Brand is much more than a logo, palette, and choice for typography. These stylistic choices are a small subset of brand. We often think of branding as an exercise in matching together the surface-level stylistic approaches that were chosen by our designers and carrying out application in every sense of the word. While the stylistic choices of design feed into how brand is conveyed from an aesthetic point of view, they are not what determine messaging nor do they answer the question on branding’s essentiality.
Placing logos on every piece of collateral and slick sheet is useful for building a consistent and reputable image, but the essentiality of brand stems from how it is conveyed and put in motion through keen reverence.
Knowing the difference helps open up a world for engaging current and potential clients through the conveyance of messaging. Implementing an external strategy helps shareholders understand why certain decisions are made in terms of shifting direction or design. There are innumerable instances where keeping ‘on-brand’ is beneficial to the bottom line.
The best way to approach to brand and its importance is to picture it as an all-encompassing viewpoint of your company, from the likes of clients, employees, and board members. How is your company portrayed in the minds of these shareholders?
What is it they think of when they hear your name, your company name, or others talking about your services? What does your online reputation look like? Do you appear in Google searches, or is your website lost in the obscurity of the dreaded second page? What are the clear messages that come to mind versus the abstract strategies that may cloud progress?
“Determine who you are and what your brand is, and what you're not. The rest of it is just a lot of noise.” — Geoffrey Zakarian
Brand is messaging, strategy, approach, vision, appearance. Everything that your company portrays, whether internally or externally, is in direct correlation to brand strategy, whether intentional or not. It is essential because it is everything to do with portrayal and acceptance. To dive into some of the business-related benefits, I’d recommend checking out this article by Branding Magazine that goes into detail on the relation of branding to customer acquisition, market value, advertising, and trust building.