ISSUE NO. 36

 

Brand vs Branding

 

Questions We Hear

 

A Good Cause

 

 

So,

If you are asking, "Why is this in my inbox?" We may have met at an event, worked on a project together, or you may have opted in for this newsletter. We believe at some point (if we're not working on something together already) that you will need creative thinking in the marketing of your business. If you have any thoughts or questions about how we might be able to help you, give us a call (215-491-0332), drop us a note, send a carrier pigeon, whatever you prefer.

 

Here the shortlist of what we do:

  • Branding / Logo Development
  • Corporate Communication
  • Publication Design
  • Website Design
  • Print Design (All Kinds)
  • Package Design
  • Exhibit Design
  • Signage
  • Email Marketing
  • Product and Service Literature
  • Advertising
  • Consulting
  • You Name it

 

 

Copyright © 2011 AXIS visual, All rights reserved.

 

Our contact information is:

 

AXIS visual

1600 Lower State Rd.

Doylestown, PA 18901

215.491.0332

Contact Us

We know, there are probably a number of emails in your inbox, all asking for your attention. Some businesses unfortunately send promotional emails every day. UGH! To be more respectful of your time we don’t send frequent emails but hope that when you receive our newsletter, you are reminded that AXIS visual is a trusted and experienced creative resource. Easy to work with. Innovative solutions. Making you and your business look good.

 

Brand vs Branding

 

What is your brand? An individual and a business both have brands. But for the sake of this writing, I’ll focus on businesses. Is your business perceived as trusted, innovative, valued, entertaining, efficient, funny, approachable or effective? All of these and many more descriptions can be what a target audience thinks about a company. What people THINK is your brand. It is the public’s image of what a company does and how well they do it. Brand(ing), on the other hand, is what you do to affect that image. Branding involves every interaction with the public… and specifically with the potential buyers of your service or product.

If you think about all the different ways you can affect someone’s opinion about your company, there are so many areas where branding can be done well, poorly… or ignored. The service and quality of what a company offers can certainly affect one’s brand. Once a potential “buyer” enters your doors (this can be literal or through a phone call or email) they have experience with your company which builds on their perception… and on your brand.

Some businesses don’t think about managing their brand, either because they think it will just automatically happen through their customer interaction, or because they are too busy to worry about it. Both approaches allow for “some” branding to occur through the interaction with existing customers but it does little to engage new customers and clients. This is especially true when you consider that at least some of a company’s competition is actively working on their brand, to grow their client base and to encourage new customers to explore working with their business. Heck, (I rarely use the word “heck") look at McDonald's. Their product is, well, less than optimal in my opinion, but they work hard at getting their name and a feeling about their product in front of everyone. “Everyone” after all, is their potential customer.

Branding to obtain new customers starts with a plan. Answering a few questions is the first step; “Who is the target market?” “Where are they?” and “How do we reach them? The “Who” is usually the easiest to answer. The “Where” has a wider number of answers. And the “How” has the broadest amount of approaches, especially with the added options of delivery on various on-line platforms. Simply put, the “Who” can determine the “Where.” And the “Where” can determine the “How.”

Once the questions of “Who”, “Where”, And “How” have been answered (to be fair, the “How” can blend into this next phase), then the “What” needs to be determined. What message about the business is appropriate? What message is important to the target audience? A good branding firm helps determine the answers to the “Who”, “Where”, “How” but the “What” is where much of the creative work happens. What message(s) will motivate our audience? What does our brand look like? What tactics will reach our customers? What frequency will be most effective (assuming we don’t have the budget of McDonald's), What design, fonts, images, layout, colors? You get the idea. AXIS visual enjoys helping or clients with any part of the “Who”, “Where”, “How” and “What” (Branding) that helps them grow and flourish.

 

Questions We Hear

 

Q. Can you help us with the rebranding of our company?

A. Sure. Let's get together and talk over what you are currently doing and let us learn about your target market. Once we understand where you are and where you want to go, we'll present an estimate showing the steps we feel are needed.

 

Q. Can you create a logo for our business?

A. Absolutely. We would like to learn more about your company. Some questions might be: What is your current logo? How long have you had it? Is it known well in your industry? What are the strong selling points for your business? What words do you think best describes your business.

 

Q. Can the “look” of all our materials be distinctive and interesting?

A. Not only “can it be” it should be. Every communication with a potential customer should deliver a distinctive and motivational impression of a company. A visual look is part of a visual brand and can identify a company quickly as well as delivering key selling points about the company. It can also serve to build one of the most important feelings about any company… trust.

 

Q. Do I have to take on everything at once? It feels like too large of a project to think about all at one time.

A. There is a benefit and a greater impact to unveiling a new brand as completely as possible, but there are some aspects of branding that can be phased in over time. We can work with you to create the best process to deliver a new brand in a time frame that fits your needs. Plus, since this is what we do we'll make the process as easy on you as possible.

 

Q. I only want a brochure (or website, or trade show booth, etc.). Is that considered rebranding?

A. Technically, one tactic is not considered rebranding. But we absolutely enjoy helping our clients with a singular item when they need it. At times we have “backed into a new brand” when a client appreciates the work done on a singular tactic and over time has chosen to expand that look across all their communications and marketing materials.

 

Q. I have a complex collection of products and variables within each product area (This can be companies and sub-companies as well). Can a branding system be created to help our clients understand our offering?

A. Yes. A clear branding system will not only make your business more easily understood, but it will also help with the cross-selling of other capabilities to clients that may only know you for one service or product.

 

Q. Do I need to radically change our current branding? We have a certain brand equity and client familiarity with our existing brand.

A. Once we look at your current branding, we can determine if an “updating” of an existing brand can be done. At times an “update” can retain a company’s current brand equity while delivering a new and vital appearance to the current customer base.

 

Q. Do I need a company rebrand?

A. You may or may not need a complete rebrand. Branding (or rebranding) is particularly helpful when current branding is weak or non-existent. It helps when a brand feels old and out-dated. It’s needed when a company grows and offers more than an older brand might be delivering. It helps to inspire both customers and existing employees, showing the vitality and new energy of a company.

 

Q. How long will a brand last?

A. This will vary depending on cultural trends and the company evolution, but we can say that a well thought out brand will last longer than one that either limits the future growth of a company or lacks any meaningful message (just looks pretty or relies solely on clichè or trendy graphic approaches).

 

Q. Does rebranding take a long time?

A. The time from the beginning of a rebranding project to the end varies considerably depending on the size of the company (and the approval cycles required), the research needed and the complexity of the system needed, But we do work quickly. A schedule can be requested when an estimate is delivered.

A Good Cause

PAR-Recycle Works is a non-profit electronics recycler that provides transitional employment to people returning from prison. They deconstruct electronics and destroy data to generate revenue and pay their employees. AXIS visual is happy to have donated the design of their logo and trucks (and an occasional holiday card) and help a community that needs support.

If you wish to support PAR feel free to see their site: https://home.par-recycleworks.org

 

Bill Milnazik

Problem Solver No. 1

AXIS visual

Thank you for taking the time to read this. If we can help with your design and marketing needs feel free to contact us.