EC Design and Print

The term ‘brand’ gets thrown around like a football at family gatherings – the Coke brand did this, the team ‘brand’ is struggling, or, “What brand of shaving cream do you like?” But technically speaking, what is a brand? Does it have to be associated with a huge company? The answer is no. The Design Council of the UK defines a brand as, “a set of associations that a person makes with a company, product, service, individual, or organization.” So how does a smaller company develop a brand?

First, a brand must be unique to the company. The associations that people make with a product must be different from the associations made with a competitor. Look at Coca-Cola and Pepsi. On paper, the two appear similar - dark, sugary, carbonated sodas. But what Coca-Cola fan won’t grumble when Pepsi is the only option?

Second, a brand must be tied to its product performance. For example, anyone who’s cleaned the house a few times knows that a Clorox product will disinfect whatever it touches. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Clorox bleach, wipes, or any cleaner they produce. Customers associate the brand with high-quality, intense cleaning.

Third, a brand must be consistent. If Clorox released its own line of sodas, reception could be mixed. While consumers love a sugary, carbonated beverage, they don’t love drinking bleach. A brand must stay on track with its products and services and reinforce that association between brand and product performance.

Plan ahead to decrease the risks involved in brand management. We’ve all heard the old saying - “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Developing a long-term vision will help navigate any troubles that pop up along the way, and there are professionals right here in Tullahoma ready to help your brand succeed.