'I'm loving it' and 'Just do it' are the taglines of McDonalds and Nike, and like the simple symbols which comprise their logos, are recognized across the globe. Be assured that these didn’t just evolve but that the branding marketers thought long and hard about how to pitch their products to the masses.
Many companies don’t fully understand the importance and power of branding and try to fudge their way around the branding issue. But be careful. Clear branding is essential so your customers know that you are selling the product. Consider these areas where branding and design are essential to your marketing strategy:
You have a great company logo but how do you tell people what you are offering? This is where the company tagline comes into play. The branding team needs to consider the tone of voice you want to use, be it friendly, bold, reassuring or hard hitting. And of course it must have relevance to your product.
If your branding team can create a tagline that is memorable and is instantly associated with your company you will have cracked it. Simple, to-the-point tag lines work best.
The wood-stain and wood-dye manufacturer Ronseal developed a great tagline in the early 1990’s for its UK market: “It does exactly what it says on the tin” which gained instant memorability in the public’s mind.
And the branding marketers even work on films! The tagline for the Monsters Inc. company from the Disney Pixar company was “We Scare because We Care”. Succinct and nicely put.
2. Publicity Material
Make all publicity material have the same ‘feel’ even if each publicity item is selling a different type of product. This applies to printed brochures, flyers, posters and adverts. An element of standardization in the layout, such as pre-defined colors, fonts and logo placement can work wonders. The visual identity of the brand will be stored in your customer’s brains, and when they next come across your brand, the chances of it being remembered will increase. This is, of course, the whole point of what you are doing.
3. Website Design
Retain your corporate image on the website and make sure the website has a strong headline. Again the overall image should have the same feel as the adverts or printed material that directed your customer to the website in the first place.
We all know that masses of information can be incorporated in your website, so its design is very important, and not just in terms of branding. The main objective of the website is to sell something. So create an excellent Call-To-Action strategy.
Your brand design team must ensure that your customer can easily find out all the relevant information about the product (details, what makes it different to the rest and price). Then customers should be taken seamlessly to the Call-To-Action step, which invariably is by hitting a button:
- Contact Us – through a web form
- Register Now – for a free trial, for example
- Buy Now – to go straight to the heart of the matter
If this key step is too hard to find, the client will give up and go elsewhere. So carefully consider the copy, placement, and even the color of the Call-To-Action button - this is not the time for shrinking violet colors but vivid, eye-catching ones!
4. Social Media
I’ve covered printed material and website design and emphasized the importance of branding continuity, so it’s no surprise that you must ensure your company pages on Social Media such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have a similarly visual identity.
All of these marketing platforms will consistently expose the customer to the same corporate image which will ultimately increase the chances of brand recognition.
5. Brand Manual
After the tireless development of your brand it is important that you prevent your staff from deviating from your cunning Master Branding Plan. An easy to follow Brand Manual explains in the simplest of terms how everyone in the company can deliver a consistent message and make the company look more professional. This manual can cover:
Letters – insist staff print out client letters on branded headed paper where the company logo and contact details are pre-positioned. This prevents over enthusiastic staff trying to print out their letters directly from Microsoft Word after inserting a stretched, squished or horribly distorted logo at the top of the page.
Email signature –create a standard template where each employee adds their contact details, and add visual elements such as the company logo as well as a direct link to your website. A great and simple way to encourage recipients to click through to your website.
Presentation templates – get a standardized Powerpoint presentation template prepared which is carefully branded. Then staff just add words and images. Easy, and the resultant presentation clearly identifies your product to your company.