How does a decent brand actually help things?

I was recently asked by a new client to attend a brand workshop day with the whole organisation. The client wanted me to say a bit about ‘why brand matters’ to their co-workers

Now, normally, this kind of thing sends the fear of god into me. These are the moments when graphic designers put on their best brogues and flat caps, wind up and let loose. It’s prime time for meaningless rambles and vexing¬†phrases. But, I thought that here might be a chance to get across some of the foundations of brand and what it really can do for organisations.

It was short and to the point and, hopefully, minus the bullshit:

– It unites stuff
Branding links your name, your logo, your marketing literature and your online presence with your audience. This brings a unified and clear message to your audience.

– Trust & loyalty
A strong brand can help build customer loyalty. Loyal customers will spread a positive message, and their influence will introduce new people to your organisation.

– Perception
A new brand gives you a chance to let your customers see you in a refreshed and reinvigorated light and can help separate you from the competition.

– It influences preference
People are generally more attracted to organisations with strong brands. This connection can’t be strategised or formulated; it just happens.

– The brand is an asset
Brand is also an asset. What you present to the public is a proportion of your business in financial terms. Good branding can create sales and revenue  and improve the bottom line.

Graphic designers seemed to have created a dark art surrounding brand. Designers have the potential to waffle on for hours about identifiers and differentiates, making branding, on the face of it, quite a daunting task.

Brand means different things to different people. To one person it can be a logo in isolation. To someone else the brand can be the logo, primary fonts, secondary fonts, colour pallets, secondary colour pallets, ad layouts, web site design, tone of voice, image tone and so on.

But genuine brand is nothing without substance underpinning it. The words you put into the public domain have opinion and influence. However you view branding internally, the key to a successful brand is understanding that it is the image of your organisation in your customers’ eyes that really counts.