What is Branding?

What is Branding?

Coca-Cola, Nestle, Starbucks, Pepsi…what do these companies all have in common? There’s a high chance you consume at least one of these products and it’s not just because they taste good. The products are highly successful because they have mastered the art of branding.

Take Coca-Cola for instance. Their ads seem to always evoke feelings of warmth and optimism. In the commercials, you see families and friends gathered, bottle of Coca-Cola in hand.

In one the most famous commercials of all time (1971 Coca Cola commercial), we see a group of people singing “I’d like to buy the world a Coke and keep it company.” Coca Cola has always relied on the marketing approach of evoking a positive, carefree vibe for its customers. It’s an effective approach as it is a beverage of choice in many family gatherings, parties and restaurants.

In our increasingly competitive business market, we all want our company to stand out and be recognized in a sea of other businesses offering similar products and services.

You’ve probably heard the term “branding” used frequently to describe a company’s brand style, but what exactly is it?

Entreprenuer.com defines branding as “The marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products.”

 Put into simple terms, a brand is your company’s personality: who you are and how others perceive you. It is what sets you apart from your competitors. Your consumers develop a sense of what to expect from your product or services based on the values and qualities you choose to communicate in your design, slogan and marketing campaigns.

For instance, if you are a daycare provider, you may opt to style your marketing material with bright colors, playful fonts and simple illustrations to characterize your business as a place for children. Your slogan is “Providing a Safe Place for Children to Grow.” Naturally, you will make it clear to your prospects that your daycare teachers are CPR certified and provide continual video monitoring to ease the concerns of the child’s parent.

On the other hand, if you are an attorney, you will likely go for a more sleek and professional look using neutral colors like gray, navy or crimson red.

In branding, your goal is to solve a problem or fulfill a need specific to your target audience. There are multiple ways and styles of doing this. Do your research and decide what approach will work for your unique clientele. Remember Corona’s “Find Your Beach” commercials? They  offer their consumers a much needed escape from work. Then you have the famous Nike swoosh “Just Do it” intended to motivate you to workout and purchase their line of athletic apparel. Different approaches work for different companies.

Effective Branding will..

Make a clear statement about you

  • Make you appear trustworthy
  • Provide an emotional connection to your customer
  • Motivate your buyers to make a purchase
  • Promote customer loyalty

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Ready To Get Started? 

Here is a step by step process to help make you a branding rock star…

Step 1: Identify your business objective. Be as specific as possible about what you wish to accomplish in your business and develop a company mission.

Step 2: Research, research, research. Who are you competitors? What are they doing right? Don’t reinvent the wheel, but also keep your brand unique.

Step 3: Decide your marketing style. Is your jewelry line going to have an elegant, upscale look to appeal to white collar professional woman? Or are you an up-and-coming video game store appealing to college students with an edgy grunge look?

Step 4: Write out your goals. Decide the step-by-step process of how you will create your brand. Do you have a logo? What social media accounts will you primarily use to market yourself? Does the style of your website reflect the style of your brand? What are your budget goals?

Step 5: Maintenance Mode It’s easy to get off track and focus on your immediate tasks, but it’s vital that you keep on top of your brand strategy. You may have to take a step back and re-evaluate your current marketing approach. Decide what’s working for you and what’s not.

This a great starting point and should be reevaluated periodically to ensure your business success. If you are unsure, you may want to consider hiring a professional to help you work out the details. As tempting as it may be to jump into the launching of your brand, it is wise to plan strategically so that you have a firm foundation.

Color Psychology

Color Psychology

Have you ever walked into a doctor’s office with bright red walls? Of course not. It’s more likely a pastel green that can actually make you feel more relaxed. Color has a notable effect on our moods and can even influence how we react to a design. An experienced designer knows this well and strategically selects colors that will create the desired reaction for a product or service.  

Although colors can affect individuals in different ways, the overall tone is universal. Red is bold and attention-grabbing while blue evokes a sense of trust and authenticity. 

Note that the degree of each shade will produce different reactions (i.e. a light yellow green having a more energetic vibe vs a deep evergreen shade offering a more calming, conservative feel). In general though, brighter shades tend to be more energizing while darker shades offer a more relaxed and refined vibe.

Red

Bold, Unapologetic, Romantic

A very powerful and confident color, red is associated with intense emotions like love, anger and aggression. It can be used to indicate danger (think stop signs), power (red sports car) or even passion (Valentine’s Day hearts). 

Seeing the color red can raise respiration and blood pressure, so use with caution. This color is seen on national flags, sports advertisements, and even lingerie ads. 

A bright, red background with black and white text commands attention to Word & Co’s ‘About Us’ page. The bulky text and limited information helps the user digest the information without being overwhelmed by the blatant hue.

Source: https://work.co/facts

Successful Red Brands: Target, Coca Cola, Netflix, Staples, YouTube, Marlboro, Red Bull, Chick-Fil-A & Red Cross

Orange

Creative, Fresh, Enthusiastic

Orange is a friendlier shade than its cousin red. It is associated with optimism, creativity, vitality success, playfulness and sunshine. The color of oranges, it can also be associated with health and wellness. It’s an effective color choice to market children’s toys, food, and even home merchandise (Home Depot). 
Whataburger, a family friendly burger restaurant uses a few different shades of orange to evoke feelings of warmth, trust and positive energy to their audience.

Source: Whataburger.com

Successful Orange Brands: Fanta, Harley Davidson, Amazon, Nickelodeon, Mastercard, Reese, Soundcloud & Firefox

Yellow

Sunny, Joyful, Cautious

Yellow is a complex color representing cheerfulness, knowledge, confidence, communication and creativity. It is also associated with cowardice and warning (think caution signs), so use carefully.

Mailchimp recently rebranded their website using a striking yellow color scheme. The logo has been simplified and converted to black for easy visibility over the yellow background. It makes the site more vibrant and memorable, while still engaging the audience with its new innovative look. 

Source: MailChimp.com

Successful Yellow Brands: McDonalds, Best Buy, Ikea, National Geographic, Snapchat, Shell, Mello Yellow & Cheerios 

Green

Healthy, Prosperous, Tranquil

Green is the color of our environment. It’s about growth, balance, nurturing, renewal, even prosperity. It is one of the most soothing colors and–as a result–is commonly seen in medical offices.  

You will find this color in environmentally friendly and organic nutrition products as well as banks, financial organizations and medical products. Starbucks utilizes green in their logo to embody the growth, novelty and financial success of the company.

Successful Green Brands: Spotify, Heineken, BP, Whole Foods, Android, Tic Tac, John Deere & Publix

Purple

Perceptive, Artistic, Royal

Purple is a creative and intuitive shade.  

With its imaginative & introspective properties, many businesses like design studios, spiritual or counseling centers employ the color in their marketing designs. The color of royalty, purple can also represent financial or ecommerce sites nicely (think WooCommerce).

Purple is a balancing color of the intellect and emotions, connecting the spiritual and physical world. It is not uncommon for psychologists and philosophers to have an affinity for this intriguing color. 

Kaleidoscope cleverly uses a combination of deep and bright purple to give their tech site a creative and edgy feel. The dark background pulls the user’s attention to the headline while the bright purple call to action button commands attention to download their application. 

Successful Purple Brands: Cadbury, Yahoo, Roku, Niveo, Monster, Zoopla, Hallmark & Aussie

Blue

Honest, Down to Earth, Calming

Perhaps the most popular of all colors, blue conveys trust, serenity and graciousness. It is easy on the eyes and gives off a welcoming vibe. As such, you will find this color commonly used in financial, legal and medical practices. 

The color of sky and water, blue is seen every day in our environment, is extremely versatile, and compliments other colors effectively. 

bZx effectively uses multiple shades of blue in their website help build a potential client’s trust for their margin trading industry. 

Source: bzx.network

Successfully Blue Brands: Facebook, Skype, Ford, Paypal, Samsung, GAP, General Electric, Chase & IBM

Brown

Ordinary, Sincere, Earthy

Brown is a very natural color. It is the color of our earth. It conveys  solidity, safety and a strong foundation. By itself, brown can appear dull and unrefined, but combined with other colors, it can be strikingly beautiful. It’s an excellent color choice for outdoor recreational companies, coffee shops, and wood furniture stores. 

Guarda Golf Hotel & Residences uses brown very effectively for their elegant site. The brown gives it a warm, cozy feeling to entice the potential buyer to book a hotel room. 

Source: guardagolf.com

Successful Brown Brands: UPS, Hersheys, A&W, Cotton, Cracker Barrel, M&M’s, Hollister & Back to Nature 

Black

Formal, Powerful, Secretive

Black is the absence of all colors and it can convey the feeling of power, sophistication and mystery. It is the color of evil, the night sky, and ravens. Despite the negative connation, black can exude elegance and confidence, creates contrast against other colors, and makes text extra legible against a white background. 

The black background provides a perfect contrast to the white text and interesting graphical outline. The ‘o’ in two also serves as a target to bring your focus to “two chimp’s awesome, no nonsense coffee.”

Source: twochimpscoffee.com

 
Successful Black Brands: Nike, Chanel, Canon, Adidas, Belk, Allure, Forbes, PBS, Puma, Calvin Klein & Loreal

White

Innocent, spotless, sophisticated

It’s clean, pure and unadulterated. It is associated with virtue, but can also give off a cold or formal tone. White can complement literally any color and bring attention to the places you want with its negative space. Adding just a touch of another color to white can bring a very elegant feel to the design. 

Apple does it best. A clean, easy to read design that accentuates the sleek phones showcasing colorful images of planets.

Successful White Brands: Crocs, Teslr, The North Face, Nescafe, Apple, ABC,  Pop Tarts, Uber, Dove & Pandora

Gray

Professional, Muted, Somber

A blend of white and black, gray is a very neutral color, which makes it an excellent transitional color. Sometimes pure white or pure black can be too stark for the design. You can choose a deep gray instead of black or the lightest of grays to add some color to a lackluster design. Since gray can seem gloomy, be sure to balance it out with color when appropriate. 

My Own Bike uses a gray background very effectively in their interactive bike building site. The use of neutral dark gray in the header text and logo helps eliminate distractions, drawing attention to the most important element—the bike. 

Source: myownbike.de

Successful Gray Brands: Wikipedia, Wii, Sketchers, Mercedes-Benz, Swarovski, WordPress, Microsoft