Testing new waters by adding to my skills has been one enlightening and engaging process. One of the many lessons my tutor kept hitting my ears with was how important building a great brand identity is for businesses and companies. Those who coined the phrase, “Brand is everything”, I have come to discover have some hidden secret which can provide strength and growth. This will be made obvious to you during the course of this article.
Take the brand “Coca-Cola” for example. This company has built a great brand distribution and has established its name all around the world. The world knows the brand Coca-Cola today but some 100 years ago, there were some continents that did not know about it. This is to show you that the world wide known Coca-Cola brand went through a time of small beginnings like SMEs everywhere, but are known today because they knew what building a great brand identity means. We will examine in this article how companies in Nigeria are currently achieving a solid brand identity nationwide and internationally. Some of these companies are GTBank, Zenith Bank, First Bank, and Dangote to mention a few.
First, know that having a brand identity gets you noticed. Having a solid and world class corporate brand identity lets you ‘pop’ in the midst of many. Your brand identity should make a statement to your potential clients. This means that you don’t look like everybody else. The difference between great brands and others is that great brands ‘pop’. When you ‘pop’, you are noticed by those clients you need. Having a brand identity therefore makes you look appealing so that you are approached. We know that there is more to it than appeal, but having a great brand identity will bring the clients you need to you and your hard work and great results will keep them with you.
Second, great brands trigger an emotional reaction. When First Bank released its new brand logo with the half yellow elephant with upward tusks, those on social media kept buzzing about it. Most people did not understand why First Bank had to change its brand logo from a full white elephant to a half yellow elephant. Not many people liked it until they were made to understand the reason behind it. Truth is, building a great brand is not for all businesses/companies. It is for the selected few that understand the need to stand out, to be different. People will try, but not everyone will understand it.
Third, Great brands always do the unexpected with their brand identity. They are hardly boring. I was talking with a colleague of mine recently about how GTBank has grown its brand nationwide. He said he did not really know much about what I was yapping about but one of the things he loved about the bank was that the bank made sure that for each of its branches, their architectural design was impressive and unconventional to the extent that before you see the logo, seeing their massive impressive building would let you know that you are arriving at GTBank. This bank plays with its look and feel. The same goes for the Coca-Cola brand too. Even with GTBank’s orange and grey and Coca-Cola’s red and white colours, you find that it is never boring and whatever new thing they bring to the table is attractive.
Fourth, great brands are those that make a connection between the company’s strategy, messages and its visual appearance. Great brand identities present in their visual appearance a company that is confident, and aiming to achieve results in accordance with the vision and mission the company. So if your company is meant to be for a particular state, nationwide or international, if it is a great brand identity, it will be well represented.
Fifth, consistency and cohesion are required when creating a great brand identity design for your company. Some of the best brands do not use too many colours. Great brand identities are identities that hardly deviate from the norm yet do the unexpected. You might ask, how is that even possible? Great brand identities find harmony between the predictable and the unexpected.