December 20, 2017 Bryan Mann-Entzel

What is Branding, Why do I need it?

by Bryan Mann-Entzel, Soulo Communications Creative Director

Have you ever stopped to wonder how brands like NEST or GEEK SQUAD go from being virtually unheard of to being serious brands seemingly overnight?

The answer: through a lot of very disciplined branding. Some of the world’s best brands—even those that cultivate a creative, loose, unrestrained aesthetic—are operated with very structured brand standards. Every touchpoint the customer sees, hears, or handles has been carefully crafted by the companies’ creative teams or agencies.

To better understand what BRANDING is, lets first look at what goes into it

  • MARKETING: includes the metrics, planning, strategizing and research)
  • ADVERTISING: the manifestation and delivery of communication, guided by marketing
  • DESIGN: things like colors, fonts, stylized graphics, copy tone/voice and, in some cases, products

Now, the simplest way to explain branding is to say BRANDING IS THE UMBRELLA that all of these things live under.

We refer to the attributes of branding that the brand can own as its brand equities. Through good, consistent, well researched and honed work, even a small brand can appear large. A new brand can feel well established, and an old brand can be made new again, making it relevant and smart as it observes and delivers on new trends in their field.

At Soulo, we take a very thorough approach to understanding the brands we work on. We take stock in the equities a brand has, and look for opportunities through a series of audits. This gives us the ability to identify what’s own-able with respect to the competition our clients face.

Next we evaluate how to best reach your customers. I imagine an advertising/branding platform like a table. The table top is the overall awareness people have of your brand. One leg of the table is traditional print advertising. The second leg is non-traditional media like social media, websites, and environmental branding. The third leg is word of mouth from both your staff and people who do business with you. And the last leg is direct experience with your business or brand, including promotional. We look for opportunities within each of these legs to craft the branding experience. We call this our “whole brain” approach because it utilizes both creative and analytical methods to craft your BRANDING EXPERIENCE.

Why do you need good branding? In a nutshell, for consistency. It helps you control your message and how your brand is received by your customers. Having rogue branding out there that doesn’t follow your brand standards dilutes your brand and invites competition in to gnaw away at your equities. Also, nothing is meant to be left on the shelf and never refreshed—the same holds true for your brand. It is important to evolve with the industry you are in and innovate.

If you’d like to know more about how we can help you and your brand specifically, reach out and we would be thrilled to sit down with you for a brainstorming session.

*Work examples shown for demonstration purposes: Johnson Turner Legal