Designing a Brand

If you want to get your business noticed, then you need a clear brand that customers can identify with. Some businesses of course don't need to be 'noticed' in the same way, in that they operate behind the scenes and for them a brand is less important. For a company that provide multiple consumer products however, the brand is all-important as a mark of quality that customers can identify with that will ensure you have a captive market should you release anything new, and that's what brand design is all about.One example of a brilliantly conceived brand design is the Virgin brand. Virgin is unique in that their focus is all about the brand rather than a specific product. This has allowed the company to branch out into all manner of industries, from media, to mobile phones to transport; and soon space. With a recognisable logo that for many people spells quality, Virgin are able to launch their products into almost any new market place and instantly become highly competitive.

Another great proponent of the importance of brands is Steve Jobs, whose Apple logo can be found on many of our favourite technologies - from Macs, to iPhones to iPods. Though the apple logo is subtle, the brand design is clever in that it goes deeper by exposing itself in the design of the products such as the trademark white speakers and the rounded off edges.Another global brand that makes great use of colours is Coca Cola, whose logo is again instantly recognisable. Even more importantly though, everything they associate with evokes the image through the use of reds and whites - extending their influence all the way to the design of Santa Clause himself. On top of this clever marketing is the use of a jingle which almost acts as an acoustic logo which they pepper subtly through their ads helping the individual to associate the images they're seeing with the brand that's being promoted.These brands wouldn't have been successful without the innovations behind them, but at the same time clever branding has helped maximise the potential of those ideas. So how can you go about your own brand design?The first thing to think of is a theme that ties your services together - what do you provide that's unique and how is it different from the competition? Who is your target audience? From here you need to think of a business name that reflects your attitude and service and that appeals to your market, then design a logo out of that name.

Try to keep it simple so it can be easily replicated which gives it a viral element, the Nike tick being a great example of this. Choose colours that reflect your image - bright primary colours for fun, hip businesses; navy, black and grey for slick business; or whites, oranges and cyan for a crisp and high tech look.Now let these colours permeate everything you do from your website design to the products themselves and the packaging. Use the logo liberally but subtly as customers will resent giving you free advertising (though that is one of the great advantages of a catchy logo). Different amounts of branding are also appropriate for different types of products - laptops can be heavily stylized while books should be about the author. Then support your campaign with a slogan and if appropriate a jingle.
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