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Starting or Growing a Business? earth citizen design can help

 Creating a Cohesive Image
Thinking About "Branding"

It's our bias that since one has gone to the trouble of coming up with a great design for your business, it should be seen across the board, in other words, it should be in all the things which promote your business. If this makes sense to you, call 608-669-0800 to discuss your needs or email sales@earthcitizendesign.com.

But there are more substantial reasons. Is a "cohesive image" a brand?  No, but it's part of establishing a brand...it looks professional, organized and most importantly, is recognizable.  You are not giving different messages, which can confuse people. 

Ultimately, branding itself is about consistency of benefits, like quality;features; visual presentation but furthermore it addresses consumer wants.  A "want" is emotional...not necessarily rational. 

A business owner has to think and analyze to understand these not-so-obvious desires which, when attached to a brand, can sell because the customer relates emotionally, not just rationally.

When you have an insight into the customer's want, you can market that with your product, and that is powerful, much more so than benefits alone.  It's "the thing" and it's not lots of things.

For instance, consumers buy a certain brand of laundry soap to clean their clothes. Cleaning clothes is a need, what does "consumer want" have to do with it? Why do they buy that brand? Well, something about that brand has spoken to a "want" that they have. Maybe it's a smell that makes them think of "clean freshness" which they associate with pleasant memories of home.... 

To re-phrase, branding is about recognizing consumer expectations and desires (not verbalized), fulfilling them and being consistent.  If the soap cleans the clothes for the first month and then fails to clean due to a change in formulation, that brand could lose it's customer, obviously.  For a laundry soap, cleaning clothes well is a merely a baseline.

Once you identify the "want", your message promoting your product's understanding of the "want" must be believable, relevant and simple.

Is your mission statement all about stating your customer's need?  Not exactly.  If someone is expecting a certain clothes designer to always make them look slimmer a mission statement by that designer would not say with these words: We always take twenty pounds off you!

The "benefits" that a certain company offers must address these "wants" which are not obvious at first glance.

Clothes are a great example, certain labels cater to teen style, French designer labels are costly but convey a certain cachet to those wearing them. (The wearer wants to appear trendy, well-to-do, etc. conveying "higher status".

Although not addressing the true meat of branding, here's an example of a small change which lead to a more cohesive image for a Martial Arts School. I worked to create a logo, business card and fliers for the school; someone else had created a great website, but the new copywriting and visual image did not match the website.

The school's target market had changed from "tough guys" to families.  A solution to integrating the website with the new look was to change the colors on the web site from black and grey to the new color scheme, and also include the new logo featuring a woman kicking.  (Not a tough guy!)  If the instructor hands out cards with a certain message and the cards tell people to go to the website which has a different message; what are the potential customers to believe? 

Books have been written about branding...this is my tiny overview with my own bias.

Here are some relevant pages that offer information about marketing.

Direct Marketing, Target Marketing

Copywriting

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