In today’s world, we encounter brands every day. Many people intuitively understand what it is and why it is necessary. But how to create a strong brand image in 2021?
For those who work in a consumer-oriented business, especially in the service sector, the answer to this question may seem obvious. Despite the fact that the brand itself is not a material product, but rather an intellectual one, its impact on the surrounding reality is quite tangible. Brand and branding are important components of any company that plans to develop and expand its influence in the market. In this article, we will explain what branding is and what strategies should be used. In addition, you will learn about 6 branding trends related to the visual representation of the brand. Some of them are likely to stay with us in 2021 and beyond, as they are just beginning to develop.
What Is Branding? Why is it so important for Business?
Branding is the creation of a positive image of the company, its dissemination, and consolidation in the head of the client. In simple words, it is brand management.
Branding includes a whole range of marketing activities to develop the image and strengthen long-term relationships with the consumer. It creates a unique style, increases the value of the product, and builds trust in the company. The goal of branding is to make the business attractive to potential employees and customers.
A clear illustration of why branding is so important are examples that are known all over the world — Apple, Ikea, Coca-Cola, Google. Consumers know these names and can immediately tell what products the company offers on the market and why they have received such popularity and love. And it depends on how firms position themselves in the market and what emotions they evoke in consumers.
Branding trends as brands themselves need to be updated from time to time to keep in touch with reality. Branding trends that once seemed modern and cutting-edge are suddenly becoming obsolete. To stay relevant to your audience in the new year, you should consider the main trends and the main approaches to branding strategies.
Integrate your brand into your customers’ daily lives.
Turn your brand into a trusted companion that provides customers with something extremely useful.
Make the brand unique and attractive to the audience and make them associate this brand with something trendy, exclusive, and desirable
Associate the brand with some cool people who use it, and make it attractive because of the customer’s desire to be as cool as others.
Visual trends of branding creation in 2021-2022: A new reality
Today, “ecological goods” and then environmental branding, are becoming particularly important in the context of the concept of sustainable ecological and economic development.
Now eco-goods are a fashion trend. Today, they are used as an effective competitive advantage, and therefore the number of consumers who prefer environmentally friendly products is constantly growing. Ecobranding offers customers high quality, and is also associated in the minds of consumers with environmental protection.
Authenticity with visual communication.
Graphic design is a means of visual communication, a kind of reflection of reality. Through colors, illustrations, fonts, and presentation, designers speak to the world. Now is the time when you want to get closer to people through art! Images play an important role in communicating with the audience. When there is no money and time to create their own, brands take stock photos for commercial use. Thus, the brand manages to visually embody its difference from its competitors. Your project deserves the best high resolution stock photos. Now there are a lot of stock photos, where all the images are intended for use without royalties. Therefore, you can apply them almost anywhere without paying royalties every time you re-use them.
Social networks have changed the requirements for brands in 2021. It will be difficult for a brand to build long-term relationships with customers and create positive associations with them if it does not start playing by the rules of social networks. What rules are we talking about? First of all, it is authenticity, honesty, bold emotions and openness. The creators of the videos from all over the world attract the attention of the audience with the help of authentic, exciting stories that last only a couple of seconds.
The new short video format is chosen by brands that want to quickly respond to events, share updates through situational content, and reach new audiences.
The goal of responsive design is to provide users with the best possible visual experience. With the spread of smartphones, there is a need to adapt to the screens of not only entire sites, but also their small parts. The biggest problem with non-adaptive logos is their excessive complexity. Sometimes they are overflowing with various complex details. In order to follow the concept of adaptive branding, it is necessary to design the logo so that it is displayed on any screen, without losing its connection with the brand values.
Simulation of the real world
Regardless of what type of business you plan to do, you need to keep in mind that in today’s world (especially after the COVID-19 pandemic), people are more online than offline. Your style should be designed to represent your company and its products online. Although in 2021, more and more companies are moving online (especially in the retail, legal aid and medical services sectors), which increases competition for the attention and trust of users of the global network. Branding, that uses images of the client’s real (rather than virtual) world, will be more successful in the coming years. In particular, we are talking about using the design of skeuomorphism, which is based on modeling textures such as leather, metal, wood, cardboard, and so on.
Technologies for creating brands
When creating a brand, use modern technologies (such as voice assistants, chatbots, and others). Create a brand strategy based on technology. Try to determine what modern technologies (including those that can be developed for your company) make you stand out from the competition. Here are just a few examples of technologies that can be useful to you: speech recognition, face recognition, VR and AR, shopping beacons, 360-degree video, geotracking, and health monitoring.
Practical tips for creating branding
Step 1. Idea
The work begins with finding ideas and monitoring the market. An idea is a key message that needs to be conveyed to the consumer through various communication channels.
Step 2. The perfect customer
Think through your business philosophy, social mission, values, moral, ethical, and commercial principles. Imagine your ideal customer. Understanding, who is your customer, remains key to your brand’s success.
Step 3. Emotional connection with the client
Values are important to define both in your personal life and for your company. This is the foundation on which everything rests. It’s about the emotional connection between your product, your company, and your customer. It is important that your customers have an emotional connection with your company. But an emotional connection can only be with people. People go to people.
Step 4. Brand image. Choose the best one!
You need to create a brand image that is easy to recognize and that your audience can easily connect with. When creating a brand, the visual part is the first thing that comes to mind. Take the time to design a logo that represents your brand.
Step 5. Improve your Branding
We recommend holding regular team meetings. You will be able to analyze how you can improve your brand, what you lack in it, and whether it is worth rethinking your brand idea. Use reviews from real customers and partners, as well as marketing results
What do you need for successful branding?
To achieve brand development, you need to study the market and analyze customer needs. It is important to create a way of thinking of the consumer and determine his preferences.
Also, you need to study the activities of your competitors separately. It is necessary to understand the specifics of their strategy, paying special attention to visual tools.
Branding is based on the results of the analysis. If you make mistakes at the first stage, all the rest of the work will be simply useless. Therefore, you do not need to spare the resources that are necessary for conducting research.
Here’s how powerful brands are different from everyone else. This is facilitated by tangible components – a great logo, a smart slogan, an authentic manifesto, and a clear brand voice-but truly strong brands thrive when they focus on the big picture of their brand. Get to the heart and soul of your target audience and your organization, and a successful brand will follow you.