Why Branding for Musicians is Just as Important as the Music

musician-with-headphones-pressing-keys-of-piano-keys

Why Branding for Musicians is Just as Important as the Music

The cornerstone of a musician’s success is, of course, their music. But you could be the most talented musician in the world and fail to get anywhere without effective branding.

After all, musicians effectively function like any other business. They sell a product (their music) to an audience, and therefore need a well structured brand strategy to get themselves out there.

Here at Gee Productions, we appreciate that the idea of branding and brand strategy can seem confusing – and potentially pointless – to musicians. But as branding experts, we know the difference it can make. Here’s why branding for musicians is just as important as the music.

What is branding for musicians?

Simply put, branding is about creating your desired business image in the minds of your audience. Once you start picking apart this statement, though, the idea of branding becomes much more complicated.

Most people consider a brand to be a logo or product/service, but it’s much more than that. The industry definition of a brand is summarized as the gut feeling customers have when they interact with a company’s product or service.

This might seem like a confusing definition when you think of a brand like IBM or Visa, but it actually makes plenty of sense when you think about musicians.

Music is all about emotion: happy songs make you want to dance, sad songs can help you realize and overcome your own negative emotions. Music, at its most basic level, is emotion.

For businesses not in such an emotionally charged industry, this desired gut feeling is often trust or professionalism. But for musicians, it can essentially be whatever you want it to be.

Brand identity vs. brand

To create this emotional connection with your audience, you need a suitable brand identity. Brand identity is the same as a brand, right? Not quite.

Brand identity is effectively the complete opposite of a brand. If a brand is defined as emotion, brand identity is things you can see, perceive, and interact with.

It includes the things many people think of as a brand, such as:

• Logo
• Typeface
• Website design
• Color scheme
• Merchandise

Brand identity is used to influence the way customers feel about a particular brand. Take a couple of well-known bands as examples.

Red Hot Chili Peppers are a world-renowned band. Their brand identity has shifted considerably over their history but one thing has remained true: their logo. It appears on albums, merch, visuals, everything.

While you might not be able to make a face-value judgment of the kind of music they make based on their brand identity, it remains consistent even as they reinvent other aspects of their image.

Weezer is a great example of brand identity for a band. They have a distinctive, recognizable logo, a specific font for their band name, and a clear visual unity among the band’s members.

Another key aspect of their brand identity is their album names. While not true of every album they’ve released, many are based on colors (much like the Beatles’ albums). For example, you have the Red Album, the White Album, the Teal Album, and more. Again, this boils down to a recognizable aspect of their brand identity.

Then let’s consider someone at the opposite end of the spectrum: Lady Gaga. She’s an interesting example because her brand identity changes with each album, but always remains in the sphere of pop visuals.

It’s often colorful with different artistic influences. Her latest album, for example, is heavily influenced by 90s aesthetics. However, it’s still true to her roots as a pop artist. Again, if you took her at face value based on her brand identity, you could make a judgment as to what her music will be.

In short, brand is feeling and brand identity is visual. You can have a successful brand without a carefully considered brand identity.

Working with branding

But how does branding relate to all this? Simply put, it’s combining the two to reach your target.

You use your brand identity to create your brand through the process of branding.

The brand is the result and branding is the process.

To make this journey as smooth as possible, you need a brand strategy. These are the steps you’ll take to clarify your purpose and work out where you want to go.

You have to ask yourself, “Other than for money, why am I doing this? Where am I heading, and how do I get there?”

Thinking about these questions and deciding on some answers will really help you to streamline your branding to arrive at your desired image.

Let’s think about it using an example that’ll hopefully be familiar to most musicians: songwriting.

The songwriting process is your brand strategy, and the end result (the finished song) is your brand. Each of the various parts of a song (verse, pre-chorus, chorus, bridge, etc.) represent different parts of a brand strategy, such as marketing, brand identity, and so on.

During the writing process you think of the story you want the song to tell. In doing so, you aim to connect with your fans over a shared experience or emotion – that’s the entire purpose of writing a song.

Sometimes it can take a long time to write a song, and while some parts may seem more important than others, you can’t have a complete song without each part receiving the attention it deserves.

The same is true for a brand strategy. As a musician, you might feel your social media presence is more important than, say, your website, but you need both to function properly.

Alternatively, you might think that you don’t need to conduct market research. But without it, you won’t know what sets you apart from everyone else and what you can use as your unique marketing points.

At the most basic level, being a musician is about making music. However, if you want to get your name out there (which most musicians do) then you’ll need to work out your brand identity and brand strategy.

Conclusion

Branding is as important for musicians as any other form of business. In fact, branding is something musicians have always done, but haven’t necessarily given it the industry title.

Either way, it’s a vital process for creating a successful identity as an artist.

If you’re a musician in need of effective branding, contact Gee Productions. We can help refine your brand identity and developing an effective brand strategy. What’s more, we know how important this is for musicians. Get in touch for a free consultation and see how we can help.

 

How Musiversal Helped Me Take My Music to the Next Level

Guitar, Guitar Pick and Piano

How Musiversal Helped Me Take My Music to the Next Level

In my spare time outside of this business I like to make music. I recently began recording my first track of the year and decided to try out a new platform, Musiversal, to see if I could take it to the next level.

In short, it gave me everything I needed and more, and now I’m a big fan. I thought I’d take this opportunity to share my experience with you in the hopes it’ll get you hooked too.

What is Musiversal?

Musiversal is basically an online platform for hiring session musicians. Rather than simply relying on the same old samples you can access through production software, it allows you to hire session musicians to record real parts for your songs.

The site uses only top talent as its session musicians. There are some artists on there who have toured with major musical talent, so you know they’re credible musicians in their own right.

You can pick from a wide range of instruments, styles, and functions. Musiversal has you covered for bass, drums, vocals, keys, mixing, mastering, and a lot more. You have access to the right styles for your track and can listen to samples before making your selection.

How Does it Work?

The track I wrote is called “It’s True”. It’s about my feelings when I first met my wife, who is the love of my life. I’m sure it’s something many people can relate to. I chose a mix of rock and modern psychedelia, and recorded my vocals, acoustic guitar and midi instruments on my DAW.

What the song really lacked was decent bass and drum tracks. I searched for samples and loops on my DAW but nothing really fitted the mood. After taking a break to recoup I was hit by the almost too-perfect Facebook ad: Musiversal, record with real musicians. Better yet, it offered a 14-day free trial.

I jumped over to the website, took a look around, and decided it might be exactly what I was looking for. And with a 14-day free trial, there wasn’t much to lose. After the trial ends, you choose from one of the 3 subscription plans:

  • Essential (5 sessions a month)
  • Pro (unlimited sessions a month)
  • Business (terms to be discussed directly)

I chose the Essential plan, created my account, and booked my first session within a few minutes. Each session is 30 minutes via Zoom, during which you discuss your track and requirements with your chosen musician.

As part of the process you access the musician’s availability, and upload any files if needed. This gives them the chance to listen to your track in advance so they can come up with some ideas. Obviously this is a big help with the relatively short meeting times.

Musiversal sends you an email confirmation, and then 24 hours before the session you get a Zoom link for the meeting and an Audiomovers link for the audio stream.

I started with drums and chose Nate Barnes. It’s safe to say Nate was a great guy to work with. I explained my direction and he nailed it in 3 takes. After listening to my song he even said it was catchy!

Nate sent me the drum audio files within 24 hours and that was that.

Next, I went with Pablo Arruda for the bass track. I followed the same process as before and sent him the audio files, luckily this time with the drums included. Obviously, drums and bass are fairly synchronous instruments, so this was a big help.

In fact, I told Pablo that he could improvise whatever he felt would fit with the drum track. He said he was impressed with Nate’s skills and that he agreed this would be the best way forwards. Within 2 takes I had my bass track. Perfect!

What Happens Next?

Now that I’ve got the bare instruments down, including the next-level bass and drums, I’m working on my vocals a bit more. Once I’ve completed that, I’ll send it off for mixing and mastering.

I’ll probably use Musiversal for this too. While these services aren’t included in the subscription, they’re pay-per-mix and the prices are pretty reasonable.

In short, I’m a complete convert. I’ve been incredibly impressed with the level of service the musicians provided, and the benefit of working with such industry experts is that they bring their own knowledge to the table too.

Musiversal is arguably going to change the way we create music. It offers you the services of pro session musicians, something that was only reserved for a select few in the past.

So if you’re a musician looking to take your songs to the next level, why not give Musiversal a try? It’s super easy to understand, is highly accessible, and has loads of great musicians to choose from.

Is Professional Graphic Design and Branding Important for Musicians?

Is Professional Graphic Design and Branding Important for Musicians?

Is Professional Graphic Design and Branding Important for Musicians?

Musicians arguably have a good starting point when it comes to branding. Their music is their unique contribution, meaning musicians often have a firm grasp of who they are.

But like anyone who sells products or services, musicians need strong branding to really make their mark on the industry. Therefore it’s vital for musicians to work on their branding, a large part of which is graphic design.

What is branding?

Branding is different to a brand. A brand is your company identity, summarized as the gut feeling customers have when presented with your product (in this case music).

Branding, on the other hand, is the process of shaping this brand in the minds of customers. If your brand is the result, branding the efforts you take to get there.

There are plenty of different methods you can use as part of the branding process, but not all of these are applicable to musicians.

Brand identity, defined as the name, tone, and visuals, is of course relevant, as is product packaging. In this case, product packing obviously refers to visuals on your albums and music releases.

Let’s look at an example of branding in music: Björk. Even those who aren’t fans of her music know her name and are probably aware of at least one song. Why? Because Björk has a powerful brand and knows how to handle branding.

Björk’s brand, in short, is Icelandic space princess. She’s “weird” and embraces that with every musical release. Her music is experimental, avant garde, and very niche, but it works.

Importantly, too, Björk’s branding changes with each album. She constantly reinvents her image, yet still manages to remain consistent and the dominant voice in her niche.

If you’re unfamiliar with her music, look up her albums in series: Debut, Post, Homogenic, and her more recent releases Volta and Biophilia. Seeing the massive differences between each album’s identity will help you to understand the power of branding for musicians.

Of course, this exercise is possible with almost any musician, although some have much stronger branding than others. That’s why Björk is a good example: her power for branding is very strong.

The cornerstone of branding: graphic design

But what does all of this boil down to for musicians? Simply put, good graphic design. Obviously your music is the product you’re selling, but like any business, it needs to be wrapped in sellable and unique packaging to really complete it.

Music is almost as visual as it is aural. Whether it’s album covers, music videos, or merch, songs are supported by visual elements.

These visual elements also help to strengthen a musician’s overall identity through association with powerful graphics that stand out from the crowd. At the most basic level, this will be a strong logo, but it goes much deeper than that.

Graphics play an important role in marketing, and using the same graphics across multiple platforms is the easiest way to create a coherent brand.

For musicians, these platforms include:

• Social media (Facebook, Instagram, etc.)
• Spotify and other streaming platforms
• YouTube
• Personal websites
• Album art

Of course, the list goes on, but the point is that your graphics should be adapted to the specific platform on which they’re being used.

It’s important to understand how each platform works in order to adapt graphics to suit. Here’s a brief rundown of the most important:

YouTube

Since its creation, YouTube has been an important platform for new artists trying to get their name out there. Look at Justin Bieber, for example, who was discovered on the site.

A YouTube channel gives plenty of opportunities to present your personal brand, from banner images and profile pictures to video thumbnails.

Visuals will help grab a potential viewer’s interest and tempt them into clicking on a video. After all, if they don’t know your music they’ll need something to hook them in.

Band/musician websites

A website is still the most useful central hub. It’s where you can collect and release information directly to fans, including news, music, tour dates, and merch.

As with any business, a website should be the end point of any marketing efforts.

Therefore, it’s important for it to stand out and really reflect your brand.

The good thing, you have ultimate control over a website’s visuals. Even a simple WordPress site can be transformed into a visual masterpiece with the right graphic design.

On a website, graphics will include your band logo, typography, color scheme, and so on. There’s a lot to think about on a website, so it’s worth getting right.

Album art

Although physical music releases have been on the decline, digital albums still need cover art.

Album covers are vital visual hooks for converting potential listeners into fans. It’s common for people to pick up an album based on its cover even before they know the music.

Graphic design for album covers presents a unique challenge. It’s important to get the branding right while also having complete freedom over how you achieve this.

Competition is fierce in the music industry, and one way to stand out is with incredible album artwork.

Marketing as a musician

The bottom line is that graphics should be marketable, and form an important part of the branding process.

Of course, they’re not the only part. It’s also necessary to have a clear brand strategy (how you plan to arrive at your end goal) in order to make best use of your branding efforts.

But good graphics mean strong branding. As a musician’s following grows, they have more opportunities to market themselves.

These strong graphics then have a wider reach and bring in more people. Over time the cycle repeats, each time with more success.

Getting graphic design right

As a musician, you might already have a strong idea of what image you want to portray.

But this doesn’t always translate into marketable materials that can be used across multiple platforms for best impact.

The best option is to hire a professional graphic designer, particularly one with marketing experience.

They will know how to translate your brand identity into a successful set of graphics and a relating branding process.

If this is something you need as a musician, contact Gee Productions. We are experienced graphic designers and marketers who know exactly how to sell your brand.

We’ll work with you to create your brand and related branding and brand strategy efforts. We can even take care of your website design and logo.

What is Clubhouse and How Can I Use it for My Brand?

Clubhouse App

What is Clubhouse and How Can I Use it for My Brand?

Whether for good or bad, Clubhouse has received a lot of publicity in recent months. This is thanks in part to the large number of celebrities using the platform, which, as usual, has drawn people in.

But what is Clubhouse, and is there any way you can use it for branding purposes? The answer to the second part is yes, and we’ll explain how shortly.

What is Clubhouse?

Clubhouse is a voice-only social media network. It’s divided into rooms, which are based on established topics, or simply whatever the poster is thinking about. These rooms can have a maximum of 5,000 participants, but that doesn’t mean everyone gets a voice.

Here are a couple of examples to understand the format:

• Conversational podcasts with some level of audience engagement
• A Zoom call with no cameras
• Old-school party lines (without the massive phone bills)

Clubhouse basically sits at the crossroads of all these concepts. It’s novel in the sense that it’s literally just audio. The only pictures you’ll find are display photos, and don’t even think about video.

How do Rooms Work?

A room is essentially a forum on Clubhouse in which participants discuss a topic. This can be something fairly general, like a place, or something more specific, such as gardening hacks, SaaS, faith, and so on.

The current limit on a room is 5,000 people. You start by listening in, but if you want to contribute you have to “raise a hand”. The creator or moderator of that particular room can then decide if they want to let you say something.

Rooms can be opened or closed at will, and currently the content isn’t recorded (officially on the app, anyway). People are getting round this by screen recording and live streaming.

While there can be thousands of people in a room, they’re not as lively as that might sound. They function more like a conference call or moderated panel, with people only being able to contribute when a moderator lets them.

Rooms can be social, open, or closed. Open is completely free to join, social is a room that only mutual followers can join, and closed is invite only. You’ll also find clubs on the app, which are groups that create recurring rooms around different topics.

How Can I Get It?

Currently, Clubhouse is only available on iOS, and you need an invite from an existing member. This setup is for two main reasons:

1. Limiting accessibility creates a surge in demand (particularly after Elon Musk showed up on the app).
2. There are fewer iOS users in the world, and the creators were concerned about the servers crashing.

An Android version is in development, but there’s currently no word about when it’ll be released.

Does Clubhouse Have Any Downsides?

The app’s creators naively thought they could release an app with little to no internal moderation. How wrong they were. After only a few months, racism and hate speech became major issues on the platform because, well, that’s what happens.

Luckily, this has since been overcome, and moderation is much stricter. In fact, the platform has become very popular with Black and Asian creators. Actress Tiffany Hadddish became the first user with 1 million followers, and Daniel Dae Kim and Lisa Ling recently moderated a room discussing violence about Asian Americans.

How Can Clubhouse Help My Brand?

Clubhouse offers a new route for interaction with fans for a range of brands, particularly for musicians. Fans love interaction with their favorite artists and companies, and Clubhouse offers the chance to see a more human side.

While streaming on something like Instagram offers accessibility, Clubhouse is about discussion. Think of it like a Reddit AMA but with voices. It would be really easy to set up a room, have fans join, and discuss music or other topics.

In fact, you could even use it as a performance space. A room was recently set up in which 40 cast members recreated the Lion King musical. As you can see, it’s got plenty of potential from a music perspective.

The format could work well for any brand, particularly those based on niche expertise. For example, if you run some kind of food-based business, Clubhouse would give you the ability to discuss recipes or share insights.

Another option, theoretically, is to use the platform for influencing. While it’s not as visual as Instagram, something like a beauty or lifestyle brand could arrange product reviews or discussions to generate interest.

In short, all brands could benefit from the level of access Clubhouse provides fans. It’s arguably more personal than existing platforms, and it offers the chance for you to showcase your expertise on specific subjects. This, of course, is an excellent way to build credibility and reach out to your audience.

Conclusion

Clubhouse offers loads of potential for brands to expand their reach. It focuses more on a human aspect than other social apps, and this can easily be used to your advantage.

Of course, the current challenge is getting on the app. If you know someone with invites, it’ll be worth getting on board while it’s seeing such massive growth. Taking advantage of the surge in demand would definitely work in your favor.

And you never know, you might even be able to connect with some of your favorite celebs.

The 7 Types of Logos – Which is Right for Your Brand?

7 Logo Types

The 7 Types of Logos – Which is Right for Your Brand?

We all know that a logo is the cornerstone of a business’s branding efforts. They are the visual symbol your customers remember and associate with your company.

Of course, you want to make sure it’s just right for this purpose. Perhaps the best starting point is to decide which of the 7 logo types is right for your business.

Didn’t know there are 7 different types of logo? You do now! Here’s a rundown of each to help you decide.

The 7 types of logo

Generally speaking, logos will involve text, images, or both. But it gets a bit more involved than that.

1. Lettermarks

Also known as a monogram logo, a letter mark consists of (you guessed it) letters. To keep things short and sweet, these logos rely on initialisms: the first letter of each word in the company name.

Lettermark Logos

Think NASA, IBM, HBO, and so on. In fact, these logos are so strongly associated with their brands that many of us don’t even know what they stand for.

The fundamental part of a good lettermark is the font. Whether you design it yourself or pick a readymade one, it needs to stand out and be simple yet memorable. Just consider the branding potential of NASA’s logo.

Monogram logos are ideal for companies with long names – they help to make the company more memorable. After all, your customers only need to remember a few letters rather than something like International Business Machines Corporation (IBM).

2. Wordmarks

Workmarks, or logotypes, are a similar concept to lettermarks. As the name implies, they use a whole word (the company’s name).

Wordmarks Logo Type

They’re best for companies with a short, succinct brand name, usually one word. Think Visa or – better yet – Google.

Google arguably encompasses everything that’s right about wordmarks. They have a short, catchy business name and iconic typography. Pretty much anyone who’s been near a computer could describe their logo to you.

As with lettermarks, the right font is crucial. It should reflect your business: a fashion brand would use something elegant; a security firm, something bold and secure.

When to use

Lettermarks and wordmarks can be used in similar situations. You might be tempted to jump on either at this point, but hold off. Not every company will benefit from basing their logo around their name.

Consider these points:

• A lettermark is useful if you have a long business name.
• A wordmark is a good choice if you want people to remember your name, particularly if it’s distinctive.
• Both are easy to replicate and versatile across all marketing and branding strategies.
• Detail is vital: a clear font that reflects the nuance of your business is a must.

3. Pictorial marks

Also known as a logo symbol, a pictorial mark is just that: a picture or symbol. Customers being able to recognize your brand simply by seeing a picture is a sign of excellent marketing.

You probably don’t need many examples of this, but think Apple, Twitter, Snapchat, the World Wildlife Foundation; the list is endless.

Pictorial Mark Logo Type

Pictorial marks can be a reflection of your company name (again, Apple), a more abstract relation to your product’s function (the Snapchat ghost), or create an emotional response in your customer (the WWF panda).

This type of logo is arguably better suited to well-established brands, but even they started somewhere. However, Apple’s logo originally had text, so bear this in mind.

4. Abstract marks

An abstract logo is simply an image that isn’t something recognizable. Unlike a bird or apple, they’re things like Pepsi’s circle, Nike’s swoosh, or Adidas’s… thing.

Abstract Mark Logo Type

Abstract logos offer a lot of freedom but also require plenty of work to establish the right feeling in your consumer. Sometimes this can be more straightforward: the Nike logo symbolizes movement. Other times it’s a bit more challenging (Pepsi’s logo, for example).

Again, the key here is cultivation of emotion in the minds of your consumers. Therefore, abstract marks require solid marketing plans and commitment.

5. Mascot logos

Simply put, a mascot logo is a character that becomes associated with your brand. By including them in your marketing campaigns, the link is immediate and recognizable. What’s more, it gives you a free spokesperson for your brand.

Mascot Logo Design

Some examples include the KFC colonel, Mr. Peanut from Planter’s, the Michelin Man, even Mickey Mouse.

Mascots are fun, often cartoon-based, and can appeal to adults and children in equal measure.

When to use

Mascots, pictorial marks, and abstract marks offer similar pros and cons. Consider these points:

• Abstract and pictorial marks are useful if you have a long brand name.
• However, they can be tricky if you’re a new business. Getting to the point where customers know your image takes time and money.
• All 3 are useful if you want to do international (or multi-language) business and your name doesn’t translate well.
• Mascots offer a massive range of marketing potential, particularly towards families.

6. Combination marks

You can probably guess by now what a combination mark is. Simply put, it’s a combination of text and image. There are different methods of combining them, including using the text within the pictorial image.

Combination Marks Logo Type

Take, for example, Pringles, Burger King, and Doritos. All offer iconic brand images that you immediately recognize.

They offer versatility and a good way to begin the association between your brand name and its chosen image. Apple and Twitter are both examples of this. Over time, they phased the text out because people know who they are.

Combination marks are a good choice for new businesses that want their brand image to be primarily picture-based, either now or in the future.

7. Emblems

An emblem is basically the more classical version of a combination mark. They include text and image; the text may be as simple as the business name, or might include a slogan.

Starbucks is a good example, as is almost any automotive company or school. Emblems are striking and rely on their traditional appearance to establish a feeling of trust in their consumers.

Emblems Logo Type

Emblems often require high levels of detail, which can restrict their marketing potential slightly. If you want something striking on a business card, for example, an emblem might not be the right choice.

However, you can overcome this by keeping your emblem design bold and striking. Think Harley Davidson, which is widely known to work well on clothing and smaller items.

When to use

Emblems and combination marks share similarities in their appearance but differ in use. Consider:

• A combination mark is great for new businesses because they’re easy to make unique.
• What’s more, they quickly establish a link between a visual and your company name.
• Emblems have the potential to be popular, but you need to put a lot more work into the design to keep them simple yet full of impact.

Conclusion

Hopefully one of the 7 types of logo will be the right fit for your brand.

But if it sounds like a challenge to pick the right one, contact Gee Productions. We’re happy to set you up with a logo that truly reflects your brand.

Our consultations are free and we’ll go over everything we need to get started.

Do you drink Starbucks coffee because of their logo?

Starbucks Coffee

Do you drink Starbucks coffee because of their logo?

Most likely not.

Then why do you?

Here’s my wife’s reasons why:

  •  White chocolate mocha
  • That “ooowee good” feeling
  • Relaxing atmosphere
  • Good memories with friends
  • Customer service
  • Loyalty program

I don’t drink coffee but here’s my reasons why I like Starbucks:

  • How it makes my wife feel
  • Bagels with cream cheese
  • Very Berry Hibiscus
  •  Chill music
  • Good memories with friends
  • Customer service

What can we learn from this?

Although a logo is an important part of a business it’s not the main reason why customers become fans.

Customers become fans based on how your brand makes them feel, an emotional connection.

And whenever a customer sees your logo they’ll recall their experience with your brand, whether good or bad.

How does your brand make customers feel?

Brand vs Identity vs Branding

The Basics: Brand vs Identity vs Branding

The Basics: Brand vs Identity vs Branding

Why Building Your Brand is the Cornerstone of Success

It shouldn’t be a secret that branding is the cornerstone of success for any business. But unfortunately many companies don’t give it the attention it deserves.

As branding experts, we know the power it has over a business’s success. That’s why we’ve put together this article: it’s designed to help you understand why branding is so important.

We’ll cover what exactly we mean by a brand, what a brand identity is, and some comprehensive information about branding.

What is a brand?

This might seem like a fairly simple question to answer, but what is a brand?

A brand might refer to a company’s logo or its identity, but these alone aren’t a brand.

In short, a brand is a set of assets relating to a business. Many of these are intangible and built around their relationship to their customers.

For example, a brand includes:

  • An emotional connection
  • A range of feelings associated with that company
  • A promise to offer a good product or service

These might sound like incredibly generic concepts, and to a certain extent they are. However, they’re all based around the way a company offers itself to its customer base. In other words, a brand is credibility.

Take a minute to think of some top-name brands. These might be companies like Apple or Coca-Cola. While their credibility might be debatable in some regards, their customers definitely hold them in high regard.

People love brands like Apple and they trust them. Here you can see the benefit of emotional connections between a company and their customers.

What is brand identity?

If the concept of a brand is so fleeting and intangible, is the same true for a brand’s identity? No, a brand’s identity is essentially the opposite of what a brand is.

Brand identity is the range of assets that influences the way customers perceive a brand. They’re things that set one brand apart from another and help a company to solidify their position in the minds of consumers.

Importantly, things you might have considered to be a brand actually relate to brand identity. Things like logos, website design, color schemes, custom fonts, these are all part of brand identity.

Brand identity is what you see about a brand. Think again of the two major companies referenced above. Coca-Cola has one of the most instantly recognizable brand identities in the world. This is arguably part of their massive success.

Similarly, anyone could point out an Apple product. Even without seeing the logo, their cool, sleek product design is another part of their brand identity.

The key to great brand identity is consistency. Creating a consistent and holistic identity for your brand will do wonders for its success.

Of course, this is one of the main roles of a designer: they help to build a brand through its identity. A good designer will create the intangible (emotional connections) through the tangible (recognizable logos).

What is branding?

Now what we have a better understand of a brand and brand identity, we can discuss the concept of branding. Branding is the process of combining the two.

Perhaps the best way to understanding the process is through the words of successful marketer Marty Neumeier. Marty claims that branding is the process of creating potentially millions of brands, one unique brand in each of your customers’ minds.

Similarly, he states, “a brand is a result. It’s a customer’s gut feeling about a product, service, or company.” By this, he means that your goal is not so much selling a product or service, but the associated feeling that draws customers to your company.

Branding, therefore, is the process of creating this feeling within your potential market. It uses identity to create an image in the minds of your customers, the result of which is a successful brand.

It begins with research: what your customers want and what you will give them. Next comes strategy, the process of how your company will give it to them.

Once you have this in hand, then you cover brand identity. This is based around your strategy and assets, and how these combine to create your unique niche.

Only once this is completed can you move on to what people believe branding to be: advertising. Advertising is basically creating your brand identity in the minds of potential customers, hoping they’ll perceive you in the desired way.

It’s up to the specific company how they want to proceed with branding, but it’s essentially the process communicating your desired identity. As mentioned, your brand is the result of this successful communication.

Strong and successful branding comes about through long-term strategies built around a tight concept and unique identity. It’s not a guaranteed process, but the better the strategy, the more likely you’ll be to succeed.

Conclusion

In short, a brand is the result of the successful process of branding using a unique brand identity.

Having a clear picture at every stage will result in a strong and successful brand.

Here at Gee Productions, we’re experts in brands, and we bring our knowledge to each and every business we work with.

If your business needs to build its brand, contact us to see how we can help.

What is Brand Strategy and What Does it Mean for Your Business?

Brand Strategy Services

What is Brand Strategy and What Does it Mean for Your Business?

Brand strategy is a term thrown around in the world of marketing. From a business perspective, you might think of it as your logo, font, graphic design, and so on. But it’s so much more than that.

As branding experts, we thought we’d put together an article on what exactly we mean by brand strategy and why it’s a vital component for any business looking for success.

What is brand strategy?

Brand strategy arguably encompasses everything about your brand. It’s entirely centered around where you want to go – your destination.

Think of it like a GPS navigation system. You type in your intended destination and it tells you how to get there. But importantly, it does so in a structured and detailed way. It doesn’t just highlight your end point and say “off you go”, it states every step for getting there.

Well this is what brand strategy does. Inevitably, your end goal is to provide your potential customers with a product or service that you’ve decided they need. Your brand strategy details how you’ll provide them with this, from concept to execution.

It includes:

• Brand identity (logo, website design, name, etc.)
• Competitive positioning and market research
• Necessary tools (website, copy, etc.)
• How you’ll create and retain customer loyalty

The starting point of your brand strategy is your core principles. These often include philosophies of production and supply, emotional connection with customers, consistency, flexibility, and more.

Designing your brand strategy around your core principles will result in a much more comprehensive and applicable set of steps.

It also covers things like clarity of your company’s message. For example, developing a clear brand strategy allows you to produce consistent brand messages across a variety of channels, such as social media, your website, and even printed marketing.

Lack of consistency in a brand strategy quickly becomes obvious. In a worst case scenario, potential customers will leave more confused than when they found you and will have no idea how or why they need what you’re offering.

So, in short, a brand strategy is your road map to success. It should factor into everything you do from identity and research to customer interaction and marketing. Clarity and consistency are cornerstones of an effective brand strategy.

Brand strategy is about clarifying your purpose. It forces you to ask: “Besides making money, why does my brand exist? Where do I see my brand in 10 years, and what steps must I take to get there?”

Knowing these questions before you start marketing, or even developing a business strategy, will help make things much clearer and more streamlined.

A great example of an almost perfect brand strategy is Tesla. While they’re currently one of the most valuable companies in the world, this has never been their main objective.

Since Tesla’s inception, its goal has been to revolutionize the sustainable transport industry. Within this was the secondary goal of accelerating technological development and making it more accessible to a wider market.

In short, their goal is sustainable transportation that’s not only environmentally friendly, but also stylish. Each year they’re able to improve the design and function of their vehicles, and over time make them more affordable.

Having an effective brand strategy in place allows Tesla to keep their efforts streamlined and consistently reach their goals. It’s through brand strategy that the company has built a loyal following and become so financially successful.

Why is it important?

The answer to this question should now be fairly obvious. Brand strategy is important because it dictates everything you do for getting your brand out there and into the minds of your customers.

Having a clear brand strategy will also make these steps much easier. If you have a clear picture of what your customers want and how you’ll give it to them, you’ll have a much greater chance of success.

Brand strategy impacts the following vital areas:

• Market analysis and company objectives
• Managing assets and launching brand identity
• Deciding and refining your business focus
• Design and marketing

Coming up with an effective business strategy should be your first step, even before deciding on things like a name. The only bit of information you need to start a brand strategy is your business idea – everything else flows from there.

You use this idea to do your market research to understand your potential niche. In turn, this impacts your business model and asset management. Having a brand strategy first will refine your scope much more effectively.

Similarly, a brand strategy will make it much easier to produce your brand identity, which we discussed in more detail in a previous post. Brand identity includes assets such as logo, website, business cards, font type, colors, and so on. In short, anything related to the visuals of your brand.

Without a strategy, these could become unrelated and disparate. With a strategy, they’re much more consistent. For example, prior market research will give you an indication of what works in the market and what doesn’t. This information is vital for deciding the visual aspects of your company.

Conclusion

To summarize, then, brand strategy is vital for success. This is true regardless of the size of your company, as everyone benefits from better business results.

The important thing with brand strategy is that it allows you to articulate your brand. By the end you should be able to summarize your business into a sentence; that’s the result of a good brand strategy.

Here at Gee Productions, we’re brand experts. If you feel your company is missing the vital tools to make it really stand out, we can help.

Our process will help you to build and understand the right brand strategy to take your business where it needs to go. Contact us for a free consultation.