What is a brand?
Brand perception is as old as humanity itself and is developed through the exchange of perceptions between individuals and the communities to which they belong. In this process, every person can perceive himself as a personal brand, because characteristics, experience, skills and individual appearance determine a certain understanding of values among other people, be it one's own family or friends and colleagues.
What makes a brand and how does it differ from other brands? Brands are created by certain characteristics and values attributed to them. We humans tend to reflect human values and characteristics in all our creations, so brands are often described as characters and identities with certain behaviors, for example, being discreet, elegant, loud, quiet or dazzling. These characteristics are expressed or visualized through appearance and demeanor. The combination of characteristics, appearance and demeanor in turn results in a brand image that, depending on its conciseness and clear differentiators from other brands, is imprinted in the target group's memory and can ideally be described blindly. If one closes one's eyes and tries to imagine a well-known brand such as the Google search engine, one begins to describe not only the colorful logo, but also the playful and entertaining illustrations that draw attention to daily events or people from history, which expresses the benefits of the search engine. The Google browser, on the other hand, is rather plain in design and focuses more on simplicity in use for users. Digital products often follow this scheme in brand development. Modern technical applications are designed to be as user-centric as possible, with an interface that can be habitually understood and used without difficulty or accessibility. If, on the other hand, one looks at the brand image and marketing of these digital applications, it is noticeable that this is usually also designed in a colorful or at least high-contrast manner in order to convey a certain attitude or emotional language. There is an attempt to reflect the needs and emotions of the target group in the brand. Users feel most comfortable in familiar surroundings with familiar values and then tend not to question them. Google has managed to win the trust of users in the long term with the help of its brand presence and the interactive brand experience. Google's product range is very diverse, and in addition to subscriptions, the American company also earns money from the analysis of user data in cooperation with third-party providers. For most users, however, Google's business model is not a problem, they share their data trusting the successful brand, yet there are enough alternatives among browser providers that use far less user data for profit. The browser Google Chrome, on the other hand, has emerged as a strong winner.
What is a brand image and what is a brand message? A brand consists not only of a logo and its components such as color, shapes and fonts. A brand also includes knowledge about the respective target group and its potential customer loyalty. For this, a brand needs a certain language, be it audio-visual or in printed and interactive formats. Tonality is crucial in addressing a selected target group, and the use of communication media also requires sustained strategic development. A brand image begins to take shape when several characteristic components have been developed for a brand.
According to the study, the average human attention span is only 8 seconds! “The true scarce commodity is increasingly human attention.”Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella,
Relevance and conciseness
IAM MIA offers the development of brand experiences and relevant brand messages. Through many years of experience and diverse project challenges, IAM MIA can support companies not only conceptually and creatively in their professional appearance, but also strategically in the communication of specific brand messages. Ideally, brands should be used in a holistic, cross-media and future-oriented manner. The brand image can be developed further depending on the target group for which it is to be appealing and comprehensible. The customer is always the focus, and changes in needs and behavior must be taken into account. Content should be relevant and quick for customers to grasp, because digitalization has ensured that the attention span, according to a study by Microsoft, is just 8 seconds, which means a brand and its language must deliver attention and targeted information in the shortest possible time. In addition, a brand must be appealing and concise to the customer.
How much effort is behind a brand development?
The effort required for a brand development depends on the planned communication channels that will be strategically used in marketing and sales in the long run and it depends on which materials are to be produced for them. A brand development for a small regional supermarket will tend to focus on print media such as notices, signs, brochures and posters. A software provider, on the other hand, will have the brand experience take place predominantly on digital media, such as apps, websites and social media platforms. A printed business card has become a rarity as social sharing and general outreach takes place more and more over the Internet. However, the demand for print media is still there. The effort required to develop a brand on analog and digital editions is similar, and the technical requirements must be known in detail.
Brand research is an essential part of a brand development. Competing companies and their brand experiences can provide interesting insights into the extent to which functional and content elements are used visually to capture the attention of the target audience. Finding a suitable brand name can be a short or long process, and it pays to survey family, friends and colleagues for quick feedback. For qualitative surveys, a questionnaire can be professionally set up to provide insight into the tendential understanding or for associations to a set of selected brand names.
Brand development is usually an iterative process, which means that the brand is repeatedly adjusted and tested until the survey result clearly communicates the values that the brand name is supposed to represent.