Leaders never start by simply accepting the world around them. Instead, they mold the future they want to see.
A brand’s personality tells a story about a company’s product or service. With organizational structure as the core, a cohesive visual personality helps build client engagement and trust. Without a brand’s foundation firmly established, organizations and their advertising agency partners can easily go adrift from their visionary goals.
Dragonfly Sushi, ToneRite and Grooveshark are local companies that have preserved, enhanced and leveraged their growth through successful branding. Each company has a strong visual appeal that conveys an attitude geared toward growth that will inspire customer loyalty, increase business partners and allow retention of talented employees.
“As a leader in business, it’s extremely important to understand the responsibility of developing a brand identity that goes beyond a consistent visual image. Your brand should support and express your vision, values, culture and goals as a company.”
-Albert Coronel, Creative Director/Owner at neutral7
Many CEOs do not succeed because they start by shooting blindly, versus aiming at the target. I have spoken to CEO after CEO, and one thing that was unquestionable over a decade and a half was that strong companies have owners who are insistent on having the best, while knowing that it comes with a cost. They have a clear understanding that a company must be larger and hold a more encompassing strategy than the owner’s own abilities.
The brand acts as a foundation to a company. It guides and takes into consideration the economics, legalities, ethical obligations, internal and external outreach, cultural sensitivity and more. The brand is the essential platform that defines the positioning, creative thinking and overall communication that will charm and retain a company’s target audience, both internally and externally.
Lead vs. Follow
As our community continues to grow with start-ups, innovative ideas, stronger business leaders and CEOs, Gainesville’s leading brands will be perceived to be relevant, unique and community oriented.
A brand is not a decoration; it is a natural outgrowth of the vision, structure, culture and people of the company. Knowing how a brand makes someone “feel” is only minimally useful if it fails to capture the attention span of the audience. Therefore, a company’s structure must establish a balance with creative communication to evoke an emotional benefit for its audience.
The visual personality of a brand is built with a combination of visual identifiers, tone of voice, behaviors, service presentation and more. To create a truly emotional bond with consumers, the visual senses, experience and personality of the brand are essential.
“We recently designed the brand and packaging for locally owned Southern Heritage Barbecue Sauces. After extensive research, we discovered that the existing visuals didn’t contain any of the values important to the client. We needed to go back to the roots of the brand, so we started with several concepts. We developed its values further to attract southern appeal and evoke its heritage.
Sure, we can make something look really great and trendy, but a logo that is designed without meaning will never be able to reach past simply looking nice on paper.”
– Chrissy Sedgley, Graphic designer at neutral7
Cohesion with Consistency
During a great lecture at a marketing event, I heard a brand expert compare a brand to a mosaic. Although insignificant as a stand-alone piece, each tile – when organized precisely – creates a solid image. Hence, why just putting a logo everywhere is not enough; or how selecting two colors and sticking to them is only skimming the surface of a brand.
Brand cohesiveness means translating the company story to the audience appropriately, no matter where it is and whom it’s talking to. Consistency within the brand creates a confident visual look, and through the use of successfully branded materials, a company can create a strong brand identity that will be unforgettable. Although these things may seem like insignificant details, when summed up, they complete a recognizable and inspirational brand.
Pros & Cons
Whether large or small, well-branded companies demonstrate advantages and disadvantages that must be considered. Branded companies can cost more, pose stricter regulatory constraints and appeal to a strategically targeted narrower market audience. However, they have a faster sales conversion rate, stronger recognition and loyalty and image of size. Quality, reliability and establishment are also easily gained.
Every great achievement starts from an idea, and anything worth accomplishing is worth placing on a strong foundation.