Branding is essential in a world saturated by companies competing in the same market sector. It’s imperative your brand stands out from the competition as brand recognition has a significant impact on buying behaviour.
But why is brand recognition so important?
In today’s hectic technology driven world, consumers process a lot of brand information on a day to day basis from TV, the radio, billboards, posters, social media, the internet, smartphones, tablets, newspapers, cinema etc. With all this information shoved in our faces on a daily basis, we utilise heuristics (mental shortcuts) to help us make purchasing decisions, traversing the need to consciously scrutinise every purchase we make. So what can you do to make your brand stand out against competitors?
Your logo is one of the most important factors for brand recognition; just look at some of the biggest brands: Nike, McDonalds, Apple, Coca-Cola, BMW, their logo’s are instantly recognisable on their own without words even being associated with them. But what makes a logo stand out from the crowd?
- Make it simple
This is the most important factor about a logo, the simpler it is, the easier it will be to recognise. A good logo should also be so simple that it is easy to recognise in black and white, take the Nike swoosh as an example, this could be in any colour imaginable and still be recognised by the masses.
- Make it different
You need something in your logo that makes it stand out from the rest, something that is unique to your logo and no other’s. A few examples of this are: the bite out of the Apple logo, a very subtle feature that makes it very different to other logos, Coca-Cola’s logo is just Coca-Cola in John Pemberton’s handwriting but it’s effective because no (or very few) utilise this in their logo.
- Incorporate brand values
Your logo should communicate what your company is all about, a consumer should look at your logo and see the connection it has to what your company does and it’s ethos. Take fed-ex as an example; in the negative space you can see an arrow, communicating a speedy delivery. Amazon also do this well with an arrow that joins the A and Z, this can also be viewed as a smile.
Consistency is key if you want people to recognise your brand, it’s important you utilise your corporate colours (normally only 2-3 colours) throughout any packaging or marketing materials you use. Again if you look at any of the major brands that dominate the market place, they only use a few colours and very rarely move away from their corporate colours. Not only should you be consistent with colours, but with design, typography, your message, imagery etc., everything should link together.
Communicate your story
Consumers love a good story behind a brand, people don’t like to think of brands as big corporate machines making billions. There are a few brands that do this with great effect, for example KFC, everyone knows Colonel Sanders and his secret herbs and spices, what KFC have done recently is tweak their logo to show Colonel Saunders wearing an apron which communicates family values as a grandfatherly figure. Another good example is Virgin, everyone knows the Record store humble beginnings of Richard Branson’s empire that now includes transport, holidays, money, media & telecoms and even space travel, and Richard Branson still instils fantastically responsible values into the company.
Don’t be afraid to do something different
What do you think gets noticed more, the companies that conform to the status quo or the ones that think outside the box and try something creative and new. Guerrilla marketing campaigns and other creative methods not only capture the attention of the people who physically view them, but with the use of social media, there is a chance that the campaign could go viral, with very little expense. A brand that always sticks in my head for creative ways to market their products is Red Bull, some of their campaigns have had nothing to do with the energy drink but that didn’t stop them chucking a bloke out of a capsule on the edge of space.