One of the projects on the go at Shooii at the moment is finalising our brand identity. We’re working on all the usual elements that go into this, such as a logo, corporate colours, a tagline and business card design.
Going through this process is typically run of the mill stuff for most new businesses. While it’s not always easy to sum up your business through a visual identity and a short statement, the elements themselves and the ways to develop them are fairly standardised.
One thing that has often struck me though is that most companies will not take the concept of their identity any further than these basic elements of branding.
They see branding as the sole responsibility of the marketing team, and that it is these symbols and words that tell the customer what the company is all about.
For me the problem with thinking this way is that it doesn’t recognise how customers actually form their opinion about what a brand means to them. The customer’s process of evaluation is much more complex.
In a sense, every single touchpoint that customers have with your company is branding, because it becomes a factor in how they think and feel about your brand.
This means that everything from the service your staff provide, the quality of your products, the usability of your website to the cleanliness of your shop front, all take part in shaping the perception consumers have of your brand.
This to me is where brand positioning becomes a company wide responsibility, and everything you do should be consistent with how you want your customers to see you.
Zappos is a company famous for it’s great culture and fiercely loyal customers, and CEO Tony Hsieh believes that branding and company culture are just two sides of the same coin.
It’s a great way to sum up the idea that the whole company must commit to a brand position and live it every day, and then it will naturally become the way customers view the company.
Ultimately branding is about portraying a certain message, personality and positioning for your business, and it’s the job of the whole company to embody this message – it’s a little much to expect a logo to do all that work.