Have you ever asked yourself why a competitor’s business gets more attention than yours? The answer just may have to do with the elements that go into how memorable the business is. And that has to do with branding.
But exactly what is branding, anyway? Think of branding as predefining what a company is all about in the minds of its clients. Good branding differentiates your products and services in a positive way that really sticks in the minds of potential customers.
Let’s say you are getting ready to run errands on a busy Saturday morning, thinking about the groceries that need to be bought, the dry cleaning that needs to be picked up, and the packages that must get to the post office before noon. The trip to the post office reminds you that your favorite aunt’s birthday is next Wednesday. You need to add buying and mailing a birthday card to your list of things to do. Without a moment’s hesitation, you know exactly where you will buy the card: the local Hallmark store. Why did you think Hallmark?
The answer to that question has everything to do with Hallmark’s branding and two key elements of that branding are:
- a logo design that’s attractive, easy to read and memorable;
- a great tag line.
Assuming your own product is fabulous, it all comes down to image. Graphic design can play a huge part in that image. But what are some key things to consider?
The First Key Element of Branding; Create a Great Logo.
You have given a great deal of attention to your company name and believe it speaks to who you are and what you do. Great! Now you need to wrap a graphic image around that name to carve out a prime piece of real estate in your target customer’s mind. That is exactly what a great logo design can do.
Keep in mind that a powerful logo design:
- has a strong, balanced image with no little extras that clutter its look;
- is distinctive and bold in design, making it easy to see at a glance;
- has graphic imagery that looks appropriate for your business;
- works well with your company name;
- is done in an easy to read font;
- communicates your business clearly; and
- looks good in black and white, as well as in color.
Hallmark’s memorable crown logo is one of the reasons that Hallmark comes to mind so quickly when you need to buy a greeting card. It is simple, bold, looks good in either color or black and white, and bespeaks the quality required for something to be stamped with a hallmark, so it works well with the company name. While the image might not have communicated the nature of the business when it was first created, it certainly does now!
The Second Key Element of Branding; Create a Distinctive Tag Line.
A tag line is a three to seven word phrase that accompanies your logo. It expresses your company’s most important benefits and/or what you want your customers to remember about working with you. Think of it as the words you want to linger in your target customer’s mind about you and what you have to offer.
Great tag lines appear to be effortlessly created because they just seem to flow. In fact, creating and refining one takes time, just like designing a great logo. The benefits of taking the time to craft a great tag line lie with the tag line’s stickiness. Great tag lines stick in your memory.
The Hallmark tag line, “When you care enough to send the very best,” appeals to the human desire to be viewed as having good taste and an appreciation for luxury. If greeting cards are a commodity, then Hallmark has found a way to differentiate itself as the choice for quality.
The Hallmark company was founded by J. C. Hall, so the name Hallmark was a natural. It was also brilliant from a marketing standpoint. Hallmarks have been used for centuries as a stamp to denote quality, purity, and genuineness. Could there be a better way to attach the image of quality to a product? The tag line capitalizes on that image well with words that stick in the mind and exemplify good taste.
Creating a great logo and distinctive tag line are critical in creating a brand that provides the perfect image for your company and great ones just might be memorable enough to give your company the beach front property in the minds of your customers that leaves them thinking only of you.