The EPS brand needed to exemplify electrical systems, monitoring equipment and analysis of data. This graphical direction is evident through the inclusion of electrical current motifs, bar chart imagery, and circuit diagrams.
ACSI is a leader in enterprise IT and the brand needed to reflect that professional standard and also convey their simple and clean way of conducting business.
Branding is the connection between people, ideas, products, and services. It is everything designed that relates to a company’s image, and how that image interacts with the world. The brand must be unique and provide instant recognition of all the ideas, emotions, and values that your company stands for.
Branding includes logos, colors, fonts, graphics, and layouts for printing. For larger companies, this usually comes in the form of a set of Branding Guidelines. The influence of branding can be seen in the form of printed items, content, swag, signage, and uniforms.
Consumers are constantly being bombarded with advertisements desperately trying to grab their attention. A brand acts as a beacon to consumers, giving them something to hold on to. It is a collection of emotions summed up in a single image, and something they can recognize and relate to.
The results of strong branding speak for themselves. It allows a company to rise above the competition solely based on recognition. It evokes thoughts, emotions, and ideas with a single image or phrase. Simply put, an excellent brand gets recognized for all the right reasons and when leveraged correctly produces a near insurmountable competitive advantage.
Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind
Branding is the basis on which consumers perceive your company. It is the collection of emotions and ideas that are evoked when consumers think about your business. A brand is at its most effective when every aspect of the business is consistent and works together towards the same set of core values. It unifies your company image and can elevate your company from being a simple business to being an industry leader.
The importance of branding cannot be overstated. It is the personality of your company and what sets you apart from your competitors. If no one branded themselves, the only companies that would get any business would be the best in the industry and the cheapest. Introducing branding into the mix muddles the definitions of best and cheapest. It raises questions such as, what defines best, the materials used or the skill of the worker? Or what constitutes cheapest, the lowest cost option or the most cost-effective?
To decide how healthy your brand is, step out of your ‘business owner’ responsibilities and take a look at your company image as a consumer. What do you see? If any of the following points describe your company, you need Arc Reactions:
• No company image exists
• Branding in the company is not consistent
• Branding does not reflect the size or professionalism of the company
Call us. Let us help you create a brand that builds awareness and engenders loyalty. Your company needs a brand to stand out in the marketplace. Let us show you how.
Branding guidelines are essential to ensuring the integrity of your brand is maintained. For example, as your logo is used in different elements of your company, adjustments may be made for one reason or another. As the design gets continually altered, the original intent of the logo and the design choices associated with it begin to get lost in the shuffle. Something as simple as stretching the logo, removing taglines or misrepresenting the colors can have a detrimental impact on how consumers perceive your company. By implementing branding guidelines, you provide a clear set of rules governing what can and cannot be done with a logo. If you want to keep your brand development professional, then you have to create branding guidelines that are clear about the use of your brand.
A brand’s power lies in the collective synergy of all marketing materials. A brand has an established identity and presents this identity across different media in the form of visual cues. For instance, if you send out a letter or invoice, it needs to adhere to the visual essence of the brand. Every aspect of your printed and online media need to conform to the color, style, and feel of the brand to reinforce its power. Developing the brand first ensures that all marketing collateral present a unified message. It also makes incorporating elements of the brand into marketing collateral easier. Trying to match your brand to existing collateral is not only expensive, it muddles the message you are trying to send to your audience.
The logo is the focal point of your business and the most important element in any brand. The logo is an intricate combination of color, imagery, and typography, that blends together to form a unique icon for your business. Each element of your logo should be heavily scrutinized to ensure compliance with your brand: which font family should you use? what colors are expressive of your company? What kind of imagery should your brand evoke? These are all questions that need to be asked and asked again.
The digital resource pack is a tool that makes your branding accessible to those that need it. It contains brand materials tailor-made for creating branded documents. The digital resource pack also comes with a comprehensive guide detailing color specifications and dimensions. A typical digital resource pack can contain renderings of your logo in different resolutions, email signatures, presentation and proposal covers, digital letterheads or other ready to use media.
The information included in the digital resource pack is a comprehensive list of colour specifications, dimensions and different renderings of your logo. It may also contain email signature files, presentation covers, proposal overs, digital letterhead or other media ready for use when needed.
Some of the specific items we can include in a branding package are:
A branding book is an in-depth analysis of each element of the design and each piece of marketing collateral. It gives very specific guidelines and measurements for each particular type of collateral. There is much more detail and much less room for interpretation than branding guidelines. It can be produced in either PDF format or in print.
A Visual branding guideline includes a portfolio of 5 – 15 designs of your logo on stationary and assorted paraphernalia. This allows you to preview potential promotional items before committing and helps you decide if the items align with your brand.
Every company needs to have branding guidelines that define how the logo and brand are to be used. The ability of a brand to unify a company image is one of its strengths and must be kept under control to protect the integrity of the brand. If you neglect creating a framework of conditions to keep your company image in alignment, you will come across as inconsistent and unrecognisable as your brand visibility declines.
A logo is a symbol that defines your business. When your logo is viewed it inextricably links that image to your brand, so why not make that image as expressive as possible? Your logo is essentially a reflection of your company, your style, and your values and will represent your public image for a long time. Thus it’s crucial that you place the right amount of thought and effort into designing it.
At Arc Reactions, we focus on several tried and true methods of logo design which will alleviate stress and expedite the process for you. We work closely with our designers to create letter-based designs, related image designs, abstract image designs, wordmark designs or some combination of the four until we engineer a logo that you feel completely satisfied with.
Whether you choose a visual branding guideline or a branding book depends on your company. You need to decide how much overall control you want, or need, over your company image and brand. You also need to factor in the cost of creating guidelines to the cost of creating a book. Which one is right for your company all depends on how much you prize the integrity of your brand, and how easy the guidelines can be implemented.
Protecting the integrity of your brand is essential to the long-term success of your company. The most effective way to accomplish this is to create a set of guidelines governing brand usage. There are two ways you can do this; one is to create a Visual Branding Guideline and the other is to create a Branding Book. You need to understand the different functions of each before you can decide which one is right for you.
Visual Branding Guidelines are an excellent choice for new companies, or companies with more creative freedom, as they are more flexible in their interpretation. They include a large range of ‘mock up’ visual references with no specifics. It will include a catalogue of ideas for letterheads, envelopes, postcards and other visual media so that you can create a new piece of marketing collateral and see if it ‘fits’ with the brand.
If you decide you need something more concrete, or if your organization is larger, then a Branding book may be closer to what you need. Branding books are much more concise on the creation of new collateral, how the logo can be used, where it is appropriate, and color usage. They are comprehensive and leave little creative interpretation, and are imperative for larger organizations or those with multiple locations looking to standardize their marketing collateral.
Although it’s easy to confuse a brand with a logo, they are very different entities. A logo is simply an image linked to your company. It may contain the name of your company, but it could be a monogram, keyword or image. A logo is what it is – a pictogram representing your name. A brand encompasses more than just the logo. The logo is a vital piece to a brand as you need a visual cue to trigger the recognition, but a brand is the emotions triggered by seeing the logo. You want your brand to be linked to feelings of prestige and positive emotional responses. This is achieved by reflecting the design elements of the brand across your whole company and maintaining brand integrity.
A brand is a company image that you want to use for life. In the long run, the amount spent on creating a company brand is a drop in the bucket compared to the marketing mileage you can leverage from it. What happens, however, if times change and it just looks ‘old’? Brand re-imagining is the art of taking an already established brand and modernizing it to be more expressive and powerful. Brand re-imagining is done in two different ways:
1.) We can retain the basic elements of a current logo and create a new image with the same overall effect
2.) We can modernize the elements around the logo and create a new impression.
In both cases, we keep what is still working and build on them until a newer, more successful, more modern, re-imagined brand emerges.
Your involvement in the graphic design process is critical to the success of the project. The most important thing you can do is come to the table with an idea of who you are, who your company is and what makes you different from all the rest. It also speeds up the process if you know what you want to express to your chosen demographic and how you want to be represented. If you don’t have a definite ‘persona’ of you as a business it will be hard to create a graphic representation of your company. Doing research into your company is more valuable to us than reference images could ever be. We need to use the logo to represent your company as a brand and not just a name.
The traditional method of logo design is to hand over the design brief to a graphic designer and get them to produce a series of logos to choose from. This process is time-consuming as feedback and design research become bottlenecks to the completion of the project. Furthermore, with one designer you get one artistic style and it may not align with your expectations, or give you much choice. At Arc Reactions, we take a ‘crowdfunding’ approach to logo design. When we create logos, we launch a guided brief and invite designers to submit new logo designs that fulfill the criteria. This unconventional approach inspires a variety of designs and gives the client REAL choice in finding the perfect logo. The whole design process is guided and closely monitored, providing a ‘fast track’ service that delivers an assortment of high-quality designs in a timely manner.
The process of creating a logo starts with a consultation to get to know what your company is about, what you believe in, what value you add to your customers and what is unique about your services or products. By understanding you and your company better we can create the perfect logo that expresses your company image. The next stage is to research designs and logos that interest you, why you like them and how they could be adapted to create a brand for you. Text, style, imagery and color will all be researched and discussed so that we can see what is important to you. After the research consultation, a series of preliminary logos are created with your design preferences as a basis. These designs are presented, giving you a choice of which design you feel best reflects your company image. The final stage in logo design is to take the chosen image and create a portfolio around it. This comprehensive portfolio will have the logo in different sizes and resolutions so you can choose the right image for the right medium. This creates a standardized look throughout the whole company and retains the integrity of the brand.
At Arc Reactions, we have developed a very economical way of producing a very high-quality logo. It is quick, going from the concept to creation in about a week. We have opted for a wider range of creative input in the system we use which produces a more diverse set of artistic choices. A logo needs to represent a company image, but also needs to convey a “story” to your audience. We are confident that our comprehensive design method will produce the narrative you want.
To track the efficacy of a branding marketing campaign you need to have a baseline. If it is your first branding campaign you can see how successful it is by comparing the ratio of impressions to clicks. The metrics are available to track how your brand is doing and as the data builds you can create a profile of how the brand works for you. If you already have marketing campaign data then you can track the efficacy of the campaign by the methods that you already use. This will give you an idea of how your brand is resonating with the audience and how it is making your marketing more effective.
The effect of a brand is very difficult to measure. The only sure way of measuring the efficacy of your brand is to remove it entirely and see what happens to your marketing. As this would mean death to your sales department, it is not the recommended metric for evaluating your branding strategy.
A better way to visualize the ROI of branding is to analyze the collective benefits of a brand. A brand presents your company in a unified light, it builds trust and credibility with consumers, and it gets you noticed and remembered by your audience. These benefits, while not quantifiable, are very much real and have a serious impact on the success of your company. When your logo is seen, the values that your company represents, the quality of your service, and your public persona is immediately evoked. That is the power of a brand, the ability to cut through the noise and clutter and get your message heard. It breeds loyalty, makes your marketing collateral go further and keeps you at the forefront of your industry. Branding has an invisible impact on your ROI that is hard to measure, but let’s put it in perspective – what’s McDonald’s without the golden arches?
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