How do you stand out from the crowd?
As a result of globalisation, many markets are saturated with competitors offering similar products and services. To stand out you must add value for customers through your brand and branding. A strong brand will differentiate your business from competitors and improve customer loyalty.
Brand management is about managing your brand wherever it appears. It creates a perception of your business with customers, so they look favourably on your company, products and services. Keeping up appearances and upholding standards is an integral part of brand management. A clear brand strategy, with detailed brand guidelines, helps ensure your brand is faithfully and consistently applied across all communication channels. A proper strategy protects your brand image and the market position you have worked so hard to achieve.
Memorable branding promotes awareness, recall and consideration. An audience should think of your brand when they hear or think of words associated with your product, service, or industry. An attractive and consistent visual aesthetic helps customers connect with your brand.
Don't just take our word for it
On our Branding work, I have seen many agencies attempt to brand over the years and fail, Azzurro really understood the brief and captured the essence of what we are. Excellent! We are delighted with this work.
Frank Strang – CEO SaxaVord, UK Space Port
I am pleased to say that we have used Azzurro to provide consultative support for marketing and commercial projects, and for general Agency support from time to time. Their consultative inputs have provided significant added value to our efforts, and the general Agency support exceeds our expectations. We are very pleased with the support we receive.
Ian Bruce, CEO, Plan B Professional Services Ltd.
We engaged Azzurro to monetise Union Media more effectively. They started with the Brand and built from there. We are delighted with the results on all fronts.
Jacqui Simmons – General Manager, Union Media
Azzurro has been managing our Google Adwords/PPC account for six months and the metrics around our various campaigns have been brilliant. The Click-Through-Rate on our adverts have improved each month and is now more than double the industry average. Outsourcing the Google Adwords/PPC project management allows our team to focus on other key deliverables while benefiting from a significant increase in website enquiries.
Andrew Lamb – Sales Manager, HRH Geology
Social media presence is an important tool for business so that’s where the main help’s been for the company as far as I am concerned. Just getting our name out there and marketing our company to tell people who we are and what we can do. A great bunch of people, with an insightful view into the importance of Web Design and Social media. Well worth a call.
Jason Moir, Director, Dyce Carriers Ltd
Branding is not about simply identifying a business by its logo, print material or digital assets. While all these things are important, branding is also about tone of voice, what you say and how you say it, as well as how the business behaves. Remember the saying, ‘first impressions count’. Those first impressions often shape how you are perceived, as does someone’s experience of your brand – good or bad – at the start of the journey or as the relationship evolves.
Azzurro is a brand-led agency, meaning we consistently apply the principles of brand management, whether we were responsible for the design of a client’s brand or when asked by a new client, looking for fresh ideas, to follow their brand guidelines.
Establish Your Visual Identity
Where do you start when you know your business needs to improve its visual identity?
Branding is one of the most important parts of running a business. It is as much a business asset as buildings, plant and machinery and needs to be treated with the utmost importance.
There are many ways to brand your company, whether a start-up business or when it is time to rebrand. A memorable, distinctive and relevant logo, a name style, a strapline or positioning statement, what colours or fonts look best, all have to be decided.
At Azzurro, we have helped hundreds of companies through the branding process. We start by understanding your business: your heritage, people, values and ambitions. Then we move to the design stage. Concept ideas emerge, discussions are had, refinements are made, and finally we have an identity you are proud to call your own.
We have worked on branding projects for clients in many industries – energy, finance, transport, retail, tech start-ups, non-profit, creative arts, restaurants, and many more.
Find your brand voice
The tone of voice you use to talk about your brand, product or service is a key decision. It can make the difference between a successful brand and one that doesn’t hit the mark, so it is important to adopt the right voice for your business.
If you are not sure what tone of voice will work best for your company – the written and spoken word – then it may be time to enlist the help of our brand experts. Do you take the tone of a market leader, bullish, confident and upbeat, or adopt a more informal approach, humorous or edgy, for consumers that align with your brand values. All of this plays out in advertising, print and digital marketing, where there is a clear voice, consistent with the brand.
We take time to understand who you are as an organisation and the type of customers you want before advising on a tone of voice. The next stage is to map out what you need to say with consistent, concise messaging. We will work with you to create a hierarchy of messages that customers and prospects will start to associate with your brand.
Develop your brand strategy
A successful brand strategy takes commitment and discipline to implement.
Creativity can be difficult when you are busy running a business. Besides, not everyone claims to be creative. Lack of time and energy disrupts creative thinking. This leads companies to overcomplicate things with half-baked strategies and ideas where they end up trying too hard, instead of being authentic about who they are as a brand.
Azzurro guides you through brand strategy from the mission, vision and values to developing strategy and executing it across marketing assets: website, advertising, social media platforms, SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), PPC (Pay per Click), email marketing, press releases, and promotional material.
We have worked with international organisations and national companies, in addition to ambitious clients at a local level. All have one thing in common: a desire to take their business forward.
Establish your brand guidelines
Effective brand management requires control. All companies should have comprehensive brand guidelines that are kept up-to-date and are easy to apply.
The absence of brand guidelines leads to inconsistency and can ultimately harm your brand. Even well-intentioned employees can inadvertently ruin a company presentation by doing their own thing.
It doesn’t look great when that happens, and the worst part is you often don’t know. That’s why well-documented brand guidelines are invaluable – think about a quality management system and the procedures that have been put in place. The same applies to brand guidelines where there is a process to follow and employees should know where to turn, or who to speak to, for brand approval and control.
Azzurro can create brand guidelines for you, with clear instructions and advice for design teams, sales and marketing staff, and third-party suppliers such as printers. This will ensure consistency is achieved for all print and digital assets, thereby protecting the integrity of your brand.
The words brand and branding are often used interchangeably; however, they do not have the same meaning. Your brand is who you are, what you do, how you behave, the values you stand for. It is how you present your company to the world and how you are perceived. As Amazon founder Jeff Bezos said: “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
Whereas branding consists of the tools and actions used to communicate your brand: visual or audio elements unique to your company such as name, logo, colours, jingles, and phrases. You can use branding to influence the way customers feel about your brand and the perceptions they form. For example, using bright colours may give off a fun and playful vibe whereas, using a monochrome colour palette could convey a luxurious and up-market feeling.
Branding is what distinguishes you from competitors. Many companies offer fundamentally the same product but use branding to differentiate them. For example, if we look at bottled water companies, they all sell bottles of water to hydrate consumers. However, consumers have very different perceptions about different bottled water companies. Fiji and Voss are seen as more high-end brands likely to be found in luxury hotel rooms or on the table at fancy events. Then there are Evian and Volvic, considered more everyday brands, for grabbing on the go from the local supermarket. This is all to do with how these companies have positioned themselves and used visual branding to stimulate specific emotions from consumers.
Having a distinct brand can help customers feel more connected to your company. If they feel their beliefs and values align with your company and branding, they become more attached to your brand, and this will drive customer loyalty.
A top-of-mind brand is the first brand that pops into a person’s head when they hear or think of words related to a specific subject or industry. For example, the top-of-mind brand for many people when they hear the words fizzy drink or soda is Coca-Cola, or perhaps if you are in Scotland, it may be Irn Bru. Both brands have strong visual elements that are immediately recognisable, and their brand colours alone are enough for most people to think of the brand. Strong brand awareness is part of what makes both soda brands successful with loyal customers.
Being a top-of-mind brand is a challenge for most companies; that’s why they continually advertise and promote. Whether you compete in a mass-market or are more niche, the goal for any brand is to be recognised and well thought of by their target audience. It’s not just for high-profile brands, you can be top-of-mind in a niche market.