The “Golden Arches;” almost everyone on the planet knows that big “M” is for McDonald’s. Same goes for the Nike tick, and the Mercedes symbol. Apart from your actual product, what will make or break your company is your brand-name, symbol, logo, and tagline. In fact, many marketing experts will argue that a quality product will fail terribly if your brand image stinks.
With an innumerable number of businesses launching every day, your success depends on making your brand image stand apart from the crowd. Here are 5 essential ingredients for a killer and memorable brand image:
1. Psychology of Colour
You want your logo to capture people’s attentions. Colour psychology is an area studied by many marketing experts—it’s no surprise then to find out Google, Chrome, MSN, Windows, eBay all use the four primary colours: red, green, yellow, blue. Primary colours are much more effective at grabbing your attention than tertiary/secondary colours.
It’s also interesting to note the emotional responses specific colours will evoke. So, when creating your brand image, be very selective about what colours you choose to use. Use at least two of the primary colours, if you choose to use more, make sure the tertiary colours come from the same family as the primary.
2. Pack a Punch
Your tagline should nicely sum up everything your company stands for: Succinct, sharp, and sticky. Like music to the ears when you share it with someone. Here are some great examples:
American by birth. Rebel by choice. – Harley Davidson.
Save money. Live better. – Walmart.
The greatest tragedy is indifference. – Red Cross.
You should also be able to shoot-out an “elevator-pitch” every time someone asks you about your work. You are going to be the most effective business card for your company, and your words will be a powerful networking tool.
Here are some thoughts to include as you formulate your pitch:
What sets your brand apart?
What makes you qualified to dominate the market?
What is the pain-point/need your brand will serve?
3. Image Is Everything
Advertising and marketing psychology refers to it as "Self-Image Congruence." Studies have shown that people are more likely to gravitate toward a brand that boosts their own self image.
Apple is a company that has brilliantly capitalised on this knowledge. Their concern is not only about building a product that works well, but looks great. Contrary to what people may say, books are judged by their covers.
Walk into a cafe with two college students typing away: one’s on a Macbook, the other’s on a PC. No doubt, you created two different images in your mind with different stereotypes.
What kind of an image will your audience be associated with? Create an ideal that people will want to strive for.
4. Personal Gain
People are intrinsically self-motivated. How is your brand going to benefit me?
Your brand should not only be an end in itself, but also serve as a means bringing about personal value.
A great example is a high school teacher responding to the question of why one needs to study Algebra:
“Never. You will never need it. But then again why do you lift dumbbells? You do it for the future: If you are attacked you can fight, or carry your groceries, or lift your grandchildren. Same with algebra: You exercise your mental muscles, which you will need your whole life.”
A great lesson to model when developing your brand image.
5. Emotional Appeals & Stories
Human emotions are powerful. You’ll want to find a way to connect your brand image with a story that will evoke en emotional response from your audience.
A Stanford study highlighted this truth that people don’t act on reason, they act on emotion—
Two presentations were given to raise funds for starving children. The first appealed to reason, giving statistics on the number of people in Africa dying from preventable starvation. The second shared the story of a starving seven year old girl named Rokia.
No prizes for guessing which case drew an overwhelming response.
You can give all the statistics in the world when marketing your brand. But they’ll go through one ear and out the other. What sticks is weaving your information through an engaging story.
On the more practical side, here are some great resources to get a logo and brand image create for a great price. You can even create a contest to have multiple designers come up with exactly what you would like.