While branding simply means creating a product under a particular name and company, creative branding means building an archetype with its own unique storyline and identity. Contrary to popular beliefs, an influential and effective brand marketing is not solely reliant on visual appeal but also on the emotional attachment it stirs within its target audience. Companies and creative teams, therefore, should take extra effort in establishing a highly regarded product representation that will stand out among its crowd of competitors with credibility and superiority.
The rise of consumerism makes creative branding strategies inevitable. The competition between a sea of brands offering similar services and merchandise would only mean survival of the fittest. Only products that have captured the hearts of consumers will make it in the market. In fact, a survey by Nielsen’s Global New Product reflected that almost three-fifths or 59 percent of shoppers would opt to purchase a newly introduced item from a brand known to them. Moreover, around one-fifths or 21% of consumers stated that they would be willing to spend on a product from their preferred brand.
In a nutshell, creative branding is shaping and enhancing the way on how the global audience perceives a company. It is the conscious decision to exert control over varying elements to achieve aesthetic excellence and psychological impact upon consumers. The delivery of branding elements in a way that is steady and trustworthy brings order into a chaotic trade. It communicates consistency. People find this irresistible since it is analogous to routine and tradition – an intricately humane trait that is has remained throughout the years because it provides a sense of orderly array.
There are five elements that need to come together to structure a successful marketing campaign. Here’s everything you need to know about these elements and how you can utilize them to your brand’s favor.
The very first and crucial challenge in creative branding is to create an eye-catching design that will serve as the recognizable face of the brand. It should be something that people can easily remember. Remember how everyone was mystified when they saw the twin-tailed siren of Starbucks for the first time? It awakened people’s curiosity and soon enough, the cups became the talk of the town. Crowds fell in line and then eventually fell in love with the exquisite coffee the green mermaid has to offer. The logo became as seductive as the coffee itself and the rest is history.
Needless to say, a logo embodies the entire personality of the brand. It is the icon that invokes specific feelings associated with the product – whether happy, energetic, emotional, or indifferent. This is the tangible representation of how the company wants to be remembered by its clients. Since the imprint of a brand’s logo will appear on every facet of the merchandise, the goal is to create a strong first impression and a message of excellence and ideals.
The psychology behind branding colors establishes recall, differentiation, and association in the mind of its end users. As a key ingredient in creative branding strategies, signature brand colors have the ability to inspire positive feelings that can directly influence buying trends. For example, the color red in Coca-Cola aims to invoke a festive mood and thus, makes it an essential drink during family gatherings, especially during the holiday season.
It is critical to select a color palette that will help identify your brand from the rest. Are you going for a masculine, feminine, romantic, practical, powerful or energetic persona? Make sure that your brand color will resonate with the defining traits of your target patronage. The psychology of colors has become critical for companies to the point that large corporations have gone out of their way to trademark their colors. Some of these businesses are UPS and Tiffany.
While logos endeavor to establish the face of a brand, taglines, also known as slogans, aim to ascertain a brand’s message. The perfectly positioned words placed side by side with the logo provide a stronger context and acquaints prospective and existing clienteles with what to expect.
When the famous brand Nike decided to adopt the “Just do it.” tagline in 1988, their campaign opened doors for the expansion of shares in the North American sport-shoe trade from 18% to 43%. Some brands like Subway opted to go for forthright messaging, positioning itself as a healthy alternative through its “Eat Fresh” slogan. For brands like Nike, its abstract message resonated with billions of sports, health, and wellness aficionados who clearly don’t hesitate to stand up and get the action going. With no excuses, they just do it.
Like colors, there is also a degree of psychology associated with typefaces or fonts. Every curve, line, and word arrangement can be intricately selected to reflect a business’ unique identity and values. The readability and color of fonts also play a big role, aside from the mindset typically attributed to the following groups of characters:
- Serif. These are fonts that have little appendages at the end of each character. A popular example is the Times New Roman which is commonly used on academic papers. They express sophistication, tradition, and reverence.
- Sans Serif. Fonts like the Arial and Helvetic do not have appendages at the end of their character. The simplicity of style indicates a modern, levelheaded, and frank approach.
- Scripts. Cursive fonts such as the Edwardian and French Script border between the artistic and plain fonts.
- Decorative. The best examples are Jokerman and Curlz. These typefaces are perfect for fun and unconventional brands.
- Handwritten or freestyle. An example is the Segoe. Its similarity to a person’s penmanship expresses laid-back emotions to the consumers.
This final element is the culmination of all the other elements previously mentioned. It lies at the heart of creative branding by identifying a gap in the marketplace and positioning the brand to be the frontrunner. Branding needs to be sharp and a company can only achieve this by establishing its niche within an ever-changing commercial ground. It involves collaboration with other industries within and outside the scope of a brand’s market. The creative branding team, corporations, and influencers a product partners with directly influence how the society perceives them.
With the exponential rise of social media users, the digital space has proven itself to be an incomparable marketing tool unlike any other. It brings a distinctive voice to brands and allows them to communicate with consumers directly and personally. This new platform gives existing and rising brands the opportunity to gain client traction, get the attention of huge traders, and develop as a brand.
From inspirational content to bold and sassy remarks, all companies seem to be making the most out of their social media presence in this day and age. This leads us to the question, what steps should a brand take to create a non-conventional and effective brand marketing in the digitized community?
To be able to pinpoint the online persona a brand wants to achieve, a company should first deliberate on its trade objectives together with its target crowd. For instance, the minimalist interface of Google is designed to appeal to the average person who comes to their site for all sorts of searches and research. The simplicity of their search engine has made them into a trillion-dollar industry.
When you are attempting to build a cohesive personality online, the tone of voice and vocabulary are what is considered to be the non-negotiables. A prime example of this is Wendy’s fast-food chain. Before Twitter, they are just your typical store selling burgers, frosties, and chili. Due to their consistent snarky posts and quirky social media humor, their online following has grown ever since and people have started to favor them over competitors simply by being savage!
Brand imagery is also associated with the click-worthy videos associated with a specific brand. Take GoPro as an example. The company uses jaw-dropping and heart-stopping adventures from its athletic users, as captured in high-quality videos. This exceptional technique of letting users into the punto de vista of famous athletes is what drives consumer interaction and purchasing influence as a camera company.
Another top-of-the-line practice in creating engaging videos is tapping into the immense persuasive power of influencers. This is commonly seen in the cosmetics industry, where famous makeup artists are personally using a certain brand to achieve a trending look and an Instagram-worthy profile.
End-users want to be seen and heard. This is the reason why popular brands are specifically hiring social media managers to create personalized responses in the message and comment section of their accounts. When replies seem monotonous and boring, clients won’t feel appreciated. While dealing with hundreds of thousands of customers seems like a gargantuan task, simple tricks such as mentioning one’s name, acknowledging their concerns, and asking questions would go a long way to establish the impression of decency and reliability of a brand.
Everyone loves a business with a transparent background. There is no space for vagueness and dubious details – everything is under the limelight because it is part of who they are. While it is true that building credibility does not happen overnight, confidence in your brand and what you can offer is something that you can tap from within you. All things start from small beginnings but you can easily project an impression of expertise for your brand. No one knows the ins and outs of the product more than the owner. This is the reason why companies should not neglect the small details when establishing a brand. It is through these little, step-by-step bits of information and building blocks that one can speak from a dependable and reliable point of view. A company can also highlight the upward and downward slopes undertaken just to come up with a brand worthy of a customer’s thought. This will kindle a feeling of relatability and humanity for the brand. After all, no one is spared from our share of struggles.
Most importantly, it is ethical and practical for a brand to give back to its community. For most brands, this will seal their deal in the marketplace. This is a wise move in public relations since audiences give high regard to products promoting altruistic or philanthropic values. This is true for a local toothpaste company in the Philippines that managed to rub elbows with international brands simply by being charitable and hiring deaf employees. This is a classic example of a win-win scenario. A brand gives back to the community and the community gives back to the brand through love, patronage, and loyalty.
Creative branding through the years has evolved to become both an art and a science. On one hand, it needs a fine touch of artistic prowess which will generate a truly compelling brand identity in the consumer’s arena. On the other, it requires just the right amount and balance of all the elements to formulate and retain consumer engagement and following.
Truth be told – creative branding is not just important, it is necessary. In a commercial race where you’re competing against millions of other brands for your consumers’ interest, consideration, and currency, standing out among the crowd is the only way to go. A perfect combination of the aforementioned elements will allow a product to relay what they stand for, what they have on the table, and what makes them the top choice in the market. Bridging the gap between a brand’s product, service, and customer demands is the secret to thriving and surviving in very tough ground.
Contributed by Yen Pedrajas – Lead SEO, Removal.AI
Yen is a digital marketing and eCommerce enthusiast who loves to write and share new insights about marketing and growth hacking for startup businesses.