Branding is often mistaken for a good logo that appears on every page of a catalogue, every piece of print and website. Don’t be fooled, it isn’t that simple… But it is much more powerful.
A Brand adds value to a company. It increases customer loyalty. It acts as a defence mechanism against competition. And branding invites customers in. Branding builds response.
A brand is deeper than design. It is about the tone of voice of the company. It builds empathy with a customer and with prospects.
For mail order companies branding was previously seen as a little bit namby pamby. A bit too much of a gismo for London’s marketing elite. Big brands with big bucks, who didn’t know how to generate real response if they got biten on the hand by it.
But branding is finding a foot hold within mail order and response brands. Mail order is beginning to grasp the branding nettle and is starting to utilise the concepts.
And one thing to take on board is that you can do it, you don’t have to be a multi-national and you don’t have to be a mail order mega spender.
Branding Adds Personality
Branding is about making the visual identity work with the personality and tone of voice, copy, type, employees, packaging et al. Adding greater depth than a nice logo. It should all fit with the central message that differentiates you. It is about your photography, the models and the little details that your audience will empathise with. It is even about how you and your employees answer your phones.
So how can a SME best approach making the most of their brand. Well you can break down the process and look at it as a number of elements. And then the pieces all have to fit to make the jigsaw complete.
Take this as the key elements to research, consider and brain storm.
- Competitor Analysis
- Positioning against your competitors
- Differentiation – what makes you stand out against competitors
- Brand Image
- Brand Personality
- Communication and Integration
- Media choice
As an example take our Award winning work for Fife Country. It is centred around the catalogue. But to think it is just a catalogue design would be far from true. We have taken the heritage of the brand, Scotland’s Finest Since 1888, and made this appeal come to life. So the imagery used in advertising and online, in the catalogue and even on compliment slips adds to and builds the image in every piece produced.
The tone is conversational, personable. It is inviting you to enquire. It brings the consumer in.
Fife is an Authentic Brand
Fife Country are known for their outdoor clothing. So the idea of aligning this with the beautiful rugged countryside that is their backdoor (Yes they are actually based in Fife), makes the brand come to life. It is real, authentic. And consumers buy into the authenticity – the brand.
Direct Advertisers can Benefit From Branding
But none of this hides the fact that we are seeking a response. Fife Country is a direct brand so we aren’t afraid to put out offers and to encourage response. Our customers expect this as part of the brand proposition.