Branding 101: The Brand Jigsaw
- Developing your brand really is a jigsaw as it’s made up of several elements. These elements need to be consistent across all visual communication.
- Make sure your tone of voice, communication style, and language personality are consistent across the board.
- Your brand identity might need to evolve as markets and customer needs change.
Brand or Corporate Identity is the way your company appears to the outside world. The symbolism that allows your audience to visually recognise you in the market place.
Your brand identity needs to be consistent across the board, wherever it appears. In all visual communication; business cards, letter head, company clothing, website etc. It is quite possible that a brand review highlights the need for a new logo, in order to align with your changing brand values. You may also find that your existing communication methods are outdated or not specifically focused on your chosen target market. Brochures, data sheets and leaflets are now secondary to regular news and updates via your website.
Branding 101, Part IV: The Brand Jigsaw
Many of the world’s largest corporations constantly evolve their brand identity, based on changing markets, changing customer needs and the revisiting of brand values. British Telecom (BT) is a good example of this. They have evolved from a national telephone operator to a global competitor in the ever-changing world of telecommunications. Their corporate identity has subsequently been developed to focus on these changes.
If your chosen market is subject to change, it may be worth building flexibility into whatever corporate identity you have designed for your business.
Your company now has a visual identity, but how do you personally communicate with your audience? This communication can be spoken or written.
The words you choose to use, as well as the style and personality of the language, all add up to a part of your brand.
Your brand values will help you decide the right tone of voice for your company. Some examples of how the big brands do it:
- Fun, cartoon style of Red Bull
- Professional, reassuring, confident like British Airways
- Wacky, off the wall like IKEA
Does your company speak in the third or first person? How clearly will the person receiving your communication understand it?
Your ‘tone of voice’ must be consistent at every possible point of client communication. In other words, when your company engages with its audience, by whatever means, it always sounds or reads the same.
In the final part – Branding 101: Managing your brand of this series, we’ll look at ongoing management of your existing brand.