Be honest, how many of you think branding is all about a company’s logo, tagline, or perhaps their typography and colour palette? I’m not here to shame you if that’s your perception. As I’ve established over the last couple of weeks, branding is continuously evolving, so it’s little wonder that many of us and our companies are on such different pages when it comes to building their brand.
Branding in days gone by was referred to as corporate identity and it relied on Verbal Assets and Visual Assets (logo).
These days, the world is more sophisticated and there is no such thing as a quick fix when it comes to building your brand and getting your brand out there. There are more opportunities than ever for brands to express themselves – and there are more opportunities for us as consumers to experience them.
The concept of 360 degree branding (or Three Sixty if that’s more your style) takes into account all the possible touch points where a consumer could interact with your brand. These touch points form a 360 spectrum of expression beyond typography, tone of voice or logo, which can be broken down into:
- Verbal Assets
- Sensorial Assets
- Visual Assets
The 360 degree model allows brands to maximise opportunities, taking advantage at every possible opportunity. The beauty being if brands re-enforce these assets time and time again, then it becomes possible to recognise a brand from just one touchpoint, which illustrates the point that branding is not just about the power of the logo. You just have to think about the ‘Like’ button on Facebook to understand how effective this could be. Similarly when we think of the Interactive aspect, just think how Tinder have used ‘Swipe Left’. This is an example of a gesture within the spectrum.
Granted this new, multi-dimensional approach extends beyond the traditional brand guidelines (and that’s assuming you’re a company that takes branding seriously enough to have guidelines in the first place). Nowadays your brand needs to be defined in terms of the senses and the ‘experience’ across all channels (touch points). That said, a brand can start small and build up to include a richer, more complex range of ‘expressions’.
The great thing about the 360 degree brand strategy is you now have more tools than ever before at your disposal to create meaningful touch points and interactions with your brand.
Why not start with your brand’s raison d’etre in the centre, and map out all your brand’s possible touch points. Now compare that with how much do you know about your customer’s ‘buyer’s journey’. Do you have all the necessary assets in place to interact where ever your customers go? Once you start, you’ll see it’s a whole new world of opportunities. Remember – it’s all about the experience.