The Composition of a Brand
Over the last century, the word brand has floated around with a wide variety of meanings, depending on the time period. Since the word’s meaning has changed and has become increasingly more nuanced, many don’t know what the true meaning of brand is today. While not knowing the exact meaning of branding won’t stop a business from being successful, it can make it difficult to progress.
Originally, brands were used to prove ownership of livestock. You know, the act of branding an animal? As graphic design and marketing became more prevalent, branding was similar to the original brand mark made on livestock. It usually consisted of the company’s name written out and that was about it. Advertisers would sneak company names and the occasional logo into posters and product packaging, which made brand recognition largely based on customers' ability to recognize the brand’s name despite the typography not always being consistent. Later, typography became more consistent, making it easier for companies to be recognized by their customers. This eventually lead to what we think of as logos today. As logos became more prevalent, more shapes and pictographic elements were included in the logo, allowing for more elements to be interpreted from the logo itself.
When people think of brands they often think of a logo, and in the past this would be a true interpretation. Nowadays a brand is so much more than just a logo. The logo used to be the pinnacle of a brand, the most important piece, the part that the customers interacted with most. But by today’s brand standards, logos, while still important, have adapted to become a piece within a set of important parts of a brand. It is the sum of all these parts that create a brand, not any one individual piece. You can be a successful new company without even having a logo, so what are the parts that make a brand today?
A brand is everything with which a customer interacts. From the way that your employee picks up the phone -- to the corporations' email signatures -- everything presented to someone outside your company is a part of your brand. A company’s brand is what dictates how those interactions proceed. They describe which tone of voice to use in the content on your website and in marketing, as well as your phone calls and emails. The brand tells designers what colors and typefaces to use, and it tells marketers what types of photos to post on social media.
A brand is the sum of all its parts, and each is equally as important as the other. When endeavoring to create a brand or when re-branding, having only a logo isn’t enough. Here is a list of some of the important pieces of a brand:
Finding your brand voice, story, and message, and tying it all together can be difficult. If getting all the facets right seems overwhelming, seeking professional help may be a better way to go. With each tweet, post, and hashtag there are many opportunities to be “on brand” -- and many ways to get it wrong. Thin Pig Media has years of expertise in branding and marketing and luckily we are only a phone call away.