A brand is not a logo, it’s not your company’s identity or even a product.

A brand is an emotional and visceral reaction or connection to a business or product. Whether the emotion is love or hate the ultimate goal is an illogical reaction. Branding attempts to manage the signals that help evoke that reaction. Branding occurs in the heart and not the head, the “I want” and “I need” connection is invaluable.

Take Coca Cola for instance. Without brand value, they estimate their worth at 50 Billion, WITH brand value they estimate it at 120 Billion. The math isn’t hard here, branding is crucial for any company big or small — it can make or break a company. Companies like Coca Cola will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars often millions to retain their brand status because they understand the value. In Coca Cola’s case they spend over 2.6 billion a year.

Brand is ultimately out of your control, it lies in the hands of your current customers or potential clients and how they feel about your company or service as a whole. So how do you influence customers — by branding simple.

Take visual cues from the big companies, UPS, Nike, at&t, Starbucks, McDonalds, FedEx, Staples. How are they handling their brands? They use brand signals such as color that works with their brand and not against it, typography to help create a unique look or visual connection to their product or business, a short memorable tagline that gets their company vision or message across and a logo icon that people can connect with and is inline with not only today’s design standards but tomorrows.

The difficult part of creating a solid brand often comes down to the education process for our clients. More often than not, they want to tell a story or include several design elements into a logo, have special effects or a tag line that is as long as an entire mission statement. Getting to “simple” is what we consider the challenging part of brand development. If we start there and continue down this path, the process is painless for both the client and design company. Trying to do too much with your identity to help create the brand will work against you in the end — it’s that simple.

Excerpts appropriated from a presentation created by Rick Turoczy