Smash Your Brand
So what is a brand? The American Marketing Association says that it is a “name, term, sign, symbol, design or combination of them intended to identify…” This really means that your brand is what someone recognizes as you. In 1915 the Coca-Cola Company asked a designer to design a bottle that consumers could still recognized as a Coke bottle, even if someone shattered it. The term “smashable” has survived since to determine what a “smash-able” brand is.
If you took away your logo, or even your name, would people still know your brand? Would it be “smashable?”The idea behind branding has two basic purposes: (1) It establishes credibility, and (2) It makes your marketing efforts easier and more effective — making your business “smashable.”Building a brand can be done effectively, even if you don’t have a Coca-Cola budget; you just need to know where to start.
Even though the logo isn’t the only focus, it is the first thing that you start with. It is the foundation of the rest of your brand from the design to the colors that you use. Once you establish your logo, from there outline a style guide that will lead you easily through establishing the rest of your collateral and even future advertising allowing you to stay consistent.
The feel of your logo then needs to be a part of an overall composition of your company. Letterhead, business cards, presentations, signs, banners, brochures, websites, Facebook, etc. — Everything someone comes into contact with needs to be easily recognizable as and strongly representative of you just by looking at it, with and without your logo.
What is the personality of your business? Are you modern, quick to the point and always stay within the facts? Are you more about conversation and forging relationships? Then the language on everything that you produce should match that.
The voice is part of the sensory of your brand. So, follow your personality and the personality of your practice in your branding.
What differentiates your practice should be communicated through your branding. Choose a motto that is easily recognizable and is concrete in explaining why your company is different. For example, “Imported from Detroit” that Chrysler established in 2011. It communicates that sense of pride from being an American made car. Developing a simple tagline like that allows people to associate a story with your brand.
This is the basis of all marketing and advertising. As you continually establish your brand, you will see the difference that it is making in your business.