Here at Grova, we do a lot of things. These things include advertising, graphic design, web design, social media, marketing strategy, messaging, and perhaps the most fun of them all, branding. Branding is neat, because it requires an unmatched level of creativity, taking knowledge of what we know about a brand, what and where it wants to be, and transforming it into just that. But it’s not simple—in fact, branding’s a beast. It is essentially building a product or service from the ground up. You need to construct its personality, values, voice, purpose, and in business terms, its value proposition (what makes it stand out among the noise). Check out some of the ways we approach branding and how we think it is best to get your name out there, meaningfully, and with intention.
Of course, the first base of any marketing or advertising plan is to identify the target market. This brand is speaking to an audience to ingrain its existence, but who is that audience? Several factors play a role in determining how you use your voice and language as a brand. For example, we need to think about: older versus younger, where they live, what jobs they have, what their hobbies are, what makes them tick, etc. If you can’t conduct some form of fieldwork about these people, your message, and most importantly your mission, will not get through to them.
Brands are more emotional than people might perceive them. Sure, Adidas might seem like just a logo on a pair of sneakers. Folgers might just be that go-to cup of joe you pick up on your way out, but deep down in their existence, they were provided with a purpose and an intention to make people feel a certain way. Understanding how you want your brand to make people feel when they interact with it is a MAJOR help when it comes to building the slogan or jingle, as well. “Just Do It” by Nike makes people feel empowered, like a call-to-action to be great.
Here is where we start treating brands like characters because, in a way, they ARE people. They are consumers’ friends, companions, in whom they can trust. We like asking clients this question, “who would your brand hang out with in high school?” because it really gets the creative juices flowing. When you really think about it, how people were in high school said a lot about them (at the time, at least). In the stereotypical scene, you have your jocks, “nerds,” the popular squad, bandmates, your artistic group, etc. By identifying where your brand would sit, it can help you grasp where they might be positioned in the marketplace, perhaps within its corresponding industry.
This is quite an overwhelming question, seeing as there are thousands and thousands of species out there. But animals all have their own personalities and characteristics in the animal kingdom, some of which we recognize more than others. Lions symbolize royalty, regalness, prowess. Elephants represent intelligence. And if you want to go down the mythical route, unicorns are icons for standing out and being unique.
There is a lot of psychology rooted in colors, as all hues initiate different feelings for different people. Generally speaking, red can either induce passion, aggression, or hunger. In essence, its hunger associations can be seen in virtually every fast-food chain out there. Determining a color or a set of colors will help with feelings associated with your brand, as well as with the tangible color palette that will be used in all advertisements and marketing.
Oftentimes, when people start their own brand, it stems from a place of personal desire to add something of value to humanity. Perhaps the brand stemmed from dissatisfaction with how things have been carried in the past. And now, a person has created a brand with confidence that their brand will improve upon that dissatisfaction. Understanding your initial intentions behind building a brand will make it that much more straightforward when it comes to relaying it to consumers. Your understanding will help tell your consumers why they should care.
Values are everything when it comes to a brand, especially for items that people will use for the rest of their life—it’s why we have what is known as brand loyalty. Someone can like a brand and be loyal to it simply for its quality of materials. Still, most of the time, a brand’s values resonate with its loyalists, which gives way to this relationship. Determine what your brand values most internally, as well as from its customers, so that it’s no mystery to the market.
There are rights and wrongs to branding, but when it comes down to it, it has to be rooted in passion—and lots of research. If you’d like help with building your brand, don’t be shy! We’d love to help.
Grova Creative is a minority and veteran-owned agency headquartered in Tallahassee, Florida, and works with clients all across the United States. The Grova team looks forward to discovering new opportunities and endeavors in the future. If you are a business or organization seeking help with advertising, branding, messaging, marketing, strategy, website development, or other creative assets, email Grova Creative at [email protected] or visit grova.com.