Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Branding for Your Business
What is a brand and why is it so important for a business? When I worked for one of the largest consulting companies in the world, I saw their brand and the consistency in how they used it. However, it wasn't until I formed my first business on my own that I fully understood the amount of time, energy and thought that goes into creating an effective brand.
When you look at the essence of a brand, it has long been defined as the name, logo and other outward symbols that distinguish a product or service from others. Yet a brand is far more than that. It becomes the overall essence, culture, and employees of a company. And on a much deeper level, a brand is an assortment of expectations established by the business that once fulfilled, forms a covenant with its buyers.
A brand covenant is an implicit guarantee that what consumers see is what they get. Superior brands promise and then over deliver and are in the best of all possible positions because they have consistently exceeded the expectations of their prospects and customers.
Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind about your brand is that it is in the eye of the beholder. It is not what some marketer creates, rather what your customers want to have portrayed as an accurate representation of your business. If the customer has a different perception of your logo and brand, then you have not been effective.
One thing to look carefully at is the color palette that you chose for your branding. We spent a few weeks reviewing colors and determining the primary colors for our logo and then selecting the complimentary supporting colors that would be used as accents and highlights in our marketing materials. For us, we went with a vibrant palette to support the fun nature of our business and to show that we are more contemporary and forward thinking with the technology solutions we provide.
If you are have an accounting firm consider these colors and their meanings as I think they could be appropriate for many of you.
• Burgundy - rich, refined, expensive, more authoritative, mature, opulent.
• Dark blue - financially stable and typically equated with wealth.
• Navy blue - credible, authoritative, dependable, service and professional.
• Emerald green - elegant, stately and associated with money and prestige. Conveys a sense of security and safety.
• Dark green - trustworthy, traditional, money.
• Deep, royal purple - regal, majestic values and strong consumer value.
• Deep plum - expensive, regal, classic, powerful and elegant.
• Silver - classic, expensive, money, valuable.
• Gold - warm, expensive, valuable and prestigious.
Many accounting firms have their logos containing these colors in combination or some variation. What would not be aligned is a logo in this industry that is light, pastel tones as they do not convey strength, confidence and power.
It is critical to understand the meaning behind the meaning. Do your homework. For us, we did. Our primary colors are blue and gold. Blue means energetic, happy and credible. Gold means valuable. All words that support the outward message we want to convey with our brand.
If you want access to some of the outside resources we used in our branding process, just message me and I'll be happy to assist you. Branding in today's world is critical and must be well thought out or it will cost your business significantly in the long term.
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