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Branding 101: It’s the energy that counts!

by Jeanie Liu, June 24th 2019

An interview with Claire Logue, Creative Director at Z LAB Global

You might wonder, as I have, what’s all the fuss about branding? Why is it so important? Why does it take up so much time and space in a corporation’s marketing strategy? Or, the biggest question, the most perplexing thing of all, why does it seem at times so difficult to explain? That is, why can’t it just be put into a nice little box of simple concrete steps to follow and be done with it? It’s so nebulous, and everywhere! And loaded with some pretty abstract concepts. What, for instance, is brand strategy, brand identity, brand assets, and what is the difference? People sometimes toss these words around as synonymous, but they cover entirely different areas of brand strategy.

Branding is essentially an idea, a perception, and a process. The brand of a company represents its identity, mission, service, performance, and product – It’s every promise made and delivered. A logo is a part of it, yes, but experience and personality are also components that represent a company’s brand, the perception of a company in the public sphere. Each element is part of a process that, with a positive influence on consumers, eventually becomes an asset. And that’s the most important aspect of branding.

I recently had the chance to interview Claire Logue, the Creative Director at Z LAB Global, an unconventional marketing powerhouse. We discussed the very important role that a brand can play. At Z LAB, we believe market research and a clear brand strategy support and drive the success of a company.

How do we define branding?

A lot of people think when you are talking about branding, all you need is the logo or the color you choose to represent your brand. But this is just one tiny little piece of what branding is. Although your logo might be your most identifiable mark, for people being able to say I know that’s your company, but your brand is how you look and how you communicate your message to your customers into the market.

What is our branding process?

We begin with a deep understanding of the company. So we are going through a branding process, maybe we will start from the very beginning. We are creating a logo, a name, mission statement. We are working together to build something that has meaning, to show what your brand really is, what your identity is.

How would you help your customer to evolve and succeed in the marketplace?

During the start-up phase, we are adjusting. People are responding to the educational aspect of your brand or the precise service and product you are offering, or the problem you are solving, and we focus more on these attributes when we are building your brand communication. As your company searches and grows, your brand stops being just an identity and becomes a tangible asset.

And why it is so important to invest in branding?

When you go from a small company to a large company, like Shell, Exxon or Bank of America, your brand may greatly increase in value. Shell, for instance, remains the world’s most valuable oil and gas brand as its value grew 7% over the past year to US$39.4 billion. When you reach this phase, your brand is going to do more selling than any sales person could ever do at any point in your business. So you need to invest in it. It has to be a priority. All of these things work together to create something that embodies the promise of what you are delivering into the market and that is your brand.

In Summary

Brand asset – unique elements that familiarize and distinguish a company to consumers – have greater value than many people realize, and start-up companies frequently underestimate their significance. Brand Assets are used to assess how established and unique the brand is to consumers and provide an element of inclusivity and distinctiveness essential to success and growth in the market.

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