Remember when Amazon used to only sell electronic books for its Kindle? Now it has a streaming service (Amazon Prime) and Alexa (virtual assistant developed by Amazon). It has come a long way from being a marketplace for books in 1994 when it was launched. As an incorporated company, Amazon is now a parent company with various businesses like e-commerce, cloud computing, digital streaming and artificial intelligence. Amazon is one of America’s Big Four—the largest technology companies—along with Apple, Facebook and Google.
Despite the ever-changing coverage of the Amazon business, it has never lost its brand. It is still and will continue to be a brand that focuses on technological innovation.
Even if Amazon is a large business, it is still a good model for ever startup. Every startup needs to evolve in order to stay relevant. But in order to stay relevant, the business has to keep its brand intact the way Amazon did. That is a job for a branding company.
Why hire a branding company?
This is usually one of the debatable issues when it comes to startups. It makes the entrepreneur ask: Should I hire a branding company to craft the business’s corporate identity? For larger companies, it is a no-brainer. Branding strategies are better left to the experts. Branding consultancy firms have the right knowledge and experience to craft the visual identity of a company from the logo design to its social media persona. Of course, that comes with a price—a price that startups are not always willing to shell out.
The answer is a hard yes! A startup needs to hire a branding company especially with the dream of ever expanding in the future. A brand identity is not easy to come up with. The corporate identity will come from a business’s set of goals, mission, vision and core values. If you are launching a startup and you want to scrimp on funds, you might think that it would save you a lot of money if you just do your own branding. That is actually the wrong perspective. It may sound easy and fun to be able to create your business persona, but there is real work that comes with it.
Behind the brand
Branding firms do not create strategy design for branding out of thin air. Creating a company’s brand identity is actually a product of research and a lot of deliberation and conceptualization. It will take time to come up with the best brand concepts that will best define your business. If you are an entrepreneur, you can’t exhaust a lot of your time defining your brand when you are trying to run a business and make a profit.
Some businesses that establish their own brands without the expertise of a branding firm will be in danger of creating a haphazard corporate identity. The tendency here is that the brand will not have an impact to the public. The goal of branding is to create a lasting impression among the public. That is essential when the business is aiming for longevity.
Speaking of longevity, one of the most important roles of a branding agency is providing consistency. A branding experience is a holistic package. It is not just the logo design or the tagline; it is about the quality and the message of the company in every purchase of a product or service. Here is how companies create a brand according to Investopedia. A successful branding will have an effect on a customer. Hopefully that effect will last a long time, just enough for the customer to come back for more.
But we live in a digital world that is continuously changing. What is good today may no longer be relevant tomorrow. While businesses evolve, it doesn’t mean that their brand needs to change. The brand needs to remain consistent and relevant even if the products or services the company offers changes. It doesn’t mean that the brand doesn’t evolve, though. Evolution doesn’t mean complete obliteration of the past; it only means modification of the old model.
A branding firm is very important in keeping things consistent. The branding agency can create guidelines for advertising agencies during the creation of advertising campaigns, as well as curate the online branding for digital experiences. In the same manner, the branding firm will also provide technical and practical recommendations when it comes to the web design of a company’s website or mobile application. The visual identity of the brand should be loudly visible online. Brand management is essential in keeping the corporate identity consistent on paper and online, and in an in-house and global setting.
Evolution is natural
Evolution is expected. Let’s go back to Amazon, which was originally an online bookstore. Currently, one of the most important and popular products from Amazon’s lineup is Alexa, which is a technology that is capable of doing voice interaction. Amazon would not have become the multi-billion company if it did not evolve. A lot of today’s large corporations are selling products and services that don’t resemble their original commodity. But they continued to be relevant because they were banking on their brand.
A brand gives your business that identity that will allow people to recognize it from afar. It is the question mark in Guess, the glaring yellow M in McDonald’s, and the check mark also known as the Swoosh in Nike.
Guess originally made stone-washed denims, which are still the brand’s most popular items. But the company eventually became a full-blown fashion brand manufacturing clothes, accessories, shoes and bags. When you see that question mark inside an inverted red and white triangle in an item, you already know what brand it is. The same goes for McDonald’s—no matter what country it is, as soon as you see that M, you know that food chain it is.
Evolution is but natural. When your company evolves, you have to make sure that the brand seamlessly evolves as well. With a branding company at the helm of the business’s growth, there will be a smooth evolution of the brand. If the business needs to transform the logo, as most companies do when they evolve, it helps if an expert steers the design agency to the right track. A collaboration between a branding firm and a design company will make transition of the design logo easier. The firm will keep the logo consistent despite the changes while the design firm can make it more current and relevant.
One thing developing brands need to take into consideration is the digital platform. Branding digital strategy is important so if you have to hire a branding company, make sure that it has a lot of experience doing online content and campaigns like Ramotion.