To marketing professionals, a brand is a product or a business that has a distinct identity in the perception of the consumers. Elements of design create a brand identity, packaging and advertising, that, as a whole, distinguish the product from the competitors.
The product contributes to the brand equity to the company that produces it. A successfully executed brand provides enormous value to the company, giving it a competitive edge over others in the same industry.
As such, companies seek legal protection of their brand identity by approaching trademarks.
Historical Background of Branding
In ancient Babylon, merchants and craftsmen put a curved pitch mark on their products to indicate their origin in the market. Tavern owners hung attractive signs outside. The word “branding” itself came from 19th century cowboys. They marked their cattle by hot iron design to indicate their producer farm. Thus brand identity was maintained.
Importance of a Brand
The notion of brand exists in the mind of the customer. Brand identity reflects how a product looks. The product features such as its name, style, color, functions and symbol or logo are intangible assets. It would not be an exaggeration to say that brand identity is everything. It is the sum of all tangible and intangible features of the product. These are concepts, ideas, quality, purpose, benefits, preferences, features, patents and trademarks along with channel relationships. It makes it unique. Brand identity also marks the way the customers feel about the product. Branding influences how its target market or a single customer perceives a brand or a company, states SMART – Strategic Marketing and Research Techniques.
Strong brand names are those that the public keeps trust on. Successful companies usually have customers who display loyalty and purchase the same product again and again. Strong brand equity helps businesses to project a large well established company and present it to its customers. Branding practices and theory evolved in the latest years, and became a valuable marketing investment. This concept of branding creates emotional attachment to the product or the company. Such efforts create involvement, a sense of higher quality and an aura of intangible qualities. That surrounds a brand name, mark or symbol.
Color Theory in UI Design and Vector Illustration
Color Theory is a collection of rules and guidelines which designers communicate with customers through appealing color schemes in visual interfaces. To pick the best colors every time, the designers use a color wheel and refer to extensive collected knowledge about human optical ability, psychology, culture and preferences. Institute of Color Research conducted investigations that suggest that people make a subconscious judgment about a product with 90 seconds of view. And between 63% to 90% cases the color alone creates the assessment.
Of course a UI designer should avoid complex color mixing and use black, white and gray lines for details. Color psychology is the main basis. It explains why colors in the brand design leave a different impact on the customer’s mind.
Mathematical formulas can make up such graphic art like vector illustration. It consists of mere curves, pixels, lines and shapes. Its benefit is, this type of art maintains the same quality even if the size of the picture changes. It does not turn to low resolution.
This is most challenging, of course, when a company’s product is nearly identical to cheaper competitors. Elements of a brand are mainly logos and slogans. Their designs support brand identity. Commercials further support and reinforce it. Successful marketing keeps the company’s brand in center of people’s minds at the moments of decision making. It carries tremendous monetary value, affecting both the bottomline and in case of public companies, shareholder value.
A company eventually becomes inseparable from its brand. For example, Coca Cola drink is now similar to Coca Cola company itself. Although Coca Cola now commercializes many other products besides that main drink.
New brands face a great deal of urgency when they establish in people’s opinion. Statistical researches say, a product’s website display has precisely 0.5 second to convince the consumer to stay or go.
Types of Brands
The type of brand depends on the entity using it. There are the most common brand types that we can see on regular basis.
Corporate Brands: Corporate branding is a way for companies to enhance their reputation and distinguish themselves for competitors in their industries. The company’s pricing, decision, target market and values, all reflect the corporate brand.
Product Brands: Introducing a new product or supporting the existing product involves creating and maintaining its brand. Branding a product starts with market research and identifying the right target market.
Personal Brands: Social media enabled ordinary people to become influencers. Their financial success depends on their ability to create a brand that attracts the required audience. Personal brands build themselves through social media posts. They share images and videos and conduct meet and greets.
This is another important side of brand identity elements. Icon design has some predefined rules, which are considered to be golden rules in this field. These are as follows:
- Mind the grid, as it regulates many factors in logo and icon design.
- Be careful about tempting ideas of making crazy innovative designs. Sometimes old simple designs are better.
- There should not be many unnecessary details.
- Test the icon design with professional opinion, then finalize.
- Shapes of the icon should be simple but consistent.
When a company defines its public image, it determines its brand identity, or how the public views it. A company logo reflects its image, slogan and product. The goal is to make a brand memorable and appealing to the consumer. Or rather the consumer that the company targets, whether it is single people, couples with children or retirees.
The company may use a design firm or logo design software. It comes up with ideas for the visual aspects of the brand, such as logo. A successful brand accurately delivers the message or feeling the company wants to get across. This results in brand awareness, or the recognition of a brand’s existence and what it offers.
Let us notice the following factors regarding brand identity.
A successful brand communicates the qualities of the product to the consumer.
A product’s logo, quality, packaging and advertising message all coordinate the convey of the brand’s message to the consumer.
Its brands are a company’s most valuable and important asset.
Companies can protect their brands by registering trademarks for legal documentation.
Once a brand has created positive sentiment among its target audience, the firm has built the brand equity. If done right, the brand identity creates not only an increase of sales of the related product. It also includes all other products of the same company. A good brand engenders trust. After having a good experience in one product, the consumer would experience another product of the same company. This phenomenon is brand loyalty.
It is true, that brands do not live forever. Some very famous American brands like Oldsmobile, Towers Record or Compaq had died. The concluding word is, a brand stands out as the face of the company and product. Its identity continues to gather recognition as long as its market position remains high.