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Are you on brand?

13th September 2017

2-minutes read

Brand strategy, brand identity and a logo: what are the differences and why do they matter?

The question is, why? And why do these values, words and feelings differ? After all, Mercedes Benz, Volvo and Skoda all make a product that does exactly the same thing.

What causes some people to feel more closely linked to one manufacturer rather than another? The reason is branding.

A company's brand is what people think about when they hear that company's name. It is the essence of the relationship between the business and its customers.

This might be based on a physical attribute (my Mercedes is fast) or an emotional one (I feel safe in my Volvo). And this outcome - the thoughts and feelings that a customer has about a company - is no accident.

A successful brand is a result of a specific strategy that considers both the emotional response the company wants from its customers as well as the practical elements of the brand's identity and logo.

Brand strategy

A company can't "design" its brand: it's something that's earned over time.

But it can be guided by a well-considered strategy which engenders customer loyalty.

The brand strategy leads everything else and establishes the purpose of the business. It acknowledges a company's market place, positioning and competition and it informs "brand values", which are the words that customers most immediately associate with the company.

Brand identity

One of the most important assets a company has is its brand identity.

A brand identity is more than the logo - it's the company's font, colours, graphic devices, signage, photography and visuals and it's usually held together by a brand guidelines document.

Some brand guidelines run to many pages, which reflects the importance to the company of ensuring that its brand is applied correctly.

Brand logo device

The logo device is the single mark that represents your brand. Logo devices are created in many different styles and there are three common types:

  1. a symbol, such as the Shell logo
  2. a monogram, made from single letters such as Chanel
  3. a logotype, a unique stylised way of displaying your business name, like the Sony logo

Consistency is key

The key is consistency as this helps your customer to build a memory of who you are and, in time, this memory becomes the identity of your organisation.

Although building a successful brand takes time, destroying it through poor application can be done in minutes. So if you are unsure, get in touch and we'll review your current approach so you'll know if your business is on brand.

Mark Wilde

Mark Wilde

Creative Director

Mark Wilde

About the author

This article was written in September 2017 by Mark Wilde, Creative Director at Rubiqa.

Having worked in the design industry since 2000, Mark understands that creativity is as much about achieving tangible business results as it is about generating original creative ideas. His work always has a strong commercial focus and in the years of being a Creative Director at Rubiqa, he knows how to achieve the best results from our clients' investments. Mark's expertise crosses many disciplines including digital, brand development, editorial, advertising, and packaging design. Away from work, he's interested in electronic music production, travelling and learning piano.

Connect with Mark Wilde on LinkedIn

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