“ Strong brands command premium prices; when a high level of perceived visual quality has been ( or can be ) created, raising the price not only provides optimal profits, but also aids the buyers preconceived notions of that brand ….. Case in point, a cup of Starbucks coffee. “

Brand is the promise, the big idea, and expectations that reside in each customer’s mind about a product, service or company. Branding is about making an emotional connection. People fall in love with brands - they trust them, develop strong loyalties, buy them, and believe in their superiority. The brand is shorthand : it stands for something and demonstrates it.

Branding used to be exclusive purview of big consumer products. Now every business talks about the brand imperative, and even individuals are challenged by Tom Peters ( Tom Peters made a big splash a few years ago, with his “Brand You” manifesto, arguing that it’s as important to think of yourself as a brand, as it is a multinational, if you want to differentiate yourself in the workplace/ marketplace.) to become walking brands. Why have brands become so important ? Bottom line : good brands build companies. Ineffective brands undermine success. As products and services become indistinguishable, as competition creates infinite choices, as companies merge into faceless monoliths, differentiation is imperative.

“ A logo is the point of entry to the brand ”

While being remembered is essential, it’s becoming harder every day. A strong brand stands out in a densely crowded marketplace. Translating the brand into action has become an employee mantra. There is substantial evidence that companies whose employees understand and embrace the brand are more successful. What began as corporate culture under the auspices of human resources is fast becoming branding, and the marketing department runs the show.

While brands speak to the mind and heart, brand identity is tangible and appeals to the senses. Brand identity is the visual and verbal expression of a brand. It is the shortest, fastest, most ubiquitous form of communication available. You can see it, touch it, hold it, hear it, watch it move. It begins with a brand name and brandmark and builds exponentially into a matrix of tools and communications. On applications form business cards to websites, from advertising campaigns to fleets of planes and signage, brand identity increases awareness and builds business.

“ the process is the process, but then you need a spark of genius “

The need for effective brand identity cuts across public and private sectors, from new companies to merged organizations to business that need to reposition or repackage themselves. The best brand identities are memorable, authentic, meaningful, differentiated, sustainable, flexible, and have values. Recognition becomes immediate across cultures and customs.

Brand identity is a tool that is powerful and ubiquitous. Brand identity is an asset that needs to be managed, nourished, invested in, and leveraged. Done well, it is the consistent reminder of the meaning of the brand.

“ extraordinary work is done for extraordinary clients “

Building awareness and recognition of a brand is facilitated by a visual identity that is easy to remember and immediately recognizable. Visual identity triggers perceptions and unlocks associations of the brand. Vision, more than any other sense, provides a person with information about the world. Through repeated exposure of certain brand identities, symbols become so recognizable that companies such as Apple, Nike, Merrill Lynch, have actually dropped the logotype from their corporate signatures in national advertising. Color becomes a mnemonic device – when you see a brown truck out of the corner of your eye, you know it’s UPS.