Branding is no longer simply about visual appeal (or the cherry in the apple pie example, as given in my earlier article). Unfortunately, many graphic design firms who position themselves as advertising agencies believe that branding your corporate identity is all about developing great looking visual solutions.
However, there is much much more to branding than just looking good. Particularly in this web 2.0 era, where a powerful web presence has become a vital ingredient of your branding strategy, developing the right media mix holds the key to building a powerful brand equity.
In other words, a right media mix would mean:
• Creative design solutions (the design, color, and content of your ads, marketing collateral and website enhance your brand equity, attract customers, and generate sales)
• Web development (every product/service worth its name has a web presence these days, some have truly interactive, animated sites encouraging customer involvement),
• Viral marketing (vitally important in today’s age of social networking, tagging, podcasting, blogs, forums, wikis and what have you)
• Television commercial production, print media advertising (traditional media cannot be overlooked)
• Strategic films (have become necessary elements of roadshows, exibhitions and other promotional campaigns)
• Corporate video production (a very important tool for branding your corporate identity)
• Direct marketing (marketing collaterals need to be just as effective and resonant with the overall branding scheme as the communicate directly with the customer)
• Outdoor advertising (hoardings, roadshows, participations in business fairs, exhibitions, etc)
There are some interactive advertising agencies that have recognized the need of the hour - developing creative design solutions that employ user-centric investigation and involve critical and systematic thinking. User-centric means understanding of needs and priorities of end user; the clients' customers, their channel partners, users, and brand communities.
So if you want to register your brand as one that is synonymous with customer loyalty, you must develop a complete package, keeping the customer as the prime objective and organizing product stories around the way they prefer to learn about, compare, select and confirm purchases, connecting brands and their experiences.