The Importance of Branding
Wrriten by: Angélica Chávez | August 11, 2017
In the vast universe of the visual and creative arts there is a theme that few have explored but is just as important as the creation of architectural concepts or projects: branding. In the specific case of architecture, this is an area managed by the Media and Marketing department, as a complement to the architectural design undertaken by Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos in order to provide added value for the client.
In order to discuss branding we first have to define what we mean by a brand. That’s easy—it’s a label. But what do we mean by a label? In his book The Brand Gap (highly recommended) Marty Meumeier defines a brand in the following way: “A brand is a person’s GUT FEELING. In other words, it’s not what you say it is, it’s what they say it is.”
This is an excellent definition. It describes, in a simple and distinctive manner, an idea we are familiar with, but one we don’t tend to examine in detail. It is easy to understand why a brand is a “gut feeling.” For example, when we see the logo of a product or service we like, it evokes feelings, memories, a sense of trust, and so on. That is because we are intuitive and emotional beings.
Following Marty Meumeier’s line of thought, when a company succeeds in causing many people to experience the same gut feeling about their product or service, that company is engaged in branding.
Now, why is branding so important to creative activities such as architecture? Nowadays we live in a world that bombards us with information all day long. Many of the retail offers we receive, whether consciously or unconsciously, are similar and we spend little time distinguishing between them. To make our lives easier, our brain is trained to note only those things that stand out from the rest. This makes it of primordial importance that our brand (or project) is DISTINCTIVE.
Everyone is different and so is every company, but when it comes to making sure we get ourselves noticed, our competitive advantage has to lie at the heart of our branding strategy.
Who are you? What do you do that makes you different? Why is it important to others? These are the three basic questions that, according to Marty Meumeier, we should ask to know where to focus our brand’s communication effort.
Branding enables us to develop a strategy to differentiate our project from the rest, and to present a unified, coherent strategy; a unique and identifiable personality that positions us in the mind of our consumers and/or clients.
This brief introduction to the series Branding for Architects means we now know what branding is and what it involves, concepts that will help us to understand the upcoming articles, in which I will go into greater depth with the topic. I will address the questions of how to create a brand and the impact that brands have in our field of creative work.