A tagline starts with the values and truths that make your business what it is, it makes your business’ benefits clear to the target audience. Descriptive, inspirational or humorous, the best taglines are both a mission and an outcome.
Keeping your company’s values and overall mission in mind, list all your business features and describe every single benefit in great detail. Write down any random words that comes to mind, let Thesaurus help you if you get a bit stuck, the more words, the better. What do people say about your business, product or service? List everything, being it positive or negative.
Just as a weight loss program will always focus on selling the future results you’ll experience, your tagline needs to communicate clear benefits. You want to sell a good night sleep, not the mattress. But don’t leave out the negative words just yet, they might trigger something humorous.
When you have exhausted the word search the real fun begins. This is where you create short phrases from all the random words you've come up with. Try not to be too clever. The best taglines use very simple words combined in a way that makes you remember them. And although it is ideal to keep it as as short as possible, some of the examples below have more than ten words and they work wonders just the same.
Think clear communication and remember to be truthful. And if you’re stuck, well why don’t you get in touch with us? I might not be a Wordle master myself but I work with people who are.
Airbnb: Belong anywhere.
Old Spice: The original. If your grandfather hadn’t worn it, you wouldn’t exist.
Ronseal’s: Does exactly what it says on the tin.
The National Lottery: It could be you.
Nike: Just do it.
Apple: Think different.
Red Bull: Red Bull gives you wings
L’Oréal: Because you’re worth it.
Tesco: Every little helps.
KFC: Finger lickin’ good.
Kit Kat: Have a break. Have a Kit Kat.
Pringles: Once you pop, you can’t stop.
Pokemon : Gotta catch ’em all!
Carlsberg: Probably the best lager in the world.
Interflora: Say it with flowers.
Gillette: The best a man can get.
Toyota : Let’s go places.
Avis: We try harder.
Sprite: Obey your thirst.
Specsavers: Should’ve gone to Specsavers.
De Beers: A diamond is forever.
MasterCard: There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s MasterCard.
Uber: Move the way you want.
Get your team on board
Every person who works for your business are ambassadors for your brand.
You want them all to be engaged, hence the importance of getting your new branding understood internally. Arrange a workshop to involve your team in the process. Take each agreed value and then discuss how that value effects their day-to-day lives.
A brand that does this well is Starbucks. Regardless of which Starbucks you visit, your experience will feel similar. This is because their employees go through a rigorous training program to insure that what they value is translated into how they behave.
Take it to the public
The greatest strategic idea or the worlds finest symbol will fail if it isn’t seen, heard or understood.
Putting your branding into action is vital and choosing your promotional channels is as important as the message itself. Your brand message isn’t compelling unless the right people hear it. A combination of promotional channels create the media mix that is used to promote your brand, such as:
You want to develop a bond with your customers that is hard to break. Decide on the right channels. Decide on where and when to promote. And get your message out on a consistent basis.
Repetition reinforces recognition.
Measure your brands success
It is essential to continually monitor your brand equity so that you can focus on perceived weaknesses and potential business opportunities.
Measuring your brand performance includes evaluating internal brand behaviour (such as employee satisfaction and positive brand engagement), external perception, such as social mentions, positive press coverage and increases in sales) and your overall business performance toward your goals.
Growing and maintaining a brand is the foundation of a business. You are not only investing in design. You are also investing in maintaining a culture.
A creative brief for a brand identity design
You have done your research. Thanks! Now my job as a brand identity designer begins.
To get all relevant information about your business, I will ask you to fill out a creative brief. This is a communication tool that outlines a project’s requirements, expectations and resources. It helps ensure that everyone involved in a project are on the same page.
I listen. I learn. I question. Then I create.
Information about your business/product/ service
What are the features and attributes of your product or service?
Functional and Emotional benefits
What problems does your product or service solve? What positive emotions is felt by customers?
USP / Reasons to believe
The one meaningful reason that makes you stand out from your competitors.
Describe the brand. What values are important?
One single thought that captures the soul of the brand.
Competitors and obstacles
Understanding what the competition can offer will provide a clearer picture of where your product or service stands in the market. List main business challenges.
Decide on the most important objectives that need to be achieved to be successful.
Who are they and what are their pain points?
Tone of voice
What tone of voice will target audience best react to?
Where do you want your product or service to be in the mind of target audience?
If we were to sum up your business with a tagline... what are the key points that need to be communicated?
Budget and Schedule
A schedule should include design presentations, client feedback, content delivery and approval dates.
Practical considerations and additional information
List all elements that need to be included. Are there restrictions of any kind?
Your brand identity should be a visual summary of your business
Customers look for ways to find what is relevant to them and ignore the rest. To be one of the brands that capture their attention, you need to make your company easily recognisable. Visuals speak louder than words, more so than ever before.
Most brands are complex and it is my job to strip away the unnecessary and to draw out the essential, resulting in a clear and meaningful brand identity design that will help grow your business. Focus on one powerful idea, well told and beautifully designed.
Here’s my design principles.
Your logo must have the ability to stand out against the crowd and it should be easily recalled after just a glance. Keep it simple for easy recognition. Less is more.
A few seconds is all it takes to make a first impression, but you need to make sure your logo makes a lasting impression as well.
Your logo must represent you. It must be appropriate, tailored to your audience and easily identified with your industry. However, it must not become a “me too” version of any other similar business to yours.
Your logo will be used in a number of ways and in multiple contexts and it has to be clear and effective at any size.
Focus on your brand rather than what the latest trends are. You want your logo to be able to stand the test of time.
Your brand identity should communicate the things you do in an instance. It should be simple in structure. The easier something is to understand, the more likely people will become engaged with what you are trying to communicate.
Colours have the power to convey and communicate meanings and messages without words. It is the most important component of a logo design and by far what people remember the most, much more so than the shape or word of the logo itself.
Colours are signifiers for emotions which we are often unaware of. In fact, most of us, whether we are conscious of it or not, would make a snap judgment about a product, based on its colour alone.
Choosing the colour (or colours) that best represents your brand is no easy task as different colours can provoke very different reactions in people. However, there’s a few things I think we can all agree on. Warm colours are associated with energy and cold colours bring calmness. Black is total absorption in complete contrast to white, which is total reflection. Red is a passionate colour as it stimulates us and raises the pulse rate. Green is the colour of balance. Blue is the colour of the mind and is essentially soothing. But then there’s light blue and dark blue and..... Not to mention the use of more than just one colour.
Perhaps the visual above can be used to start our colour discussion?
Consistent branding leads to recognition and credibility. Consistency also signals predictability. Customers believe that when they buy a certain brand, it will perform as they expect it to.
Every brand, from the smallest startup to a corporate giant, need a set of brand guidelines to maintain their identity. This is a toolkit containing specifications on everything that plays a role in the look and feel of your brand. Everything from variations of the logo and how it can be used, to what typefaces, colours, images and tone of voice to use.
Brand guidelines lets everyone know exactly how to present your brand to the world. Here’s a list of what I think this document should include:
Confusion is the number one brand killer, so make sure your brand communication is always consistent with your brand promise.
All your brand touchpoints need to be branded to give the same look and feel. The brand guidelines are there to help with this. However, the biggest enemy of branding is often when the internal team starts to meddle with the logo. Hence the importantance of including what not to do with your branding elements in your branding guidelines, as well as what to do.
Approved templates ensure that nobody needs to reinvent the wheel every time they create content.
Build magic experiences for your customers
Brands are on the world stage 24/7. All your brand touchpoints need to be branded to give the same look and feel. You want your customer’s buying process to come across as a seamless experience.
Brand management is the planning and maintenance of everything that goes into defining your brand, from design and communication to brand behaviour. Brand touchpoints are the interactions and exposures that a consumer can have with a brand, such as:
The customer journey
The customer journey is a detailed outline of every step a person takes to become a paying customer. The starting point for this process is unique to everyone and by mapping out your customer journey you get an understanding of all the information (touchpoints) a customer needs.
How are they discovering your business?
How do they research?
Any snags along the way?
Shoppers are looking for magic moments. Here's the journey:
Customers decide they have a problem and begin to look at solutions via search engines, social media, ads or word-of-mouth. Show them how you can help them.
Here customers want to narrow the field to those products or services that meet their initial criteria. They look at websites, blogs and product pages to compare products and services.
They look at reviews and customer ratings and decide among their options to buy from you.
This is where you provide customer support to ensure the customers that they made the right decision. You want your customers to feel satisfied.
Loyalty (and if done right, advocacy)
The ultimate goal is for your customer to become a brand advocate, by recommending your brand to others.
Tone of voice
Communicating with a consistent tone of voice builds trust, authority and likability and adds an extra dimension of personality to your communications.
Tell a story
Creating a brand story is about building something that people care about. Something they want to buy into. People do not buy products and services. They buy stories and relationships.
Storytelling allows you to present information to your customers that resonates with them on an emotional level. But your story is not just what you tell people. It is what they believe about you, based on the signals your brand sends out about what you do and what you stand for.
Everything you do, each element of your business, is part of your brand story, from your logo design and marketing material, to interaction with your team or staff.
Name your business
Your business name needs to be unique and memorable, it should be easy to say and you want it to work well as a web address. The shorter, the better. It should reflect the character of your business. You should also make sure that the name doesn’t translate into something inappropriate in a different language.
Use the founder’s name
Hewlett-Packard (David Packard and William Redington Hewlett), Marks & Spencer (Michael Marks and Thomas Spencer) and Boots (John Boot) are a few examples.
Describe what it is
Mark Zuckerberg originally wrote Facebook as a social network for the community at Harvard. A face book is a printed or online directory helping students get to know each other.
Make an acronym
Richard Saul Wurman created TED to inspire greater communication between 3 industries: Technology, entertainment, and design.
Make up a word
Get your creative juice flowing. The name Google came about by accident.
Pick a geographic origin
Jeff Preston Bezos, the founder of Amazon, picked the largest river in the world to communicate Amazon’s vast selection of books.
Describe what it does
Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is a perfect example. It’s used to explore the Internet.
Add a Prefix or Suffix
You can turn a common word into a product name simply by adding a prefix or suffix to it. Examples are Apple’s iPhone, iPad and Audi A3, A4 series.
Flickr and Liquid-Plumr use real words that are misspelled. It’s creative and helps when the name you want is already trademarked or the related domain names are already taken.
Take a word out of context
Apple’s voice-activated assistant Siri was named by its creator Dag Kittalaus. He had planned to name his daughter Siri, which means “beautiful woman who leads you to victory” in Norwegian. Until he had a son.
Use a Verb
You can use a verb as your product name, like Bounce dryer sheets or Apple’s iPod Shuffle. Some examples of brand names that have turned in to generic verbs are Hoover, Tipp-Ex and Google.
That's it for Chapter 2. Next chapter will be posted on 16.11.21.
I would really appreciate your feedback in the comments below. No need to fill in website or email if you do not wish to do so... Thank you!
A good example of a business who has managed to build consumer trust and emotional attachment is Lego. They’re not just building blocks for kids. They represent childhood imagination and creativity.
An important part of branding is your visual identity. But this is only the tip of the iceberg. Branding is the strategy you put in place to form the impression people get about your business.
Approach your communication by focusing on how you want your target audience to feel. Instead of telling them about features and benefits, you want to make an emotional connection with them.
If you do it right they will start to care.
That's it for the introduction to my four chapters on branding. Here's a link to the four chapters. It's a quick and easy read that I hope you will find useful.
Chapter 1 Research
You want to paint a clear picture of the exact position your brand intends to occupy in the mind of your target audience.
• Positioning: Understand your market
• Find a gap in the market
• Get to know your audience
• Create a buyer's persona
• Brand personality
• The brand pyramid
• Value proposition
Chapter 2 Strategy
A brand is the perceived image of the product or service you sell. Branding is the strategy to create that image.
• Customer journey
• Tone of voice
• Tell a Story
• Name your business
Chapter 3 Design
Customers look for ways to find what is relevant to them and ignore the rest.
Let’s create a brand that capture their attention.
• The creative brief
• My design principles for your brand identity
• Brand guidelines (They should inspire its user to create greatness)
Chapter 4 Implementation
The quickest way to devalue your brand is to act in ways that are counter to your values.
Brand equity is built over a long time but can be destroyed in an instant.
• Get your team involved
• Take it to the public
• Measure your brand success
Positioning: Understand your market
Finding out where your brand stands or where it doesn’t stand in the market, is a crucial first step. You need to research everything there is to know about your business and the market in which it will compete.
What problems do you solve? What makes you different?
Differentiate between knowledge and assumptions. Ideally you should conduct a fully realised diagnosis of your brand and interview decision makers.
Alternatively, work out where you are and where you could be in the future by making a list of these three things:
The facts. The obstacles. The opportunities.
This simple exercise helps to identify key issues. Keep it focused, just one page. Look at all the possible ways your product or service solves problems for customers, both rationally and emotionally. Make sure the benefits you single out are genuine and tangible.
The aim is to find your USP, that one meaningful thing that makes your business stand out from your competitors. And you want to make that difference obvious and attractive.
Get to know your audience
The most important task in building a brand is to know who your customers are and how to reach them. What do they like and what do they dislike? You need to know their needs and motivators, as well as their overall profile.
What makes them tick?
You know what problems your product or service solves, but to whom does it appeal? Define your target market by researching both existing and prospective customers. Use surveys, focus groups or Google Analytics to understand what your target market needs, why it is or isn’t buying from you, and what you can do to make your offering more appealing.
Bring your customer to life by creating a persona for your ideal customer.
Try to describe a person you know. It could be a friend or a famous person. You’ll find it’s much easier to connect with your audience when you have a specific reader in mind. Here’s a few questions to get started:
Put yourself in their shoes every time you create content. If you are able to connect in a way that she or he believes, you will be able to create marketing campaigns that resonates.
Your brand personality
Consumers will most often decide if they like or dislike a brand based on the brand’s personality characteristics and the way the brand communicates. They are more likely to like and engage with a brand if they feel it is relatable to them in some way or another.
Assess the personality of your business as if it were a person. Just as you may define a certain friend as ‘witty’ or a colleague as ‘enthusiastic’. What words would you use to describe your brand’s image? What attributes and/or emotions do you want associated with your brand and what do you not want associated with your brand? It often helps to combine what a brand is with what it is not. (Professional but not dry and corporate. Casual, but not lazy and messy.)
One way of assessing this is by asking these questions: If the brand were to come alive as a person:
If you need some help to get going you might find Aaker’s “Big Five” personality traits useful. It’s a combination of varying traits that makes your brand unique.
Mission statement and value proposition
You want to paint a clear picture of the exact position your brand intends to occupy in the mind of your target audience. And you want to make sure it is saying something truly distinctive.
A mission statement lets the public know the product or service your business provides, how it does it, and who it does it for. A vision statement is a declaration of where your company wants to be in the future. It clearly articulates the hopes, dreams, and aspirations of a brand.
Your values (often referred to as your company culture) let people know that you will act morally and ethically on your way to success.
Your brand purpose is your North Star. Sharing what you stand for will give your brand meaning and added value. However, you want to be 100% sure that your company really wants to do things differently. You have to stay true to the promise you make.
A value proposition is a simple summary of why a customer would choose your product or service.
It communicates the clearest benefit that customers receive by giving you their business. Every value proposition should speak to a customer’s challenge and make the case for your company as the problem-solver.
I quite like this simple formula by Steve Blank: We help (X) do (Y) by doing (Z).
I help SMEs to resonate with their target audiences by designing visual communication.
That's it for Chapter 1. I tried to use as little jargon as possible but I hope it wasn't too simplified? Would love your feedback on this in the comments below. No need to fill in website or email if you do not wish to do so... Thank you!
How you communicate your marketing message is referred to as the tone of voice you use. The words you use on your website, on your products and in your documentation and marketing collateral literally define how people perceive your business.
In other words, writing is branding and your tone of voice guidelines are as important as the logo and typeface you choose.
Finding your tone of voice starts with understanding who your audience is and choosing the right language to reach them. It might be professional, casual, or even funny, but in order to establish an emotional connection that will lead to your audience trusting you and buying from you, you have to communicate in a way that they will believe.
This is not to say that you should just go ahead and copy what has been done before in your sector. Not at all. Brands that break the rules are the ones that people remember. It may seem a risky strategy to find your own unique voice, but surely it’s not any riskier than being ignored?
So, how to go about defining the right Tone of Voice for your business?
You should think about a range of words that best suit your brand. Try to assess the personality of your business as if it were a person, just as you may define a certain friend as ‘witty’ or a colleague as ‘enthusiastic’. Use as many descriptors as you wish, but three is usually the magic number to help you stay focused. It often helps to combine what a brand is with what it is not. (Professional but not dry and corporate. Casual, but not lazy and messy.)
Vocabulary is simply a choice of words, so you must ascertain what type of words can and can not be used within your tone of voice so that your content embodies the ‘personality’ of the business. What kinds of words are definitely required and which words are forbidden? Keep it honest, consistent and accurate.
When you feel you have nailed it, read your words out loud:
When you have found the right words you need to define a writing style. Keep in mind who you will be writing for. If it’s for other businesses, you may want to use a professional-yet-approachable tone, whereas if you’re writing directly to a customer you may desire a fun-and-exciting voice.
One way to go about it is to emulate an existing publication. What does your audience read? The Financial Times? The Sun? Novels? Use a spectrum to get an idea of where you want to sit. From humorous to serious, formal to casual, or inspirational to straightforward.
While not appropriate in every situation, you’ll be surprised at how frequently a story can replace mundane text. Storytelling allows you to present information to your customers that resonates with them on an emotional level.
Read my short blog on storytelling here.
Go through examples of what hits the mark, and be thorough with editing and proof-reading. Ideally get someone else to proof read it too. And, as with absolutely everything related to branding, make sure to choose a tone of voice that you can keep consistent across every single marketing channel.