Choosing a branding companyBy Tom Dougherty
26 January 2015
What to consider when choosing a branding company
When choosing a branding company, there’s a few things to remember. Branding companies promise to completely understand what your brand means. In the most basic sense, a branding company examines the logic and relationships between the services and products you produce or offer.
They help better define the connections between disparate offerings and promises.
Stealing Share clarifies the values inherent in everything your brand does. This is an intellectual evaluation of everything you say about your brand and often it requires changes in your brand equities.
What are brand equities?
In a general sense, brand equities are the things your brand owns. Some are visual representations that are immediately associated with your brand. For example, when someone sees the silhouette of a hat with mouse ears, they immediately recall the Disney brand.
These, like the Nike swoosh, are examples of a brand mark and considered an equity. Something the brand owns. Other visual cues can also be equities.
For example, a logo or a word mark is designed to be an equity. A specific color palette may also be an equity (like the pink color of Pepto-Bismol). A shape (the unique shape of the Coca-Cola bottle) or packaging (Air Wick) can also serve as a brand equity.
The conventional wisdom among branding companies is to identify something important about the brand and give life to that importance. This is why you see so many brands whose logo or brand mark look like what the brand does rather than what it means. This is why so many brands are named after the technology or product (Duracell and Energizer).
The purpose of equities
The purpose of equities is to help the customer or prospect remember the brand by creating associations. Human beings think visually. Something planted in their minds as associated with a particular brand allows the brand to place meaning and value in consumers’ minds.
While some may do a better job than others, most branding companies invent these equities and identify a distinct color palette. To do that, all the brand consultancy needs is a few smart and strategically thinking minds and a design team that makes appealing images.
Why Stealing Share rejects this model
Choosing a branding company is difficult. The commercial world today is different than it was just a few years ago. Almost every category is crowded with competitors. So brands are surrounded by strong competition. The customer has many choices. The field of battle is desperate, to say the least. Own something. But that something must be important to the prospects you wish to attract and customers you wish to keep.
Stealing Share asks more of your brand than other branding companies do. So should you.
The amount of importance your brand occupies is in direct relationship to what your target audience covets. Your brand equities must be found in the beliefs and needs of the people you wish to influence. Not in the things you make or your company itself.
Persuasive brands merge the brand value itself with a reflection of the company AND the customer’s highest emotional intensity.
This is not easy to accomplish. It requires all of the parts of standard branding companies (smart strategists and talented designers). But also requires in-house market research and brand anthropologists who study human behavior and find ways to influence it. This rare element in branding science makes everything work together. The strategy, the research, the creative and the brand itself. Suddenly, nothing is the same and the game itself has changed.
Choosing a branding company
In choosing a branding company, start by inviting us in for an hour of your time. We will change everything. Ask more of us because we brand for a purpose. It’s in our name and our brand DNA. Is it in yours? Our clients are aggressive, hungry and looking to grow. Clarity is what you want but purpose is what gets you there.