Business boils down to people. Branding is about building and maintaining relationships. People won’t always remember what you tell them but they’ll never forget how you made them feel. Ultimately, they want to feel valued.
Storytelling is the most effective way of persuading people and motivating them to translate ideas into action. The need for narrative is hard wired into our brains. That’s why in branding story is not optional – it’s essential.
A brand is more than just a ubiquitous logo and a catchy slogan. Successful brands offer a unique experience. The quality of your branded experience is the most influential factor in determining whether or not consumers become repeat customers and recommend you to others. Design gives form, function and character to that brand experience.
Shakespeare asserted that which we call a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet. True, but the wrong brand name might not pass the sniff test with consumers.
Today’s professional landscape is filled with false prophets preaching and prognosticating from the pulpit of so-called expertise. Being able to separate the pros from the pretenders can save you from disaster, but it’s not always easy. Consider this story:
Let’s be clear; marketing is a department, branding is a culture – and it’s too complex and too important to be delegated to a single department.
People sometimes say the most inappropriate things in business settings; racial slurs, sexist jokes, offensive gossip, blatant lies, brazen threats, crass come-ons, bull shit jargon, whatever. I thought I’d heard it all, until I heard something that beat it all.
Clear communication is critical to your brand’s success. Poor wording, bad font choices, inattention to design and inaccurate translation are just a few of the things that can end up sending a message you never intended to send.
Color communicates. It can provide direction and clarity. When language fails color can offer valuable associations with people, places and things. Shamrock green. Fire engine red. School bus yellow. Midnight black. Sky blue. The mere act of reading those words evokes distinct images and feelings. Color induces subtle emotions and elicits powerful responses. Because color’s impact is so profound its role as a brand signal should not be underestimated.
Effective holiday marketing means much more than tired gift card promotions and early-bird sales. Gimmicks might spur short-term gains with bargain shoppers but they don’t build long-term relationships that will grow and sustain your business. Loyalty that lasts well after the ornaments are packed away comes from connecting with consumers emotionally.