Many BrightBox clients ask us where to spend the majority of their concentration on their brand. To answer that question, we have developed a broad range of reasons for how you might assess the focus of your energy. One way to view your company is to divide up your branding process into three parts: short, medium and long.
This is not an article referencing the timeline of your goals. Rather, by short, medium and long, we mean to prioritize what should be the focus of your efforts in what order you engineer your brand.
In a company, some things should be short, some should be medium and some should be long.
Your name should probably be on the small side. Some names are able to float in spite of a healthy amount of length. “Jimmy’s Bait Shop” is much friendlier than “James Jeremiah Belvedere’s Place to Buy Fishing Stuff.”
Nike, Geico, Fubu, Dockers, Levi’s, Pepsi, Miller and Blue Bell all seem to have short names with two syllables.
When names get too long, companies compensate by using symbols, initials or both:
IBM, GE, NTB, and AT&T. CNN. ABC.
Initials can be a bit confusing if you have never heard of what they represent, but they are acceptable once the brand is known. Unfortunately, in an ever-crowded marketplace of business ideas, a generic or overly long name will kill your brand.
In addition to your name, keep your brand concept small. Your brand concept is even more compact than your slogan. Slogans can describe a lot in a short amount of time, but slogans can also be explicit. They can tell you to “save 15% or more on your car insurance in less than 15 minutes”, or that the product is “always the real thing.”
You want to represent small, compact, powerful ideas. Whether your product is different because it’s sharp, sleek, multicolored, American, light, fast, expensive, innovative or whatever other concept you are looking to own in the mind, you want to be able to drive that point home quickly. Don’t ramble.
Your slogan is a medium length supporter for your brand. Slogans are a quick description of what the brand does. They are its bio and first impression.
You know what the say about first impressions.
Your slogan should reinforce your particular niche or division of the always evolving market. Your market will always gain, lose, or hold customers. A good slogan should keep people in the market and keep your concept connected to the market.
Right now, Altoids are known as the “curiously strong mints.” Should someone come up with a more fitting concept for mints than “strength”, Altoids would hold a much weaker position in the marketplace. As of now, they’re #1.
That slogan has some substance to it. They’re unusually strong, to the point that you are wondering how they got that way.
By connecting the concept to the brand through a medium length or heavily implied slogan, you reinforce the core concepts of the brand.
The following should be long:
-The list of people in your phone book.
-The amount of books you read each month.
-The amount of books you write in your life.
-Your client list
-Your list of future projects
-The list of digits on your paychecks
-The list of digits in your revenue and profits results
-Your vision for the future.
-Your staying power as a brand.