The term “brand” has to be one of the most-used words in the marketing world. But what do we actually mean when we discuss a brand? It might seem like a simple question; in reality, it’s anything but.

Chapman Consulting’s MD Sarah understands that, today, a brand and its identity are so much more than just the company name, logo and tagline. It’s now the perception a client has when they hear or think of your company. This complexity surrounding brands and their identity has made getting it right more important than ever.

What makes a good brand?

A brand comes from the relationship between the organisation, its product or service and the audience. Sarah and our Design Director, Jen, agree that what differentiates a good brand from the rest is the ability to go beyond brand identity – to a point where there’s a solid strategy in place, enabling the audience to truly connect to the company values.

There needs to be an understanding of the importance of a brand experience; delivering on aspects such as the interactions with customers, sensory experiences, marketing messages, and encapsulating all of that into the essence of the brand. Brands need to consider all the connections that exist within a brand, on multiple levels, through various different touchpoints.

Our Design Director believes that the most successful brands are ones where customers have become self-appointed brand champions; the brand has created a story and demonstrated how it adds value to and integrates with their lives on a day-to-day basis, leading to both enhanced customer loyalty and advocacy.

How do you create a brand identity?

Branding, of course, still has its part to play when it comes to brand identity. Brand identity is the message the customer receives from the organisation and will connect product or service recognition. Part of this will certainly be delivered through visual identity, but we believe that for true success, you have to go beyond aesthetics.

The company values and USPs that you create are the building blocks to your brand. Our Design Director has found that, with strategic thinking, these foundations can help you create a more meaningful visual identity — there has to be more depth to how you present your brand than just wanting the latest fashionable colour schemes.

Common brand identity mistakes

Our Design Director let us in on some of the most common brand identity mistakes she sees; one of them being when companies think of brand identity purely as their logo, without looking at the bigger picture. Yet a new logo is meaningless if you don’t base it on company values or a mission statement that truly aligns with who you are as a business. All of these elements of an organisation are essential when it comes to creating a brand identity.

Another common mistake is when companies view creating a brand identity as a one-off project. When creating your brand identity, you’re investing in your company and this should be an ongoing development as your organisation grows, rather than a quick-fix initial project.

There can also be a desire to follow design trends but, our Design Director says, companies should strive to find a visual identity that’s not only timeless, but that truly reflects them and their values. Clients will struggle to find a deeper understanding and build a better relationship with a business if all they are focused on is staying up-to-date with the latest trends.

Why a strong brand is so important to the property and construction markets

The advent of social media provides clients with a space to voice their brand experience, and compare it with others, and this fuels their perception of brands. By having a strong brand, you can ensure you stand out from your competitors, add value to what you offer and, ultimately, boost your bottom line.

And this is of even greater importance when it comes to the property and construction sectors. As our Design Director notes, the property market, in particular, is saturated, so there’s an even greater need to stand out and provide prospects with an idea of who you are, how you work and what you stand for.

What’s more, in this market, presentation is everything. And your brand identity is almost a direct representation of what you’re offering. By creating a visually compelling, consistent and smart identity, those attributes are then perceived brand-wise. It helps to extend your brand message wider than just aesthetic.

Chapman Consulting’s brand building expertise

At Chapman Consulting, we create insight workshops to help companies develop a brand identity, working on the building blocks to create a solid foundation, allowing the visual identity to embody the company values.

With rebranding, we work to understand the reason behind the desire to rebrand. We conduct research to understand what isn’t working and improve on those areas, before starting with the workshop. We also understand that there’s an added risk when rebranding, as companies need to ensure consistency both internally and externally.

In this increasingly competitive market, there’s a growing necessity to have a strong brand identity. If this is an area you’d like to focus on in 2018, give the team at Chapman Consulting a call today – we’d love to hear from you. Take a look at some of our success stories here.