Vantive Media
contact
Brands Brands

 Brand Management

Brand Design

The most critical prerequisites to effective brand building include extraordinary clear understanding of your target market and the psychology of perception for your targeted consumer. Understanding the demographics of your target market and psychographics of your target consumer require a combination of strong industry experience and methodically executed customer research.

While not commonly applied among brand managers, Vantive Media recommends that clear and concise competitive advantages be solidified and weaved into the brand. This is somewhat unique and has a particularly strong benefit in the technology industry. Unlike retail brands, technology brands are evaluated at great depth for longer periods of time by more dubious buyers. Technology selling is normally solution selling and is more often than not characterized by positioning an intangible, selling to committees (not just a person) incurring longer duration sales cycles and demonstrating a combination of risk reduction and ROI maximization. Buyer perception is generally acquired faster and with increased favor as a result of increased alignment between your competitive advantages and your brand. Remember, for competitive advantages to be valid, they must be relevant, objective (measurable) and unique. A fourth sought after characteristic for competitive advantages is sustainability, however, due to its difficulty and sometimes impossibility (particularly in the technology industry), this is normally considered an optional characteristic for competitive advantages.

With the prerequisites and competitive advantages complete, you are ready for brand design and in position to model various names, phrases, key words, symbols, patterns and colors to most handily convey the solution benefits that comprise the brand. Creativity is considered the only constant in brand design. However, as the technology industry makes more extensive use of online and digital delivery mechanisms than most other industries, the power of color and font are considered to be more powerful visual cues, than for example symbols or pictures, in maximizing favorable buyer perception.

Brand managers experiment with many brand composition variables in order to influence buyer perception. When buyers discover a new technology solution they immediately categorize it within their known context. This is the psychological process of perception and brand managers can influence buyer perception by manipulating the brand attributes to influence the buyer’s cues when classifying the product or service.

Brand Naming
Technology brand names are advised to be one (or two) word neologisms that have no specific meaning. Neologisms are fictitious or made up words that are without meaning in any language. Overly product specific names pigeon-hole technology companies in a manner where the brand name cannot keep pace with the advancements in technology and ultimately hold back the company in the minds of IT buyers. IBM is a classic example. At the time of company’s name introduction it was felt an advantage to have the word ‘machines’ in the name. However, as the technology evolution ensued, International Business Machines wanted the market to think of software, technology, services and innovation when they thought of Big Blue. Therefore, after decades of investment, the company made the wise choice to change the name from International Business Machines to IBM. Similarly, American Telephone and Telegraph found it a liability to be overly associated with either telephones or telegraphs and changed their name to AT&T. Companies such as Oracle, Google, Xerox, Macintosh, Adobe, Cisco and eBay have all capitalized on the branding lessons learned from the prior eras. Neologisms can be uniquely defined by the name holder and the definition can be managed to evolve over time with the evolution of product cycles.

Customer Research
Customer research is the preferred method to determine those brand design elements and cues which maximize impact and perception. The best practice for brand design experimentation is to get target market buyers into a controlled location and expose them to competing brand designs for very short durations. Following short bursts of brand design depictions, simple questioning to determine what they remembered about the design (color, symbol, name and the like), why they remembered certain elements and the perception of those elements will reveal patterns that will permit brand designers to evolve the brand to an ideal outcome.

A word of caution is advised with brand design sessions. As the objective is to evaluate perceptual impact, brand designs should only be exposed to buyers in short bursts, normally no more than a few seconds. To achieve a true perceptual response, it is important that buyers react without hesitation or contemplation. Giving target market buyers’ the option to comment or play design expert defeats the purpose.

As technology knows few geographical boundaries, special global considerations are advised when developing your brand. These considerations vary by region and country and are beyond the scope of this article, however, will be addressed in future blog posts. Suffice it to say that brands must hold up across languages and cultures.

Technorati: Technology Media, Brands, Media  Technorati Add to Technorati Favorites
Del.icio.us: Technology Media, Brands, Media  Del.icio.us Save this page to del.icio.us
Posted In:   Brands  PermalinkPermalink  CommentsComments (0) TrackbackTrackback (1)


TRACKBACK

Trackback URL for this blog post: http://www.Vantivemedia.com/branddesign.asp.


READER COMMENTS

 

Send comments to blog[at]Vantivemedia.com.

Home Blog Home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY MEDIA BLOG

 

Services | Methods | Markets | Brands | Company | Media | Blog

Home | Search | Sitemap | Directory | Resources | Links | Terms | Contact | Privacy | 508