What Is “Brand”?
I often find myself talking about “Brand” like everyone and their mom should know what “brand” is, but then one day my mom actually asked me, “What is ‘Brand?’” Everyone knows what brands are—Nike, Kitchen-Aid, Starbucks—but not everyone understands what “Brand” is.
At Stellen Design, we say “Brand” is your best 24/7 sales person. Your company’s brand is the personification of the big vision inside your mind. It creates the feeling of your business.
It’s a unifying force that promotes pride within your organization and makes your customers feel understood. In short, your brand is a boss.
I know what you might be thinking—that sounds great, but what the heck is it?? A logo, right??While your logo is a huge part of your brand, your brand as a whole should encompass much more than your logo. It’s basically all aspects that engage the senses—the look, the sound, the feel, even the smell and the taste—and how they all come together. If you have ever been in an Anthropology, you know what I mean by smell. In fact, Anthropology is a great example to use for brand. They have thought of and addressed all aspects of their business to ensure they are all telling the same story. If you were blindfolded and dropped off in an Anthropology, you would know where you were without seeing their logo. It’s their “Brand” that tells you that.
Let’s go back to this big names I mentioned in the beginning: Nike, Kitchen-Aid, and Starbucks. I think it’s important to highlight that EVERY—and I mean EVERY—successful business has invested time and money into their brand. It’s not something that organically happened or that they stumbled into. They have been strategically developing their brand for years.
Using Nike as an example, they have a very modern and tech-driven feel. It would be very off-brand for them to use a serif font on an advertisement. (In case you don’t know what a serif font is, it’s a very traditional font, like Times New Roman.)
Could you imagine if Starbucks all of the sudden started putting ball pits for kids in their locations? That would be nuts, right? Their environmental brand is “a cool place to hang out for adults to drink coffee, for college students to get some work done, or for business folks to meet,” not a place where your kids can run rampant.
Lastly, Kitchen-Aid: we all know them for making quality kitchen appliances, usually in every color of the rainbow. What if they put out a press release saying that they were going to start manufacturing men’s shoes? What do you think that would do to their brand credibility? Probably ruin it for good. No one would trust them for quality kitchen appliances anymore. They would become a watered-down version of the name. Not to mention, no man is going to buy Kitchen-Aid brand shoes.
So, while your logo is important, there are lots of other assets to consider when developing a brand: business name, mission statement, color palate, font, layouts, website, social media, positioning in the market, location, environmental design, packaging, marketing plan, music, floor plan… and so on!
Long story short, “Brand” is not just one thing; it’s lots of things strategically crafted to work together to create a brand. If you are struggling to create your “Brand,” don’t be afraid to reach out to us! We are happy to provide some guidance on this topic we are so passionate about!
See more of our branding work.