We've put together a few recommendations for teams that are looking to establish a name in this fluid, highly competitive marketplace.
Work With a Brief
The process of brand development should extend from a branding brief. The brief helps guide decisions about logos, taglines, images and other design elements. If brand development moves forward without a thorough briefing on the brand with all involved parties (creative team, digital team, client, etc.), you can end up relying too much on intuition or assumptions about what the brand should look like. Accordingly, you run the risk of internal feedback being subjective and possibly ill-informed. A branding brief drawn up out of a defined brand strategy enables all parties to clearly understand design objectives and decisions from the start.
Focus on a Simple, Memorable Brand Identity
Even if you plan to roll out several solutions within your brand, establish a simple brand identity that connects without confusion. When IT directors are asked about their choice of a database platform, they express it as "SQL Server" not "Microsoft SQL Server Enterprise Edition 2014, release 3.0". Avoid putting too much effort towards solution identity before you've created your brand identity.
Ideally, the brand identity should be short, clear and memorable. So if you're launching a gaming company that produces racing games, SpeedZone would probably be a preferable brand name to Denver International Game Enterprises, Inc. The Sega brand, for instance, didn't take off until its name change from Rosen Enterprises. If you're going to be memorable, choose a brand name that is hard to misspell and hard to mispronounce, like Google, Netflix or Reddit.
Your brand identity should connect consumers to your products or services on an emotional level. If customers can tie their experience with your solutions to a positive time in their lives, you have a much better chance of building brand loyalty.
Emotional connection doesn't need to be a positive connection, just something that packs emotional punch. Insurance companies like Allstate do this well by showing the aftermath of disasters like floods and fires then showing their agents consoling victims. Almost everyone knows the tagline: "You're in good hands with Allstate". That message invokes sense of relief after tragedy. It's a powerful example of emotional connection.
Successful brands create a gap between themselves and competitors in the minds of the consumers. Renowned advertising gurus Al Reis and Jack Trout addressed this concept in their groundbreaking book "Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind". Typically companies in the same industry offer solutions that are nearly identical – the difference is in the positioning of the brand. For example, would you be able to notice a difference if you removed the label from a pair of Levi's and attached a Calvin Klein label?
You need to find that small difference between your product or service and those of your competitors. After you have discovered that difference, leverage it in every way you can within your brand identity.
Match Logo and Other Marketing Elements
While a logo is sometimes the linchpin that holds a brand identity together, making you instantly recognizable, successful brands aren't built on logos alone. When creating a brand identity, don't simply focus on the logo image; think about how to tie your logo in with your marketing channels, printed collateral, signage, and other marketing elements. Make sure to consider the bigger picture of your brand identity, and coordinate all the elements so your logo extends that identity seamlessly for your audience.
How Can Workgroups DaVinci Help?
Don’t start a new branding project without the right tools in place. A project workflow system with extensive brand management capabilities helps you manage the brand creation and growth process.
Workgroups DaVinci gives you the tools to rapidly grow your brand while maintaining control. Branding briefs can be developed, shared and collaborated on by key organizational stakeholders. Collaborative workrooms help facilitate the creation of, and decisions related to key brand assets. Brand spec sheets and brand libraries makes it easy to find and distribute those approved assets to designers and freelancers, and proofing tools ensures designs are reviewed and approved by brand managers before going out the door.