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Friday, November 18, 2005

Does Your Brandmark Have a Gender?

I've seen a lot of T-Mobile ads recently as I've considered going high-tech and actually purchasing a Blackberry. In my searches, it grabbed me that "The T-Mobile brandmark is kind of feminine." Yet, their spokesperson for the last few years has been Catherine Zeta-Jones - arguably, more of an (sexual) icon for men based on her historical movie roles.

I am curious to know more about who their current customers are, demographically and psychographically, but am still a bit startled by these observations. I am also curious to know more about the actual process and development work used to create their brandmark/logo/lovemark.

On the topic of brandmark development (BTW: notice my choice in using brandmark > logo...there's a reason!), this is a highly strategic undertaking as I learned from mentors of mine many moons ago. Although there are web or graphic designers who can whip these out for whatever price, the absolute worst thing you can do is to simply task someone to create a logo for you.

In my most humble opinion, the proper process for the creation of your brandmark can be summarized and simplified as follows:

1. understand what your brand means to customers via primary and secondary research, if possible
2. understand what you want your brand to mean to customers and other key audiences
3. survey the competitive and also non-related landscapes
4. analyze positioning and creatives, including existing creatives for your company if already in business
5. start with a number of samples, black & white first
6. narrow down the options
7. move to color versions
8. narrow down the options & refine
9. select the finalist(s)
10. test in target audiences, if possible
11. presto! re-branding done...then comes the real challenge, making operational changes to support the new you.

On a side note, my current company recently updated its brandmark after 20 years in business. We actually did not go through this entire process in creating a new logo. I would have preferred to though and would be curious how the brandmark would've appeared if we did. Either way, I would've actually preferred to have been involved in the creative process, too, had I not been away due to the birth of my daughter at the time! ;)

In summary, brandmarks > logo. Creating a brand or re-branding is really an excercise in strategy, research, and understanding customers.


Blogger servimetrica said...

Check DT's corporate website:
same style as T-Mobile

Keep up the great work

Gabriel S.

10:20 AM


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