In the communications business, we talk a lot about brands. Much goes into brand development, and the conversation about developing a brand can be a long one. As an “insider,” you as business owner or employee-agent of your company, impact everything that others think of as your brand: the product you provide, the service associated with what you sell, your perceived value, and your reputation.
Your Company in Print and Online
Only part of your brand perception is what your brand looks like. At AlphaGraphics in Providence, this is the part we normally focus on in our role as marketers: your logo, your color scheme, fonts you use, the type of photo images, how people perceive your online presence, how they interact with you.
Your Brand, Your Graphics
When it comes to your brand, maintaining consistency is paramount. Someone at your company should be in charge of keeping your brand elements consistent; always recognizable. You use the same logo in the same color every time, in the type of layout that people recognize as belonging to you. This is a simple definition of your brand identity’s application.
The idea is that when someone sees your logo or brochures or signage, they immediately think of you: your quality, your service, your reputation.
Don’t Go Changin’
What you don’t want to do is haphazardly change your logo’s color, try a different font, or make the elements of your design completely different and unrecognizable. Sometimes it’s appropriate to redesign your logo, or realign the graphic elements that make up your brand. If you have always been consistent in the past, you will want to tread carefully with your redesign so you don’t confuse your loyal customers. Too drastic of a change can literally cause upset in your customers and in some cases can send them running. That doesn’t mean you should never update your look, but it’s important to keep in mind that your customers may have a deeper loyalty to you and your brand than you realized, so any updates should be made with this in mind.
Imagine logos you know well. When you see the Ford logo you think one thing, you see the Mercedes Benz logo, you think of another. It happens almost automatically, and it happens with any kind of brand that has a lot of exposure. Dairy Queen, Tide, Wonder Bread… what do you think of? Bank of America… what do you think of now?
It All Comes Down to Experience
Brand perception is determined by the collective of what your customers’ actual experiences are with you and your product. If you claim to be on time, deliver as promised, and provide a fair exchange, people will be watching to see if it’s true. No doubt there are brands you know well wherein the company behind the brand is repellent to you. BP (British Petroleum) is a good example of a very consistent brand that many people find exceptionally distasteful.
What’s Good for Them is Good for You
Brand perception develops over time and is subject to many levels of evaluation. This is true whether you run a restaurant, a shoe repair shop, a contracting business or an industrial manufacturing facility. If you are working hard to maintain your business as an attractive brand, you will want to maintain your logo and all of your brand elements so that when people see your image out in public, they will immediately think of the great experience they’ve had, or the other good things they associate with you.