So what is meant by 'your brand'?
A brand is how a company is perceived. What is the user’s experience of that service or product? How does it make them feel? What do they associate with it? This can be influenced by tangible experiences, from an in-store experience or the packaging of a product, to how intuitive it is to use. It can be a more abstract association, a human connection between your product and your purchaser. One can of course influence the other. A web page that is easy to navigate, with top notch and friendly customer service, alongside a light conversational tone is immediately going to invoke family and warmth. It says, ‘We care’ and ‘We want to help you’, and this voice becomes a part of your brand.
Companies such as Innocent Drinks are excellent at this. They have a fun and quirky brand voice which is implemented across their online platforms, including social media. Their posts are colourful and chatty and tie in with their childlike, friendly brand which puts emphasis on wellbeing and good health. This is reinforced with funny details on their packaging and campaigns such as ‘The Innocent Big Knit’ which encourages people to get together and knit little hats to go on Innocent Smoothies. This helps combat loneliness in those older people taking part, and raises money for AgeUK through some of the sales proceeds. And no doubt, it will boost Innocent’s smoothie sales throughout the winter.
The brand incorporates all aspects of the business. A clear set of branding guidelines gives a company continuity and consistency, not just in its visual identity; it should tie in with its goals and values, reflecting them in the way it communicates and interacts with its user base. The brand gives directions and sets boundaries, providing a clear indication when something is not a good fit.