Branding is the cornerstone of every single business and organisation, regardless of the size and type. Branding is the most important thing to consider when introducing new products, services or businesses to a saturated marketplace. It is the thing which identifies goods, services and represents an ethos. It is the look of a business, the tone of voice it speaks in, and the instigator of an initial reaction from consumers. Just as we recognise humans by their facial features, brands provide a recognisable identity – a face.
Believe it or not, the idea of using a word or image to identify companies and products has been around for centuries. Does the name Ennion ring a bell? I’d be surprised if it does! Ennion was a master glass maker in the first century AD, a craftsman who is often attributed as creating one of the first historically recorded brands. Ennion crafted extremely intricate and detailed glass items, and at the time there were few whose skill could be compared to his. Now, Ennion knew his work was sought after and identified the demand. So he wouldn’t just write his name on his creations, he would incorporate the slogan “Ennion Made Me” (In Greek of course!) into his glassware designs, as though the very purpose of the design was solely to showcase his name. When people saw the name – the “brand” – they immediately knew the product was of a high quality. A link in the human mind was created, where the sight of a brand or marking increased the desire to possess the product.
This idea is still true today – people immediately associate a brand with a level of quality or standard of service. It can be the thing which creates a great demand for products, or it could be the reason a consumer would choose to go with what the competition is offering. If a brand is sending the wrong message, communicating the wrong ideology, or completely fails to engage with consumers, that brand is ultimately destined for failure.
On the other hand, a good brand – like a friendly face – entices and welcomes consumers. Good and long-lasting brands often incorporate a subtle but significant metaphor into their design. This ensures they are always relevant and remembered. But simply having a great logo isn’t enough, a great brand is compreensive and covers everything from the colours used (and the psychology behind them) to the experience and service a customer receives in person. A great brand evokes emotion, establishes a connection and creates a need – Just like Ennion did all those years ago!
A successful brand becomes its own sales person. So I ask you, is the face of your brand sending the right message? Is it engaging and comprehensive? Is there thought behind it, or is it merely superficial? Will your brand be around for years to come, or is it just a passing phase?
Branding is by far the most important aspect to consider when creating a product or establishing an organisation – always invest in your brand!