When you hear the word brand what's the first thing that pops into your head?
Maybe it's a cold can of Coca-Cola or a prancing stallion. No matter what popped into your head, odds are it involved some type of name, symbol, color or other feature that unmistakably identifies a company's product or service.
The wise folks over at the American Marketing Association (AMA) define a brand as:
A name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.
A quick trip in Doc Brown's DeLorean reminds us that the practice of branding has its roots in marking livestock to identify ownership. Today branding is still used to create an identity.
For example, if you see your friend walking down the street with a 32oz. cup in their hand and it has a huge golden arch on it, you immediately know that he or she was at McDonald's. McDonald's has successfully used a name, design, color, and symbol to identify its goods as distinct from those of other sellers in the marketplace. If it works for the big guys why shouldn't it work for us?
We are not branding experts, we don't even play branding experts on tv, but please read on for some intro to branding tips from senioritis based on our personal experiences, observations, mistakes, and stuff we've read in books.
Developing A Brand
So how do we start developing a brand? Well, let's go back to AMA's definition; it looks like our ultimate goal is to come up with a name, term, design, symbol, or other feature that identifies us and distinguishes us from others.
♦When choosing a name for our brand we want to come up with something that is unique but easy to remember. Senioritis is a pretty common term that at the same time posesses some uniqueness and is pretty easy to remember.
♦When choosing a name for our brand we should try to avoid obscure spellings as well. If our name was Jsenioritis with a silent J it would probably be a bit more difficult to remember ;) (Tip: If you plan on incorporating your personal name into your brand name be sure to check if the way you spell your name is the most common spelling, if not maybe using your initials would be a better option.)
♦If our brand name describes what we do that's cool but not necessary as our ultimate goal is to develop a brand name that is synonomous with what we do, think Kleenex or Xerox.
Not sure where to start? Feel free to check out this cool brand name generator we stumbled across; simply provide some keywords, set your perameters, and poof, instant brand name brainstorming.
We are by no means branding experts but when we hear the word term we think of taglines and slogans.
♦Taglines are short descriptions that usually appear with your brand name. Our tagline is: Senioritis: Uniquely designed art and apparel for seniors of all ages. (Tip: Keep taglines short and sweet and give a little info about the goods or services you offer. Unless your core business changes your tagline usually doesn't.)
♦Slogans are typically involved with creating brand awareness and can change across different lines of goods or services. A slogan we use for our Senioritis Remembers Famous Seniors art tributes is: Colorful inspiration. A slogan we use for our apparel geared towards high school and college seniors is: It makes you lazy. (Tip: Slogans can change across different lines.)
Design and Symbol
♦The design and symbol are the graphic components of your brand. (Tip: When creating your design and symbol artwork keeping the artwork in vector format is a plus as vector artwork is easily scaled.)
♦When choosing a design and symbol make sure that there's a match between the design and the brand. If senioritis specialized in high end jewelry a drawing of Albert Einstein with his tongue out might not be a good fit ;) Which jewelry shop would you visit first?
♦What type of feeling does your brand design create when others see it? Is this the type of feeling you want associated with your brand? If the answer is no you may want to rethink your brand design. Here at senioritis we like to have fun and try not to take anything too seriously; we think that our Einstein drawing is fun and lighthearted and that fits well with our brand.
♦When choosing a design and symbol keep color in mind. There are many successful brand symbols and designs that incorporate bright colors, think Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Pepsi; however, single color designs can work very well too, think Apple and Nike. Our design is a one color design but the color changes from time to time.
For more about branding check out Blackcoffee's very cool branding blog, Thoughts & Notions.
If you have some fun and creative branding we would love to check it out; please feel free to leave a comment with some links to your branding! Here are a few ways in which we use branding with our products and packaging:
The AMA teaches us that a brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. Branding, in it's most basic form, is about creating an identity.
When people hear your brand's name or see its design what do they think of and how do they feel? Through the use of a strong brand name, term, and design we can identify our goods and services as our work. Remember, what works for the big guys will work for us as well. We hope this information helps a bit, happy branding ;)