Chapter EIGHT: Demand the Brand
In last week’s entry of the Diary of an Intern series, you met our fourth and final intern, “Mojive.” Now it’s time to delve back into a more “businessy” discussion and talk about brand standards.
Since starting my internship I’ve learned many lessons: how much stamina it takes to adjust to an 8-hour work day, administrative tasks are vitally important to the success of a company, what type of character it takes to do sales well and how much goes into building the foundation of a new business plan.
I’ve also learned this: BRANDING AND LOGOS ARE NOT THE SAME THING, SO FOR GOODNESS SAKE, DON’T INTERCHANGE THEM EVER EVER EVER.
If you’re looking for me to apologize over my monopolizing of caps lock, don’t hold your breath! The importance of branding has been pounded into my head and I’m now going to share my newly found wisdom with you…
You see, logos are only 1/1,000,000,000,000,000th of what the concept of branding entails. When you look at a McDonalds logo, do those golden arches ever change shape? What about the color or hue of the red and gold? We’re so accustomed to seeing the same, consistently formatted logos, sounds, phrases, themes, messages, etc. that we’d instinctively catch mistakes if and when they appear.
Trust me, my marketing manager tested this with us. She showed us logos in the wrong color, and we noticed!
Big business? Small business? The same holds true for both! Your visual identity helps build brand recognition and recall.
I was given brand standards the first day I started here, but I’ll admit I didn’t pay much attention to them. My carelessness (misunderstanding, rather) toward following the exact shade of red and the approved brand fonts led me to have a lot of projects returned to my plate.
This all seemed ridiculous to me. I thought, ‘there must be a loophole,’ but there isn’t. I’m learning to follow the brand rules – but there is more to this story. Branding isn’t just what color to use. Or how your logo looks. Or that you use a certain typeface.
Branding is about personality. If your company is young and bubbly or hip and colorful, become an ambassador to that style! Branding is about building perception – and about becoming consistently memorable. You want to have an emotional connection with your customers, and that means you have to develop an overall attitude that they’ll relate to. Everyone working for or with your brand help become your brand, so it’s important to have company-wide cohesion. You have to tailor your entire business approach toward what your brand exhibits in order to achieve maximum success.
Your brand is unique to you – it identifies you as distinct from all the other brands in the world.
I bet if I stripped all the logos off a McDonald’s commercial and a Wendy’s commercial, you’d still be able to tell the difference. The commercials would use a tone and a personality that you’d be able to identify as the correct advertiser.
The brand standards we follow help us build that identity; and good branding can build credibility, recognition and brand value.You have to be true to your brand at all times: when someone is watching what you’re doing and when no one is watching.
Thanks for following my journey as an intern! My time is winding down, but I’ll have a few more posts, so please come back next week!