We all have favourite brands whether its cars, clothes or even chocolate. Over time we build up what’s called ‘brand loyalty’ and buy these products or services because we trust them and know exactly what we are going to get in return. Some brands even manage to combine both products and services. Take Amazon Prime. Is it a product brand or a service brand or both?
A brand name is something you build and that helps to distinguish what you do from your competitors. So, what does a brand consist of and why is it so important in the marketing of a company or organisation. A brand is a combination of many factors. On the face of it, a brand consists of a logo and text. This is the visual side of what you see. There could also be an audio side as in the case of a rock band. What’s behind the brand is more emotive and personal. Do you ever think that your name is a brand and your appearance or signature the logo?
Brand is very important when it comes to marketing. Any investment in a brand should be considered a long term one. Your logo may change over time and this can also be considered a refresh or boost to the original branding. What’s importance is to make sure you get the branding right from the start.
When staring any new business or organisation the first thing to consider is the name to be used. Some organisations prefer a functional name and others a quirky one. The point is that choosing a company name is rarely scientific as most companies and organisations start small. Few organisations carry out brand research and test marketing. If you’re lucky friends and relatives might provide some useful insight.
Choosing a company name these days is also not that easy if you are looking for an internet presence. You’ve got to check not only that your website name is available but also the associated names on social media whether this is Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram or many of the other social media channels.
Company Name and Brand Checklist
Here’s a short list of things you could check when choosing a company name.
- How unique is it and does it sound similar to anyone else and/or a competitor?
- Is the name available for company registration?
- Is the name available for your website domain and social media?
- Does it sound right for your business?
- If you shorten or lengthen or use just initial abbreviations are there implications?
- Is it easy to pronounce and remember?
- How does it translate into other languages?
- Do you need to add a local or geographic element?
- What will the email address look like?
- Will the name be easy to pronounce on the phone or always need spelling?
There is a golden rule in marketing and that is to ‘not laugh or make jokes about your brand or organisation’. Therefore, quirky names might sound great but don’t always present the most professional image.
Rightly or wrongly we chose the name ‘Redbows’ for our company name many years ago. We wanted a short name that could also be used for a promotional marketing company and had the image of a red bow and seal in mind; the type you used to see on old scroll documents. We checked out all name at Companies House and on an internet domain provider and a few of the relevant social media accounts. Then rest is history as they say.
Logo Design and Graphic Designers
Once you’ve got a company name, you may then want a logo. Now things can get contentious, as everyone will have an opinion on that. Often company logos start out based on the company name and can be quite simple. A checklist for the logo would be very like the one above in terms of looking for uniqueness and to a degree simplicity. Nike is one of the most recognised logos in the world and it’s simply a tick with the company name, thought up by a design student for a token fee. For the Redbows logo we wanted no more than two colours and something simple and personal to use. We used a graphic design who specialises in Feng Shui to come up with a design that incorporated ‘infinity’ and two energy levels (red and blue).
Next, we had to consider a tagline. This is small statement saying what you do. It’s not a mission statement per say but can be. At Redbows we chose ‘Promote Yourself’ with ‘self’ for us being a person, team or organisation and so at Redbows that is what we do, we help people to promote themselves.
Why do company names, branding, logo designs, colours and taglines matter? The best way to describe this is to think of them as building blocks for your advertising and marketing campaigns. When it comes to the types of promotional gifts we supply at Redbows, these factors can impact the choice of gifts, their colours, print and branding options so that we can make sure your logo and brand stands out, your contact details are clear and the products we supply help you to build your brand and promote your organisation.
If you need a logo designing or advise on a refresh the best place to start is with a graphic design company or advertising or marketing agency. They will ask you for a brief and some times of what you want to see and get across as brand values. One of the best ways to do this is to use the 5Ws and H checklist (who, what, where, when, why and how). Also if you have time sketch down some ideas on paper and do your own internet research. This will not only shorten the design process but could reduce design costs.
When graphic designers generate logos and ideas they often do a mixture of three to give you a complete range to consider. Very often no one ideas is perfect and your comments will give them the input required to focus on a final design. One of the best pieces of advice is to live with a design for a few days before commenting. Look at the logo in different lights and if you can try it out on different marketing materials. What may look right on a van or building sign might not be the same on corporate workwear or promotional materials.
Above all don’t ignore how important this stage is in setting up a new company. Often people are in a hurry to crack on and get trading. The decisions you make now will affect the brand profile you build in the years to come. Good luck and enjoy the journey!