Cues to branding | White River Design
Branding is one of those concepts that most business owners find confusing.

Branding is one of those concepts that most business owners find confusing. Surely once you have a logo, you have a brand? Not so. The reality is that branding is far more than the symbol of a logo or the colour of the packaging. These are important visual connections to your brand, but they are not the only thing that makes up your brand.
Even though most people are confused about branding, we can all identify when it is done well. Nike, Coca-cola, Apple, Mercedes, Rebel, McDonalds and T2 are just a few that come to mind.
Cues in branding

Cues to branding

Visual Cues

Visual connections to a brand are the obvious element that we all tend to focus on when we talk branding. Whether it’s the apple, golden arches or tick/swish, we can all very easily recognise what symbol relates to a particular brand. But other visual cues may be colour, font or shape.
Let’s take colour as an example. If I were to mention a light blue box or purple chocolate, the majority of you may answer Tiffany’s and Cadbury’s. In fact, when some people describe colour, they often refer to Tiffany blue, Coca-cola red or Cadbury purple. Some brands use photographic imagery as a visual cue. Brands such as Rebel use large black and white images of powerful, focused sports people, dripping with sweat in a quest to be the best that they can be.

Sound Cues

There are brands that use sound to get people to recognise them. Whether it is the way the name is announced such as “Boost!”, or a saying that sticks, for example ’not happy Jan”. There is no doubt that sound cues can connect you with a brand.
Better known as sonic branding, the recognition of a tune or jingle associated with a brand can be a very powerful trigger. A jingle is considered successful if after listening to it you want to sing it. This clever form of brand association essentially makes you an advertiser for the brand every time you sing it on their behalf! More often than not these jingles can be irritating – especially if you can’t get them out of your head! Some classic adverts that have used jingles include Vegetate, Aeroplane Jelly, Australian Bananas, Coles, Banana Boat and Decore.

Smell Cues

Smell is the only sense that is fully developed at birth – making it a highly influential sense to utilise in branding. This connection to smell means that it can be a powerful branding tool to create recognition and nostalgia in the market. Whether it’s the scent of jasmine or a BBQ reminding you that spring is in the air, or the smell of fresh sheets, coffee or a roaring fire place reminds you that winter is coming – we all have smell triggers that connect us to people, places, memories and emotions.
Branding using scent is becoming popular amongst hotels, retailers and other businesses that want to differentiate themselves with consumers through the highly influential sense of smell. According to Mandarin Oriental’s branding specialists, hotel guests remember what they smell two times longer and more vividly than what they see or hear added to that a person can recall a smell with 65 percent accuracy, in contrast to only 50 percent of visuals*. Hotels are creating signature scents that become a very strong connection to their brand and, subconsciously make them feel safe and welcome overtime they enter through their doors.

Character Cues

Many brands have used characters to create trust and recognition in their brand. From Mr Sheen, Ronald McDonald or Rhonda and Katut, brand characters or mascots personalise the brand and offer their customers an avenue to engage in conversation with the brand. Brand mascots are particularly successful in building a brand through social media as consumers prefer to interact with entertaining characters rather than a faceless corporate.
If you are looking at building a brand rather than simply having a logo, then we would recommend that you speak to our team of professional brand strategists to help you build a strong and recognisable brand. Call 02 4732 4766 to have a chat to our talented team.

Written by branding specialist Debbie O’Connor
Consultant, Strategist, Keynote Speaker

Written by our Creative Director & Branding Specialist Debbie O'Connor - Consultant, Strategist, Keynote Speaker

Published: Nov 25th, 2015