Branding is one of the most important aspects in a business—it doesn’t even matter if you are just operating a small business. Branding is also one of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to business. A lot of entrepreneurs think that this is an investment only for large companies.
Big brands like Nike or Victoria’s Secret didn’t become a popular brand overnight. Nike, formerly known as Blue Ribbon Sports, was just a distributor for Japanese brand Onitsuka Tiger in 1964. Victoria’s Secret is currently the largest lingerie retailer in the United States, but it started out with founder Roy Raymond borrowing money from his parents to set up a store where he said he would be comfortable buying underwear for his wife.
Small businesses actually need branding companies more if they have they foresight to become a multinational company in the near future. Here are some of the basics of branding that every business owner should know about before investing on a branding company.
A business should forge its own brand. Let’s go back to the story of Roy Raymond. He said that in the 1970s, lacy underwear, thongs and push-up bras were considered niche products that women only use for special occasions. He tried buying underwear for his wife at the department store but could only find terry-cloth robes and ugly nightgowns. He studied the lingerie market and learned that most women bought three-in-one “dowdy” panties from Fruit of the Loom and Jockey. So in 1977, he changed the underwear game in America by opening the first Victoria’s Secret store in Palo Alto, California.
The brand identity is simple: sexy underwear for everyday use. Up until the present, the visual identity is clear and anyone can see that in all of Victoria’s Secret marketing campaigns from social media to its web design.
Another identity that people always relate to Victoria’s Secret is the angel. Behati Prinsloo, Candice Swanepoel, Jasmine Tookes, Lais Ribeiro—they are all Victoria’s Secret angels. They are the faces of the brand and most of the lingerie products are modeled by these celebrities with the face of an angel and a sinfully sexy body. So not only are women buying sexy products, they are buying lingerie modeled by angels.
Creating the Logo
It is not easy to create a logo design. A branding company, though, has knowledge and experience on what makes a logo standout. In most cases, logo designs are just stylish rendering of the initials of a brand as in the VS logo of the Victoria’s Secret. Or it could be a simple, nondescript mark that with the right branding strategies becomes one of the most popular logo in the world. This is the story of the check mark, more officially known as the Swoosh logo of Nike Inc.
The Swoosh was created by graphic designer Carolyn Davidson for Blue Ribbon Sports as it prepared to launch its own footwear line in 1971. This is a classic example of outsourcing work to professionals rather than a business doing its own design. Nike also famously hired an advertising agency to create print and television advertisements to promote Nike in the 1970s. That obviously paid off as Nike is definitely the biggest global sporting brand.
This is why it works when a business, no matter how small it is, hires a brand management team to create a strategy design that will create a holistic branding experience. So what is a design strategy in terms of the branded digital practice? It is essentially the bridge that gaps the design process with the marketing principles of a business. Basically, it is a branding design that developing brands need in order to leave its mark in the entrepreneurial world. Nike’s branding is so successful that when people see the Swoosh mark, they immediately think of quality sports product and they would want to buy the product stamped with that logo.
Part of the job of branding companies is to give the market a branding experience such as the feel of athletic excellence when they are garbed in Nike products. It is the branding consultancy that curated that “experience,” but people feel it anyway because it has been ingrained with the brand.
Of course, part of the responsibility of the company is to ensure that the product it manufactures or the service it provides actually live up to the name. A branding will never survive when the product or service are of low quality. Great branding will not survive without a great product or service in front of it. Advertising agencies may work its magic gaining attention for the business, but it will never gain loyalty when quality suffers. So branding experience is the perfect mix of curated affair and high-quality product or service.
Another perfect example of a branding experience is the annual Victoria’s Secret fashion show featuring the hottest models from around the globe. The strut the runway in sexy lingerie, some even decked out with elaborate wings. It is a fun experience for the models, the audience and the people watching in their television sets—and this fun experience is only brought to life by Victoria’s Secret.
Digital Experiences by Branding Companies
Since we are living in the modern world where digital experiences have become the norm—it is important that digital branding is part of the total process crafted by the design company or branding firm. A branding specialist like Ramotion will ensure that a business’s identity will be consistent and will be visually reflected in all mediums including those in the online environment. But Ramotion is just one of the examples of branding companies that do a holistic marketing approach on a client that includes web design, UI and UX designs, branding, marketing and advertising, among other business essentials.
For businesses hiring different entities like a design agency, advertising agency, marketing firm and others, it is important that the branding company will be part of every process. Branding companies always need to be in the middle of collaborative efforts to keep things consistent: from the marketing promos to the curated digital content.
The digital world is a fast-paced environment. Things can get viral in an instant. It is important that business organization keeps up with everything that is happening in the digital world, especially when these things involve the brand. Whether the business outsources a social media or online manager for the brand or hires a full-time staff, the individual should be trained by the branding company to become an expert on the brand: from the social media tone to the words being used—everything should line up to the branding identity curated for the business.
Sometimes, a startup’s branding is so successful that it could even overtake the popularity of an established brand. Take the story of Edgewell’s acquisition of online personal care product manufacturer Harry’s. While Edgewell, which also owns Schick, Playtex and Wet Ones, is the more established brand, the people behind Harry’s will actually take over Edgwell’s branding. Read more about it here.