At Flow, we regularly help our clients to refresh and re-energise their brands. But what is it exactly that would drive you to tattoo one motorbike manufacturer’s name on your arm rather than another? Why would you choose to be a walking advertisement for an alcoholic beverage by wearing a T-shirt you paid a premium for? What would make you adorn your car with decals featuring a particular energy drink?

It’s the brand, of course, and your loyalty to and identification with it.

Branding, by definition, is a marketing practice whereby a company creates a name, symbol or design that is easily identifiable as belonging to that organisation. It is important to note that this goes way beyond just a logo or graphic element. It’s not just your name; it’s how people see and feel about your brand, and differentiate it from another. It’s your entire customer experience – it encapsulates everything, from your logo, website and social media experiences to the way your customers experience your staff.

Key points to bear in mind when creating a brand:

  • Branding promotes recognition: keep your brand consistent and easy to recognise. A strong, consistent brand image (which often starts with a well-designed logo) will help you establish your business
  • Your brand helps to set you apart from the competition: it’s critical to stand out from the crowd
  • Your brand tells people about your business DNA: make sure your full “brand experience” tells the right story
  • A strong brand generates referrals: people love to tell others about the products or concepts they love. Once your brand is well established, word of mouth can become your most effective advertising tool. Additionally, a strong website brand strategy (employing tactics like backlinks) is critical to generating referrals or viral traffic
  • Your brand represents your promise: it’s a statement that you will deliver on your promises and claims. A professional appearance and well-strategised branding will help you build trust with consumers, potential clients and suppliers

One of the services Flow is often asked to provide for clients is a brand refresh. To do this, we like to strategically establish clients’ needs for their specific brand with an in-depth workshop. We start by taking the brand apart and then putting it back together after establishing business imperatives, clear brand values and a brand language. Only then do we redesign or rebrand, starting with the logo.

Recent examples of rebranding

Upington Special Economic Zone

Top left: old logo; top right: new logo; bottom: other logo options that were presented to the client. (Image: Flow Communications)

Glassock

Top left: old logo; top right: new logo; bottom: collateral featuring the new logo. (Image: Flow Communications)

The Insurance Crime Bureau

Top left: old logo; top right: new logo; bottom: collateral featuring the new logo. (Image: Flow Communications)

Argantic

Top left: old logo; top right: new logo; bottom: collateral showing the new logo. (Image: Flow Communications)

The best brands are built on strong ideas. When brand promises are kept, audiences respond with loyalty and affection.

Back to my opening questions: Would you agree that Harley-Davidson, Heineken and Red Bull have established themselves as leaders in their particular industries by building strong brands? These are products that are easily identifiable because of their powerful branding.

So, if your logo is looking a little limp and outdated, or if you need expert advice on reinventing your brand – from creating your initial brand strategy to the visual identity elements – Flow would love to help you.

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