Having been asked to write a blog concerning a topic that interests us I landed on branding and in particular brand identity. The process of choosing this topic probably took around a day in total of brainstorming as this topic appeals to me. However the title itself took a bit more time trying to think of a pun and in the end I landed on that. Hopefully you understand the reference and if not here is a small hint below.
Now we have the terrible pun out the way I will introduce the topic I am going to discuss. The past couple of years I have sold clothes as a way of making some extra money and this got me thinking about the different brands that i was selling. Why are some sold for more than others? What makes people pay extra? If no-one cared about brands and wearing the latest trends then people would probably end up wearing just the cheapest clothes. For this first blog therefore I will talk about brand awareness and the importance of brand identity.
Stages of Brand Awareness
It may seem obvious but brand awareness is extremely important for a product to be successful. How can we purchase something if we don’t know it exists. Therefore the more the brand is recognized can be a sign of how successful the product is. So before you can influence a customer and make an impression they first have to know you exist. Once you have made them aware of your product you can try and influence them and work on your brand identity and making sure your brand is recognized. Studies have shown that as humans we are extremely good at recognising logos and brands even from an early age. Fischer et al, (1991) found that children even as young as 3 could recognize certain logos when presented in-front of them.
This only increases as you grow older and children as young as 7-8 have an increased ability to recall certain brands (Valkenburg & Buijzen, 2005). This is the next important part of the system is for customers to recall your product when they are at the decision making process. This then means you are inside the consumers head which is vital if they are going to choose your product.
Once the customer/consumer is able to recall your product when making a purchase decision the next step is to make your product the one that they choose to purchase. This is called Top of the mind and so when someone is after a certain product the first thing that comes to mind is what you are selling. There are many ways of building up your brand and product and this leads on to brand identity.
I will briefly mention a few key aspects of creating a good brand image and some companies that have done it extremely well. One of the best ways to make your brand accessible and recognizable is creating a logo. Something that is simple, easy to recognize and furthermore some that is easy to recall. One example of this is Nike. The nike tick is one of the most recognized logo’s in the world and it hasn’t changed since it was created. The best logos are something simple; apple, lacoste, addidas etc.
When developing your brand you need to make sure you know your audience. Make sure you are congruent with their beliefs and what they want. So for example if you are a cleaning product company dont be targeting teenagers, you would be aiming more at mums for example. Make sure the message that you are delivering is clear and with your target audience. An example of this can be found here http://blog.johnspence.com/2006/08/post-3/. This blog explains how luxury car companies such as Bmw, Mercedes, Audi are congruent with their target audience. There’s no point targeting the working class background as they aren’t going to be able to afford it. Therefore there marketing matches with the luxury branding in that they are for the upper market.
Another important point in the brand identity is how people see the product, so how do companies go about this. Again i will use the example of Nike who are seen as a high quality sports brand. They are top of the mind for a lot of people when it comes to sportswear. One way they have done this is through their marketing as they have used sportsmen and women who are the best in the world, trying to influence people into choosing their product. The best example of this are Roger Federer and Tiger Woods. Both sponsored by Nike and both known as probably the greatest of all time for each of their sports. By sponsoring these and wearing there brands they are influencing consumers who want to be as good as them. Therefore choosing who represents your brand is very important and can have a detrimental effect depending on how people view them.
There are obviously more factors to brand identity than the points i have mentioned however i believe that Logo, Congruency with audience and Marketing are the most important three steps. I understand that having a good slogan, and good overall message helps too but i have just focused on the 3 point above. Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed it and made it to the end.