no matter what fancy new name you come up with” (Pallotta, 2014, para. 3). A company needs to know what the brand is saying and what it stands for because the logo can be beautiful, but the strategy is in chaos. A brand is a company’s call to action. A brand is a business’s customer service. A brand is a way one speaks. Pallotta (2014) made a great point about how a message is important to the brand, but the message alone won’t make a great brand. A company needs to make sure that the product or service lives up to what the copywriters say because that is a brand. One of the biggest surprises about branding is that it is the whole display of a company’s communication tools. This can be the quality of a sign that says be back in 5 or the company voicemail. Branding is even the people in a company and the facilities of a company. Finally, a brand is the logo and visuals. A company needs to care about the business at every level and in every single detail because that is what a brand is all about (Pallotta, 2014). No matter how small or insignificant it may seem it all is the brand.
“It takes more than a strategy to build a brand. It takes strategy and creativity together” (Neumeier, 2005, p. 14). A lot goes into what a brand is, and equally a lot goes into developing a successful brand. To develop a brand, it takes a whole village of people collaborating and working together. Neumeier, the author of The Brand Gap, stated the following:
Branding requires not only the work of executives and marketing people who manage the brand, but an ever-changing roster of strategy consultants, design firms, advertising agencies, research companies, PR firms, industrial designers, environmental designers, and so on. It also requires the valuable contributions of employees, suppliers, distributors, partners, stockholders, and customers–an entire branding community. (p. 51)
Development starts with a clear communication strategy. A company needs to know what the message is saying, how the message will be said, and to whom the message will be said. Without this first step, there is no clear direction of where a brand is going. Once the message is made clear a designer, with the help of others and the company can begin research. In this step, a designer needs to do interviews with the client and company, the creation of a design brief happens, see analytical data, understand the competition, etc. With all this data, a designer and their team can begin to see a direction for the logo. The development of the logo is the next step. A logo is the entry point to a brand because it reinforces the message that was first developed (Adams, 2015). After the logo has been created, a visual system is set into place. This could be websites, apps, packaging, print material, etc. All of these helps to reinforce the brand’s message. Brands continue to develop through prototypes, engaging with the target audience and gauging the reactions to certain products/services, going back to the drawing board, etc. Brands that continue to evolve but stay strict on quality control are the ones that stay in the long run.
To successfully sustain a brand over time a company must continually adjust to changes in the marketplace, industry, economy, and culture. The consumers ultimately decide if a brand is successful or not, but if the company can stay relevant to what is going on in the world, the brand will have a better chance (Petek & Ruzzier, 2013). The survival of a brand is highly dependent on everyone in the company staying focused and pushing the message in all things. Since people in jobs tend to leave or a new generation comes in, the brand needs to always be revisited. The way this happens is with continually having a brand education program of sorts to always talk about the brand and keeping it open to feedback from new generations (Neumeier, 2005). A brands survival also depends on making sure the brand lives on throughout the company and not just in one department. Brands need to be treated as living breathing organisms and not just corporations (Neumeier, 2005). Brands need to be allowed to grow, shift, divide and combine throughout the brands’ life to be successful.
The definition of a brand can’t be summoned up to just one thing. A brand is not just a logo. A brand is not just a name. A brand is not just a message. A brand is all entities of a business big and small. “The brand is the promise, reputation, and big idea” (Adams, 2015). It then takes a whole village of people to develop a brand and help reinforce the brand’s message correctly. If the development is done correctly and the company understands what a brand truly is then said company will have a brand that can withstand the times.
Adams, S. (2015, March 27). Branding for Designers. Retrieved July 12, 2018, from https://www.lynda.com/Design-Color-tutorials/Foundations-Branding-Designers/363131-2.html
Neumeier, M. (2005). The Brand Gap. Retrieved July 13, 2018, from http://ce.safaribooksonline.com/book/branding/0321348109
Pallotta, D. (2014, July 23). A Logo Is Not a Brand. Retrieved July 9, 2018, from https://hbr.org/2011/06/a-logo-is-not-a-brand
Petek, N., & Ruzzier, M. K. (2013). Brand Identity Development and the Role of Marketing Communications: Brand Experts’ View. Managing Global Transitions: International Research Journal, 11(1), 61-78.
I really hope you guys enjoyed this essay.
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