Stop by every Wednesday to see “What’s up” here at Jobin Design.
This week we’re working on some comfy cozy bedding photographs for Bloomingdale’s. This shot will be used for packaging and online.
When clients ask us to develop a brand for them, it often brings into focus that the word “brand” means different things to different people. Many people use the word brand interchangeably with the word logo and view them as one in the same. The fact of the matter is that your brand is much more than just your logo. If done right, your brand is your EVERYTHING.
Yes, your logo is a key component to your brand. It’s a visual representation of who you are. But brand extends far beyond logo. Your brand is your social media. Pinterest… Facebook… Twitter… Instagram. It’s your employees and how they interact with your customers. Brand is also your words, from individual emails to your blog to a monthly newsletter. Whether looking at this from the perspective of an individual or a corporation, brand truly is anything and everything that has to do with you.
Visually speaking, your brand starts with a great logo that reflects who you are. Your logo is the face of your company. As such, it’s critical that it creates a lasting impression of who you are and what you do. The typography, graphic elements, color, etc., all need to work together seamlessly as they will affect how your customers perceive you. When it comes to designing (or redesigning) your logo, no detail is too small. All details should be considered with great thought, and all design decisions weighed carefully.
Once your logo is established, the other elements of your brand can use it as a jumping off point. Your social media, your communications – they branch out from here to further complete your brand with your logo as the anchor. They are all interrelated and rely on each other for brand success.
When you view brand in this context, you quickly see how and why the concept of brand consistency came about. Simply put, you want everything that is attached to put forward the same message. You brand needs to permeate every aspect of your business.
It is not uncommon in today’s retail world to find a “brand name” label in a variety of different stores. Ralph Lauren, for example, can be found at high-end retailers such as Bergdorf Goodman’s, mid-market retailers like Macy’s, and even at an off-price retailer such as TJMaxx. For the mid-market or off-price consumer, it’s an absolute score to find this type of sought after label at a much more affordable price. But for the label, does it dilute the brand and hurt sales at the luxury level if the same label is available to masses at a lower price point? The answer can be no, if the brand architecture is built and rolled out correctly. Here are some things to keep in mind:
1. Develop Sub-Brands
If you are considering a 3-tier retail approach that places your product in high-end, mid-level and budget markets alike, develop three related brands under the umbrella of your corporate brand, each speaking to a specific market. In the Ralph Lauren example, their Black Label is used for luxury retailers while their Lauren Ralph Lauren label is used at mid-market stores. Their Chaps label is often seen at off-price retailers.
2. Differentiate Your Packaging
Just as you want to create a naming scheme for your sub brands that links them together while also creating different lines, so too should your approach to packaging. There absolutely needs to be some brand consistency. The type and logo treatment for Martha Stewart is the same whether you purchase her products at Macys or at Kmart. However the rest of the packaging – from color to design elements – changes from store to store. There are certainly some similarities in feel to create brand consistency, but the different levels of the brand are treated differently in their packaging.
3. Differentiate Your Product
The luxury retail shopper wants to know that she is getting what she’s paying for. Why pay $135 for a single crystal wine glass when you can purchase one for $25 at a mid-market store… both sold by the same brand? At first glace it’s a no brainer. However at the luxury level, it becomes about the “ingredients” and the process. At $135 each, the boutique wine glass is handmade in France of full-lead crystal. At $25 each, the “standard” wine glass is still very nice, but it’s likely not crystal and probably made in China. Both can be sold under the same brand, however one bears the high end label while the other bears the mid-market label.
With these key guidelines in mind, savvy brands can reach into different retail markets without compromising on their core identity. Each market gets from the brand what it expects, and the brand builds a broader customer base.