Saturday, 4 July 2009

More on Branding

Brilliant Design will bring with it a recognisable "face" which we will nurture into a Brand. You can never pay enough for creative design, so let's not short change 'the creatives' – they don't take kindly to it. I wonder if the people who created the 'Google' (brand value in 2008 around $86m); Microsoft (BV in 2008 = $70M$) and Coca Cola (BV in 2008 = $28m) thought their 'designs' would be worth so much.

I once read somewhere that "The Bitterness of Poor Quality is Remembered Long after the Joy of Low Prices" and I have to agree whole heartedly. When clients' say to me, "How can you charge me that for a logo design or ad", I just want to cringe. Regardless of the fact that I know I am "cheap" by all accounts, I know that if they don't have the money to make the logo or ad they certainly will never have the money to 'flight' the ad or promote their brand in any significant way so as to improve its worth. Great natural 'creatives' are hard to find and every Tom, Dick and Harry coming out of a quick design course ends up thinking they are now a 'creative' when they actually haven't a cooking clue as to what they are doing. Being able to operate a design program is not an automatic qualification as a "creative".

Brand Loyalty = Profitability. This is why we all work, isn't it? We want to be profitable. The most important asset of a company should be their brand. Having said that, it goes without saying, that you should be prepared to spend money promoting and refining your brand over time. There are many instances where a brand is equally as important as a product and Coca Cola is a wonderful mix of brand and blend.

The Coca Cola brand is super powerful, but it's an equal mix of taste that keeps it alive. According to The South African Advertising Book, when Coca-Cola launched New Coke in 1985, their customers were furious and used the 1-800 number Coke had established, to let them know just that. The normal volume of calls were around 400 a day and right after the launch this jumped to 12 000 with most people saying they enjoyed the old taste. Coke responded immediately by re-introducing Classic Coke and about 18 000 American consumers responded by calling in to say Thank You. That's Brand Loyalty. Coca Cola had the foresight to realise that the 'Coke' brand and how it tasted actually belonged to the consumers, whether they liked it or not and chose to respond immediately instead of being arrogant enough to think that the people didn't have a choice and would have to get used to it.

Marketing is a battle of perceptions and a brand should represent a holistic concept bought by the customer, be unique and timeless, with its own personality and have a guarantee of consistent quality. I hope I have made it clear enough how strongly I feel about developing a Great brand.

The logo design challenge:

Every brand has a "face", AKA, a logo. We have opted to use "crowd sourcing" for the design of our logo. What's does this mean? It means we are using a pool of talented designers who will compete for the prize (money) by designing a logo to our brief. Although there are a number of these available online, after careful consideration, we are going with 99designs.com. Please feel free to have a look and comment on the designs that come out in the next week or so. You never know, you may have a hand in helping design a famous logo!

Over the next few weeks I'll take a look at the different branding structures available to companies and which one we chose and why.

Thanks for reading, catch ya next week.

Frankie

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