How can an entrepreneur make sense out of design?
A bit of history. The word "brand" essentially means a stigma. It has long been literally translated as "burn". Subsequently, that became the earmark for livestock. So simple. And this word became a term already in the Middle Ages. In cities, guild craftsmen noticed their products with various signs. Such marks existed in a competitive environment and developed along with an art. They were also supplemented with text labels. This is how modern logos were born. But this is an old story.
To understand modern terminology and specifics, it is necessary to distinguish between a trademark that is assigned to a product or service and a brand that lives in the hearts of consumers. Because for the average consumer, a brand is not equal to a logo. For a person, this is a multi-layered construction of memory, emotions, ideas, preferences, assessment or influence of society, visual and auditory wrapping. In other words, it's about emotions.
By decomposing the brand into physical components, we get a whole set of manifestations. In some sources, they are combined with the term "corporate identity". In my opinion, this is not an entirely correct application of it. Outdated “corporate identity” and more modern “identity” are terms that are responsible for the visual manifestation of a brand. So, let's divide the set of brand manifestations into two parts: visual and not visual.
Visual part of the brand. Identity:
- visual design of the logo, with the application and work rules;
- graphic system of the brand, which develops and creates its atmosphere;
- palette of corporate colours, which limits and fixes the brand on the colour wheel;
- font branding is a must for both the logo and all graphics media.
Not visual part of the brand:
- naming — the name of the brand;
- audio manifestations of the brand, a set of phrases and wording — tone of voice;
- registered trademark;
- archetype — the character of the brand.
And here another monosyllabic word joins us. Branding is the process of creating and implementing actions, activities, activations, information, etc. It is desirable to link these processes to one goal and a single end result.
Why is this necessary?
Such activities are aimed at creating a positive brand image among consumers. The branding process is endless work at all stages of the brand's life: constant support of the market place, increasing demand and recognition and many other important processes.
What is the purpose of branding? This is the creation of a unique and strong brand image.
Activities covered by branding are very diverse. Consider the main vectors to create a primary understanding:
- creation of unique graphic and verbal symbols — name, slogan, logo, jingle;
- development of positioning and unique trade offer;
- formation of identity;
- development and implementation of advertising communication;
- selection of media and activities that will broadcast the main idea of the brand;
- and the process of promotion.
The importance of the brand in our time is difficult to overestimate. This is a powerful driving force of goods and services. Their uniqueness and magnet. Today, brands exist in global corporations and tiny coffee shops.
Each product must have a set of brand attributes. The only question is how many of them and how well they meet the needs of the product. The number of fans of the brand can be one hundred, five hundred, several thousand, a billion people — and it is important for all of them to feel involved in the brand. Hear, see and match in character. That is why there will be different styles, words and meanings. And that's cool.
We understood what a brand is and why we need it. The variability of brand manifestations is diverse. Budgets and distribution areas are also very different. Now let's look at one of the many parts of the brand, namely its visual manifestation — in design.
Visual solutions should complement the brand promotion strategy. It is very important. Here are a number of questions that will help business owners and designers to qualitatively compose tasks and evaluate the work done. In essence, making a plan or briefing is an important step, without which it is impossible to decide which design solution will actually help the brand. The following questions and explanations:
- What business task does the designer face? Namely — what result should the brand get when using this visual material.
- What is the market situation? No brand exists in a vacuum. Under conditions of market competition, it is necessary to understand what is happening in the niche and what the neighbours are doing. This will help to make clear and interesting visual work.
- What is the main idea we want to convey to the consumer? And most importantly, the opinion must be one. This is the rule. One advertising campaign - one thought. One visual solution is one final result. One logo — one image.
- The tone of the advertising message? This is the plane of the project, where the graphics should take into account the nature of brand communication. In essence, the language in which a brand communicates needs to be conveyed graphically.
- What are the required elements? When creating advertising media for different areas of business, you need to take into account the specifics and know the laws for this area. For example, all outdoor advertising must communicate in the state language. When promoting medicines, it is important to write and emphasize that self-medication is dangerous to health. And developers must indicate licenses and a number of other documentary building permits. And such specific conditions are enough in almost every area. Law firms are advised on these issues, and this stage should not be missed.
- What planes do you use for a creative company? It is necessary to understand what scales and the sizes of cloths will be used. Which TV channels, blogs or social networks will show videos. Radio waves or loudspeakers in the mall will broadcast the jingle. These conditions are necessary for the formation of a quality technical task and the creation of a database of materials for the implementation of the visual product.
- Life timing design? This is the time at which the design will be used if it is an advertising campaign. Or the time that the consumer will interact with our design. This will help to formulate the concept and set priorities in the final graphic product.
- What budget? This is the most difficult question, but it should be talked about honestly and not hidden. By presenting a design budget, it becomes clear which technologies and resources are more effective to use. In addition, you need to consider the budget for the promotion or sale of a product with a graphic component. Because, if the low sales budget does not coincide with the high requirements of the created design, the product cannot be manufactured. Then the question arises, why was all this creativity and creation?
- Do you need an extraordinary approach for a creative campaign and is the client ready? The graphic solution does not always have to be cosmically unique. In most cases, correctly created graphic materials that meet the requirements of the brief will not create new trends in art. Because design is first and foremost about solving business problems.
To understand which of the specialists are engaged in branding and design, I will talk more about all those who involved in the process. Who does it in the agency, and who — in the company.
The agency has a team working on branding: creative director, strategist, brand strategist, copywriter, art director, designer, PR specialist, event manager and project manager. In the company: a marketer or an entire department and CEO.
Why so many people? Everyone does their job at different stages of brand development and promotion. Brand development includes marketing research, idea development, verbal component, brand design and, of course, brand strategy. All these parts are harmoniously combined into a single process of promotion.
When considering the process of creating graphic solutions, it is necessary to take into account the concept and strategy, on the one hand, and the qualifications of all specialists involved in the process — on the other.
There are a number of factors to consider when evaluating the quality and effectiveness of a design. Qualification and immersion of the team in the process, the quality of work, the effectiveness of the created graphic product, compliance with the brand book graphics and brand strategy.
Many more in-depth questions need to be raised about creating a brand brand-book and evaluating the work of the graphics department. Talk about creativity and the use of trends. The current topics of font design and use of the font in the everyday life of the brand are interesting. The obligatory and important topic is about creative decisions.