Brand Brilliance - What makes the difference?
Not all branding campaigns are created equal. What elevates an idea or concept to an identifiable brand?
Here are some questions to help determine “the difference”.
Five Questions for Evaluating a Brand:
1. Is it original and easy to interpret?
This question may seem to contradict itself, but it’s this very paradox that makes “the difference”. Great brands are undeniable because they instantly convey an identity by relying on the audience’s existing lexicon. It’s the convergence of these seemingly opposite qualities—original and easy to interpret
— that create brand brilliance.
Look at Coral Hospitality’s Adventure Lodges campaign. It employs great design while showing exactly what the destination offers. The message is delivered instantaneously in a unique and exciting way.
The nuance of making something accessible and exclusive is a delicate, and sometimes tedious, process. But it is in that fine tuning, it is in that process, where skilled marketing gurus chisel away to reveal a brand concept that authentically references an organization, a business or a community’s identity—just as the Adventure Lodges brand does throughout all variations and reiterations.
2. Is it captivating?
Does your brand leave the audience, the prospect, interested, inspired and motivated to learn more? A brand should seem like an obvious extension of the established characteristics, services, personality and purpose of the company or area it represents. A brilliant brand, like the ingenious campaign launched by Taylor County, Georgia in 2018, pairs style and substance. It elevates and illuminates what specifically separates Taylor County from its contemporaries.
This captivating brand stirs something within because it references something real, something true, something tangible. If a concept is marked with manipulation, the power of the brand stops there. People maybe be captivated initially by style and design. But if the elements of a campaign aren’t genuine it will ultimately be uncovered, which will decrease the value of the brand and needlessly degrade the company or the area.
3. Does it send a clear message?
Before a successful, stylish brand is created a simple and strategic vision must be determined by asking a few questions. Who are we? What do we want people to think when they think of us? Who do we want to be? Thomasville, NC was a city known for its furniture industry. When it came time to show that it was also a place that offered opportunity on a global scale, a brand and tagline were created that spoke to the area’s past and future in tandem. Through eye-catching design based on a simple, yet effective, concept, Thomasville was able to highlight who they are as a community and who they are becoming.
The most iconic logos, taglines and brand designs deliver a clear message in a concise manner. Overcomplicating the initial message weakens the bridge a brand should build between prospect and product, place or thing.
4. Does the message fit what it represents…Can you fulfill its promise?
Once a clear message is determined, a diligent designer goes back to that message during the development phase to ensure the main thing stays the main thing. This may seem obvious but straying from the focus can happen simply due to the inertia of the creative process. A clear concept can end up deluded if the starting point, the divine inspiration, is abandoned to chase a clever idea or concept that “almost” fits. Referencing the identified, intended message frequently helps keep the message clear.
No message is clearer than the one sent by the Perry-Houston County Airport Authority logo. The airport's location is perfect for serving all of Georgia and beyond. The design makes a promise that people in a specific area of Georgia can count on convientent, wide-reaching air travel.
Even the most brilliant branding is meaningless if the promise it makes is impossible or unrealistic. A company or community should pursue the development of a new brand to celebrate all they have to offer and share. Tricking or manipulating your intended base does not serve a brand well. Whatever early success a flashy or misleading promise extracts is not worth the damage the brand and organization will face, especially considering the contemporary communication landscape. One tweet, one post or one mis-step can derail years of hard work. Dedication to integrity is the best quality a brand can possess.
5. Does it speak to the intended audience?
From highly specific and intentionally exclusive, to broad strokes created for mass consumption, no matter the number or categories of people you want to reach, the first step is identifying your intended audience. A branding project should begin and end with this question.
Franklin County, Georgia is the perfect area for people looking for a place that offers a certain quality of life without sacrificing access to opportunity. The choices made by Franklin community leaders while establishing logo concepts are a great example of keeping the intended audience at in the forefront of the branding process. The font has an ease that appeals to those looking to escape the constrictive nature of city-living, while the design elements clearly illustrate that along with agriculture, nature and outdoor adventure Franklin is a place you can slow down while still moving forward. People looking for a place like that to call home or to visit can see Franklin County has what they’ve been searching for with one glance. Now that’s brand brilliance.
The 365 Degree Total Marketing Brand
365 Degree Total Marketing applies dedication, foresight and experience to every opportunity we’re given. The path to implementing a customized and compelling marketing campaign may be simple, but it’s not easy. For over thirty years, 365 Degree Total Marketing has been sharpening our tools and perfecting the art of striking a balance between information and design. Every client, community and project are unique, but the foundation of our philosophy translates to every task we take on. We are committed to the success and satisfaction of our clients, which is clear in our awarding-winning work. 365 Degree Total Marketing honors our client’s and the public’s trust. Our brand promises we will go beyond full circle. And that’s what we do every day, in every department.