Infrastructure is trending. USA lawmakers agreed on a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. Regardless of your opinion, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime investment that compares to the WPA. It’s a landmark move that will fund new infrastructure across the nation—bridges, roads, broadband, water, energy systems and more. The hope is that it will push towards a sustainable economy, get us on the path to net zero emissions and create millions of jobs in the process.
Infrastructure doesn’t sound exciting. The topic doesn’t ruffle feathers like migration, climate change or deep state conspiracy theories. But infrastructure is crucial. We can all agree that having smooth roads, solid bridges and working pipes makes our lives better. Without proper infrastructure, society can’t function. It’s the foundation.
We’re revamping our national infrastructure to keep up with the times. Is your brand infrastructure up to date? As a branding services agency, we know a thing or two about building solid brands. Read on to discover the essential brand framework.
Your brand is more than just your logo—that’s just a picture of it. A brand is your emotional foundation– it creates atmospheres and inspires feelings through visuals, metaphors and references. People remember personalities that make them feel something more than words. If your personality isn’t clearly understood by your internal team and communication partners, your brand will get lost in the noise.
The infrastructure of your brand is the strategic intelligence and visual language that define who you are. Creative campaigns and targeted marketing efforts are a critical part of messaging strategy, but a solid foundation of essential components is necessary for consistent and authentic communications. Without well built roads and bridges, you can’t expect your brand to go the distance.
Just as the country’s infrastructure is made up of many different elements, your brand infrastructure should include two major structures: your Brand Platform and your Brand Identity.
1. Brand Platform
This is the essential document that provides the foundation for all external communication. It’s an internal document that explains the essence of the brand to new partners and hires, keeping everyone aligned. Overall, the platform sets the tone, communicates the big idea, and gives anyone a sense of your identity, offering and beliefs. This key intelligence can be passed on to digital agencies, social media companies, marketing teams and branding services agencies to ensure they are creating on-brand campaigns. The platform has several components:
> Who you are: also called the market position, this is the big idea that your brand rests on. Often just a few words, it sums up your identity in a brief, poetic statement.
> What you believe: your core values are a huge part of your identity. These are the pillars that your success is built upon. What are you committed to? Why do you do what you do?
> Why you’re better: clear understanding of your unique selling principles that differentiate you from the competition is critical for effective messaging.
> Who you speak to: distinguishing audience personas refines brand strategy. Knowing your audience, their hopes, fears, likes and dislikes lays the foundation for successful engagement.
> How you communicate: defining brand voice, tone and key messages ensures communication feels authentic and consistent. Documenting core messages also gives outside creative teams a strong framework to build upon.
2. Brand Identity
The Brand Identity is the visual expression of the intelligence laid out in the brand platform. Your personality must inform how you look, not the other way around. While the Brand Platform should give a sense of your brand look and feel through colors and imagery, the Brand Identity document sets a series of visual standards and rules to be used by design professionals. It creates a consistent visual language that can be expanded across all mediums. Any branding services agency or design studio should be able to work from existing style guides when creating collateral. The brand identity has several components:
> Logo: your logo reflects your brand position while also providing a readable expression of your name. It’s crucial that your logo is easy to read and recognize.
> Colors: identifying a defined set of brand colors is critical for maintaining a consistent look and achieving visibility and memorability. Depending on your brand personality, you may tend light or dark, high or low chroma, you may want to fit in or stand out. Your colors should reflect your overarching identity.
> Typography: letterforms have immense power in communicating a particular feeling to viewers. Certain typography can make you feel modern, authoritative, playful or anything else. Careful choice of typography and consistent use is key.
> Iconography: your brand may have a series of illustrations or icons to express complex concepts more efficiently. These can be a powerful tool in streamlining communications and capturing limited attention.
As 2021 comes to a close, it’s time to take a look at your brand infrastructure. Do you have the essential structures to support you into the future?
We often write off infrastructure because it doesn’t feel exciting. Marketing campaigns are active– they promise to generate leads, giving a sense of instant gratification. But if your brand isn’t solid, lead generation can’t be maximally effective. Just like funding infrastructure, branding is a capital investment. The return happens over a longer period of time, but the effects are also longer lasting. Investing in your brand will have relevance for years to come.
A brand identity agency can work with you to build a rock-solid foundation for your brand. With the right support, you can grow to new heights.