Total Solutions Branding

When one thinks about the brand of an organization, they typically first think of the company’s logo such as the Nike Swoosh, the McDonald’s Golden Arches, or the Apple icon.

JK blog_logos

The companies mentioned above have all invested in a well-rounded branding package, going beyond the logo and thus are able to enjoy brand recognition and the sense of familiarity that consumers associate with their logo.  When you think of a logo, it should evoke thoughts of the entire interaction with the company itself – the product, the packaging, the marketing, AND the in-store experience.

What is a brand?

To K4, a brand is a bundle of attributes that communicate to potential customers who you are and the products and services that you provide.  Think of the brand as the visual design – the logo, font, and color palette as applied to your facility exteriors, interiors, graphics, marketing materials and website.  Think of branding as the strategy that supports the visual design and the message behind it, communicating your value and creating a unique position for you in the marketplace.

What should a brand do?

The brand should forge a connection between the company, the employees, and the consumers.  It should help the employees & consumers identify and relate to the company.  The brand should also set the company apart from competition and establish a presence.  The goal of branding should be to enhance your business performance and deliver measurable business outcomes.

What is brand consistency & why bother with it?

First let’s talk consistency…how do we achieve & maintain brand consistency and why is it important?

Think of every piece of your company like a member of your family, supporting and looking similar to each other.  Your family looks unique which enables someone to recognize it and distinguish it from other families.  This same principle should be applied to all the pieces that make up your brand.

For example, imagine you were thinking of hiring an architecture firm or interior design firm. You perform a Google search and find a few located near you. You look at their website but it doesn’t seem to be creative or well-designed, as you would expect from a design firm. When you request a brochure, you receive a piece that may be designed well, but doesn’t match the website design, and the message they had previously communicated to you.  But when you visit the facility, it is amazing.  A completely remodeled and creative interior with beautiful furniture supported by a well-designed exterior.  The elements of the building all worked together with a consistent theme, but the marketing materials didn’t match.

You may decide to not learn anything further about this firm, because something about the inconsistency bothered you – because the brand was not communicated in a unified way – and that’s why brand consistency is so important…

How does K4 create a branded environment?

Branding through architecture, interior design and graphic design is the process of transforming a building or space into a three-dimensional composition of a brand.  Your building is your “sign” to the public.  One that positively reinforces and communicates its identity, unifies its culture, and delivers a branded and consistent message to the customers. By integrating your brand strategy into the design of your facilities, you can create an environment that inspires your employees and helps your customers better understand your company’s mission, vision, and values.

Author's Own Photo State Bank of Lizton - Branded Exterior
Author’s Own Photo
State Bank of Lizton – Branded Exterior

A branded environment is created by combining a number of components such as the architectural elements, interior layouts, floor and wall finish materials, lighting, environmental graphics, way-finding devices, signage, and even furniture that reflects and reinforces the personality of a business.

Author's Own Photo State Bank of Lizton - Branded Interior & Graphics
Author’s Own Photo
State Bank of Lizton – Branded Interior & Graphics

The same branding as used in your physical property of interiors and exteriors should further be expanded upon in your company marketing materials and website.  Have you taken the leap into email communications and social media?  Those pieces should be consistent too, and don’t take the leap without first thinking how this will support the brand.

State Bank of Lizton - Branded Website
State Bank of Lizton – Branded Website

K4 helps companies build their brands and delivers total solutions that keep consistency of a message and facilitate the entire branded experience.

For the exterior of a facility; the use of architectural iconic elements, consistent materials, vivid colors, lighting, signage, merchandising panels, and window graphics can create a consistent message through prototype design.  That same message should then translate into, and throughout the interior environment, an organizing theme that couples space functionality with brand expression.  The use of compatible materials and colors combined with strategically placed furniture, casework, signage and graphics turn your space into one of your most powerful marketing assets.

We can all learn something from McDonald’s – early branding experts

McDonald’s was the first major company with the vision to develop a branded prototype with the original red mansard roof with the yellow light bars, a standard brick texture and color, consistent and vivid color pallets, and a large expanses of windows to bring the interior branded environment to the exterior.  No matter where you traveled or what city you visited, your children could spot the McDonald’s restaurant.

Image Source
Image Source

McDonald’s has recently modified their prototype restaurants with a more progressive and contemporary appeal, but in keeping with their original intent of a consistent and recognizable appearance using the yellow arch, brick & stone materials, and the bright colored awnings, the defining elements that reinforce the brand.

Image Source
Image Source

It’s not your building, it’s your brand!

What we’re really talking about is making sure all of the components that make up your brand fit together and support it consistently.  Your building is your presence within the community, a revenue generator, and where your customers interact with your brand, so therefore it should be a reflection of your story.  This story should be further communicated in everything that you do while supporting your business strategy and your marketing goals. It’s not just your building, it’s your BRAND!  And it’s not just a brochure or website, it’s BRANDING!