“Branding is not just about being seen as better than the competition. It’s about being seen as the only solution to you audience’s problem.“
– John Morgan,
Brand Against The Machine
WHAT A BRAND IS
Scott Bedbury defined brand best (and we added some goodness to his definition): A brand is the sum of the good, the bad, the ugly, and the off-strategy. It is defined as your best product/service as well as your worst. It is defined by award-winning advertising as well as by the god-awful ads that somehow slipped through the cracks. It is defined by the accomplishments of your best employee–as well as the mishaps of the worst hire that you ever made. It is defined by your receptionist, the music your customers are subjected to while on hold, and even the smell of your office/store. For every grand and finely worded public statement by your leader to the idle chatter in the breakroom to the social world of Facebook and Twitter. Brands are sponges for content, images, and fleeting feelings. They become psychological concepts held in the hands of the public, where they may stay forever. As such you can’t entirely control a brand. At best you can only guide and influence.
WHAT A BRAND ISN’T
BRAND VS COMMODITY
BRANDS: Compete on their intangible attributes.
COMMODITY: Compete on price or convenience.
BRAND VS BRANDING
BRAND: A brand is what your product or service stands for in people’s minds; it might be an image or, perhaps, a feeling.
BRANDING: Branding is the process of executing and managing the things that make people feel the way they do about your brand.
BUSINESS STRATEGY VS BRAND STRATEGY
BUSINESS STRATEGY: The plan you have to sell a product or service. How your company makes money.
BRAND STRATEGY: The plan you have to use your brand idea to deliver on your business strategy. A brand strategy necessitates understanding what branding signals will best reinforce your brand idea.
BRAND EXPERIENCE VS. LOGO DESIGN
At Test Monki, we realize that your brand is only as strong as your customer perceives it. So we don’t just design logos. We create winning brand experiences on the regular. If you think all you need is a logo or you have an idea and you just need someone to execute it, then we’ll give you some sound business advice. Hire a freelancer and become your very own art director for what will probably be the most important business decision you make. Ever. Until you decide to hire us for the full monty in a few years. (That’s the full brand monty, get your mind out of the gutter.)
On the other hand, if you realize that a logo is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to your brand identity, and that there are many other things that will ultimately shape the success of your brand, then we already like the way you think. Even if we just put that idea in your head. It shows that you are already becoming an expert in getting the most out of your brand by thinking about having Test Monki engineer an engaging experience. That’s right, the process starts way before any concepts are designed and ideas come to fruition. So if you have that thought in your head and you’re wondering what Test Monki can do for your brand…