With plenty of confusion out there about the difference between branding and design, we explore the two elements – including how they’ve evolved and how both can drastically impact your marketing.
At Hunt & Hawk, so many people reach out to us asking for a logo, event collateral, or they have another graphic design request.
Many designers would ask, “What colours do you want to use?”, but the response should really be, “What brand experience do you want to create?”.
A brand is something you can’t see. You feel it, you react to it, and you tell your friends about it.
On the other hand, design is tangible. It enters through the senses and triggers an emotional or intellectual response.
In a perfect scenario, branding and design are joined – a design capturing attention and immediately making the viewer link it to the brand.
Exploring the Branding and Design Relationship
To elaborate, branding is how you say who you are, what you do, and why you are better from everyone else offering the same thing as you.
It is your elevator pitch, the feeling you elicit, the taste you leave in your clients’ mouths – and it is what your design supports and reinforces.
Now, more than ever, businesses and marketers are seeing the value and potential of a total brand experience.
But building a brand takes time and commitment.
It doesn’t happen overnight, and it isn’t something thrown together on a computer. It is so much more than that.
“Branding is endowing products and services with the power of a brand,” at least according to Kotler and Keller.
The power of your brand entails every experience your client has had with your company.
For instance, when you see – or hear – a Harley Davidson, your brain doesn’t immediately go, “I want one”. Instead, your conscious thought patterns are bypassed momentarily and, without realising it, you subconsciously recall all your previous experiences with this brand.
At the end of your mind’s rapid cataloguing, you come to a conclusion of whether you are going to interact, engage, and essentially purchase from this brand or not.
The Strength of Your Brand
Branding expert and author, Jim Stengel, says, “Businesses are now only as strong as their brands and nothing else offers business leaders so much potential leverage”.
The creation of a strong brand experience is how you win clients, retain clients, and get your clients talking about you.
This includes your message, your values, the tone in your language, your company culture, your advertising/communications, the design look and feel, product/services, pricing, customer journey, team members, and word-of-mouth. In essence, everything that you’re about!
So, how do you ensure your brand is backing you?
Well the question actually is, how are you ensuring you’re fulfilling what your brand promises? Here are a few things to consider:
Tell Better Stories
We all but guarantee you that there will be a benefit to your services that overlaps with your audience’s emotional need to solve a problem. Take your audience on that journey.
Knowing your ‘why’ is a massive help here, too.
Data has so much value, or else there wouldn’t be so much of it being collected. This information is priceless, as it enables you to make the individual the centre of your brand experience.
Use technology – channels and data – to immerse your audience in your brand at their leisure by offering multiple touchpoints to engage with.
From there, you can gauge what they’re feeling and what their values are and create a world for them to explore, wander, touch, smell, hear, and investigate deeper.
Create a Multi-Sensory Experience
These days, most forms of marketing engage two senses: sight and sound. But a compelling brand experience is made by touching and triggering all senses.
If you utilise branding with design correctly, you will create a richer, more textural experience that produces the authentic emotional responses you need to create your brand evangelists.
With today’s tech innovations, it’s easier than ever to harness the power of all senses and create a multi-sensory brand experience that truly engages your audience.
It doesn’t matter what industry you are in – you can benefit from VR, AR, AI, and other tech.
The Future Is Now
The future of marketing is here, but none of it will matter until you back yourself.
If you’re not backing yourself, your brand most definitely isn’t, and there is no time like the present to check your brand.
Revitalising your brand means so much more than just designing a new logo. It means getting outside expertise to help you reposition yourself in your market and redefine your business goals and purpose.
This could mean anything from managing your product/service, giving your sales a facelift, finding your voice and marketing strategy, or encompassing a full sensory experience.
Through refreshing and revitalising your brand, you will be primed and better positioned to enter new markets and have access to pools of customers you’ve never had before.
Reach Out to the Experts
Hunt & Hawk is here to help you harness the power of branding and design – and ensure the two elements are best aligned to benefit your business.
This is a focal point of our comprehensive branding sessions that we provide our clients, which set the foundation for future success.
Keen to learn more? Reach out to us today.
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