We’ve been covering the basics and we’ve looked at research, uncovering the internal product needs; the c onsumer target and how that market behaves. So you understand what your product does by way of a solution and you’ve tackled measuring its value to the consumer which in turn assists you to develop a positioning strategy.

It’s time to look at your brand. Visually, brands don’t just grow old gracefully they age and they need review, say every five years. The name can remain the same but the brand atmospherics needs to be aligned with an organisation’s requirements and your research should be guiding that process. So what needs to change? If you do it every 5 years the evolution needs to be gentle. Perhaps a slight modification to the type face, colour or the icon design, but beware don’t go thinking you can interpret your needs using some desktop programme made for high schools.

Brand design is a skilled art. Your job is to write the brief. Tell the graphics what you’ve discovered from your research. The target market, how the product meets the need, who you want to impact and how you want your company to be perceived. His skill is to project that using your existing logo as a foundation and if he’s wise he won’t stray to far from your familiar branding. People remember the brand and when they see too big a change their trust is impacted and we get the ‘fear or flight’ phenomenon.

Branding is not just visual, it’s sense driven. Sight; sound; touch; smell and taste, they are all criteria for impact. Add behaviour and you’ve pretty much got the mix complete. Right now some of you will be laughing out loud, “Smell, you’ll say, how does that brand anything? Think about it let’s take you blindfolded into a hospital. I bet you’ll know were you are without giving it a second thought. Hospitals have that smell. It’s clinical and it’s a generic brand sense. Here at the box, we’ve chosen orange as one of our house colours. So what will you get as an instant whiff when you arrive at our office? You’ve got it. Orange room deodorant. It’s a no brainer.

These are the little small cost items that make up brand 1%ers. It’s not just about sticking your name above the shop in Helvetica Light. The whole deal is synergistic and don’t think there are any short cuts, especially when things get tight.
If your scratching your head right now. Stop! Head down to your favourite book store and invest $30.00 in your business. Purchase a copy of ‘Brand Sense’ by Martin Lindstrom. You’ll discover more about your brand and yourself than you’ll ever believe.