The book The Brand Gap by Marty Neumieir helps explain branding in a clear and easy to digest way, clarifying some misconceptions about what branding is and the influence branding has on business success.
Below are some highlighted excerpts from the book and a slide presentation which runs you through the key points of the publication.
Brand is not a logo – logo is short for logotype (words) – what is really being referred to is trademark. A trademark can be logotype, symbol, monogram, emblem or other graphic devices.
Brand is not a visual identity system – the construct for controlling the use of a trademark. This is still needed but this alone does not create a brand.
A brand is defined by individuals, not by companies, markets, or the general public. Each person creates their own version of it. While companies can’t control this process, they can influence it by communicating the qualities that make this product different than that product. When enough individuals arrive at the same gut feeling, a company can be said to have a brand.
Use design to encourage trust.
It takes more than strategy to build a brand. It takes strategy and creativity together.
5 disciplines of brand-building
1 differentiate – we’re hard wired to notice what’s different. Marketing today is about creating tribes – 1900s features; 1925 benefits; 1950 experience; 2000 identification (who you are).
2 collaborate – it takes a village to build a brand.
3 innovate – creativity is what gives brands their traction in the market place. The brand needs a standout name – distinctiveness, brevity, appropriate, easy spelling, likeable, extendable, protectable. An Icon is a name and visual symbol that suggests a market position. Logos are dead – icons and avatars. Avatars are brand icons that can move, change and operate freely in various media.
4 Validate – bringing the audience into the creative process. Better a rough answer to the right problem than a detailed answer to the wrong question. If your audience can’t verbalise your concept, you’ve failed to communicate it. Field test measure: distinctiveness, relevance, memorability, extendability, depth of meaning.
5 cultivate – A living brand is a pattern of behaviour, not a stylistic veneer.
Brands are like people – if people can change their clothes without changing their character so can brands.