Issue 50

Print: It’s Still an Important Brand-Building Tool

With the current focus on the importance of integrating social media in the marketing mix, the evolution of smart phones, e-readers and the necessary emphasis on sustainability and environmental responsibility, many companies are focusing heavily on electronic media when it comes to building their brands. And while we agree that e-communications are important brand-building tools, we believe it's important to maintain perspective about all media types when it comes to doing what's best for our clients. Though we have no vested interest in any particular type of media, we do have a vested interest in helping our clients build and sustain world-class brands, using whatever media is most appropriate.

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Issue 35

The Role of Packaging in Brand Identity—Not Just for Consumer Brands

Packaging design is a critical component in building a brand’s image and identity. Anyone marketing to consumers already operates from this paradigm. The same holds true though for the commercial marketplace. Whether it’s a cosmetic product, or a 5-gallon pail of commercial paint, the packaging offers a huge opportunity to positively impact a brand’s image. But what we frequently hear from many business-to0business companies is, “the packaging doesn’t really matter, our customers place their orders via catalog”. Or in other words, they don’t need the package to sell the product on a retail shelf.

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Issue 42

7 Qualities of Great Brand Names

Developing a great brand name — one that is distinctive, memorable, easy to pronounce and emotionally appealing — is a critical element in creating any brand identity. We all know that great brand names can differentiate companies, products or services in crowded markets. They can help create brand awareness, increase brand preference and build brand loyalty. But it’s important to point out that a name on its own is just a word — an empty shell — until it is filled with user experiences created by hundreds of interactions that bring it to life creating meaning and value.

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Issue 38

Effectively Managing a Global Brand Identity

Managing global brands has never been more important. On one level, all brands have global reach as a result of the Internet, whether intended or not. But this doesn’t make them global brands. While it is true that the world is much smaller as a result of the Internet, affordable travel and the reduction of trade barriers, a truly global brand takes more than having a multi-national presence. A global brand is a brand that is intentionally marketed, bought, sold and recognized in various countries around the world.

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Issue 41

Beyond Consistency: A New Approach to Identity Standards

Strong brands are built on more than rigid adherence to a set of rules and regulations. They have personalities and soul. And there's an opportunity to express that soul at every touchpoint—whether it's print, electronic or interpersonal communications, a trade show or a promotion. As one of the first expressions of a new or revitalized brand, identity standards should convey the brand's true essence. They have the ability to generate enthusiasm and unleash the creative spirit.

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Issue 56

Experience Design: It All Begins with Understanding Human Relationships

When you’ve been in the business of building brands as long as we have, trends ebb and flow, and management philosophies shift with each new disruptive book that is published. Then, you hear terms being used like UX, BX and CX. When we first heard “experience design” we thought: isn’t this what we’ve always been doing? We decided to look into the true meaning of the term “experience design” and uncover how closely it ties to human nature.

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Issue 31

10 Critical Success Factors in Launching a New Brand Identity

Whether you’re repositioning an existing brand or developing an identity for a new brand, product or service, your success depends not only on a distinctive brand strategy and visual identity system, but on a well-executed launch. If you’re repositioning your brand, you’re making a change and everyone who has a relationship with your brand needs to know about it. If you’re launching a new brand, you need to create that relationship from the ground up. Either way, your audiences need to hear about it repeatedly so they remember what your brand stands for and why it’s relevant to them. In the end, it’s all about creating loyalty so they choose your brand over the competition.

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Issue 47

Using Audits to Enhance Your Brand’s Performance

Once you have outlined a well-articulated brand strategy, you know that you need to manage your brand against the strategy and implement accordingly to achieve your brand vision. The challenge, however, is executing against that strategy consistently over time. And things become more complex if your brand is wide-reaching involving employees, customers and suppliers worldwide. This is where audits can be extremely helpful.

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Issue 53

Rebranding: Knowing When It’s Time

When you consider all the points of engagement that carry your brand identity, and the cost associated with redesigning all of them, the idea of making the investment to redesign everything from your brand’s logo and visual identity to creating the necessary brand guidelines to enable consistent expression may seem like a monumental task. Additionally, you may suspect that a new brand name would serve you better, but you aren’t sure. Will it help you stand apart from the competition and help increase brand recognition?

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Issue 55

Visual Identity Systems: Why Your Brand Identity Needs More Than a Logo

A visual identity system is a critical investment in your brand to build familiarity and recognition. You might be thinking, “What is it exactly, and why do I need one? Isn’t our logo enough?” Comprised of a color palette, typography, imagery—from photography to illustration—grids and graphics, a visual identity system gives your audiences cues to associate with your brand beyond the logo.

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Issue 45

Building Strong Brands in a Fluctuating Market

During the last recession, some brands slashed marketing budgets while others embarked upon brand revitalization efforts. When the economy rebounded, those companies who invested in their brands—Cargill, Boise Cascade and UPS, to name a few—were rewarded. We want to share a few thoughts on what it takes to build strong brands in tougher times. And yes, we believe it is possible, but does take leadership and ingenuity.

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Issue 49

Taglines: To Use or Not To Use

In tough economic times, companies are looking for more efficient ways to market themselves, make an impression and be memorable. Which seems to have a lot of people wondering, “Should I have a tagline?” To use or not to use, that is the question. Taglines can cement a brand in the mind of consumers and have greater staying power than likely imagined (a la Nike’s “Just do it.”), but, depending on your business, a tagline may or may not be appropriate.

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About identityWise

Strategic and discerning, identityWise® shares our perspectives on branding. We explore the brand issues that matter to you. From positioning and brand management to identity design. Actionable insight awaits.

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