More than Design

There is a common misconception that branding is simply the look of a company. A business may redesign their logo and somehow equate it to a full rebrand. And, sometimes it’s even defined as the company’s values and beliefs. An organic cleaning product company may think, “We believe in clean, wholesome living, so that is our brand – a clean wholesome company.” But that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Yes, a company’s look and mission play a part in establishing a brand, but it is in no way, shape, or form, a brand in and of itself.

The truth is, a company’s brand can be defined by one thing only: what the audience thinks of a company – their interpretation of who the company is and what they stand for.

See, a brand is determined by the audience alone. To establish a brand, the company must present themselves to their audience in a very honest, yet calculated manner. And that presentation consists of a variety of things:

Identity – the “face” of the company that the audience interacts with like the logo, website, in-store design, etc.

Messaging – the “voice” of a company, its expressed values, and the content it produces (does the company come across as funny and approachable, comforting and reassuring, or serious and trustworthy, etc.)

Reach – how the company extends itself into various parts of its users’ lives in a useful and recognizable way

Positioning – how the company or product is compared to or stands apart from other similar products on the market

We see branding on a daily basis without realizing it. We are, in fact, the ones forming these brands. Think about the fact that people will buy the same brand washing powder consistently, regardless of price. There may be a wall full of other washing powder brands that function exactly the same, yet we buy the same one with the assumption that it’s the best. Why is that? The culmination of their advertising, packaging design, colors, and messaging, triggers something within that person that establishes brand loyalty and trust.

Imagine the following stores side by side: Walmart, Target, and Trader Joe’s. Which would be the best place to buy a gallon of milk? What about a t-shirt or peanut butter? Each of these stores sell a wide variety of products, often times similar, and at varying prices. Yet, we view them all differently, with one being more healthy, or cheaper, or classier. They are all grocery department stores, yet these companies have aligned various aspects of company presentation to set themselves apart from one another. We’ve taken in those presentation elements to interpret and form our understanding of who they are and what they stand for.

As a business owner, branding should be a top priority. And often times it is difficult as the owner, to set oneself outside of the company and examine it for how it is actually being presented versus what is intended to be presented. Sometimes it requires sourcing outside help to research the company and its audience to figure out the best brand strategy. Regardless of how it is achieved, establishing a strong brand can build audience trust and familiarity, ideally establishing long-term brand loyalty and value.

Halieo is a brand innovation studio.

We specialize in repositioning your brand to engage your audience through meaningful experiences. Our goal is to solve the problem of stagnant branding by engaging users in a way that brings value to their lives in a real and tangible way. Contact us today!