Category News & Work

Branding – What makes a good brand?


Once the penny drops that branding is not simply designing a new logo, then you’re up and running on a journey that can realise growth and long-term prosperity.

As the leading branding agency in the region, we are frequently approached by firms wanting a new logo, often because The Board are bored with the old one. Our first question is therefore: “Why?  What is your reasoning and motivation for change?” If a sound strategic reason ensues, we explain what a powerful brand is and our process for getting there.

If though they still only want a new logo, we will politely part company and point them in the direction of a firm happy to take their money and do as they are asked. But those who get it and realise that a logo is nothing more than the visual representation of the brand, can embark on a fun and exciting process that WILL lead to a more powerful brand.

So what is a brand? In its purest form, it is the perception of a firm, its products and/or services in the minds of its audiences. The more positive these perceptions, the more powerful the brand.

Perhaps one of the most effective examples to demonstrate this would be John Lewis. Their brand is not their logo. It is what you and I think about them as a firm; our views on their beliefs, ethics, quality; how we expect the service to be in their shops and even more importantly how we would perceive their after-sales service should there be a problem; how we perceive the positive experience of visiting a John Lewis shop or website even before we go there. If like me you are thinking positive thoughts, then you are experiencing positive emotional attachments which, in a nutshell, is what we call powerful brand engagement.

This is not achieved overnight and certainly not by simply designing a new logo. It has taken many years of hard work, careful brand reputation management and a fair few pounds spent on emotion- engendering TV commercials at Christmas! Without doubt it is clever and very powerful branding.

Our starting point when working with companies is to help them understand what they stand for and what their core values might be, so at least everyone in the company knows who and what they work for. They need to get behind the brand and buy into the company culture in a positive way. But more about our process in the accompanying article by our Brand Account Director – Gemma Boss.

To achieve strong brand engagement, firms need to understand their audiences thoroughly on an emotional level. It is not just about buying habits and the analysis of sales statistics but asking why would they buy from you on an emotional level? Why might they pay more for your product or service? Even better, why might they become evangelical about your brand and become ambassadors on your behalf? If this requires research then so be it. It’s a small price to pay for a powerful brand positioning.

Once fully understood, the brand strategy and positioning needs to be written in stone for all to see and get behind. Employees need to ‘live the brand’ and stay true to its ethics and principals. Then, when the audiences have been exposed to whatever means have been employed to promote this new and powerful brand, the tide will turn and the audiences will start buying into and believing in it. Then and only then, the process of truly building a powerful brand has begun.

Strategy is at the heart of all we do, contact our Branding team to see how we can help your business grow.