With the dark days of the Charlotte Bobcats behind them, the NBA franchise in Charlotte, North Carolina (my home state) returned to being called the Charlotte Hornets in 2014. The franchise, along with the NBA and Jordan Brand, created a new brand identity for the Hornets. Within that identity, they created a new logo system pyramid.
What is a Brand Ambassador?
A brand ambassador is someone who, through their words and actions, is a living testimony to the greatness of your brand. They are your allies in the world. Whether they are on your payroll or are just satisfied patrons, they are crucial in spreading the good word about what your brand does.
You are never suppose to judge a book by its cover, but we do it all the time. As humans, with what we choose to cover our bodies can say a lot about us. If you are seen frequently wearing a certain brand, it is assumed you are loyal to that brand of clothing. Wearing apparel with your alma mater’s logo shows your pride in the school you graduated from. Fans of sports teams frequently are seen rocking team hats, shirts, jerseys, etc. You are a living, walking, breathing billboard for whatever brand you choose to showcase with your clothing choices. So, this must be taken into consideration when designing the insignia of your brand as well as the overall identity.
Before any contract is signed, any design program is opened, any dollar sign is seen, a conversation must take place between a designer/design firm and the potential client. You must have a love of these deep conversations because they are where relationships are established and much is learned.
Currently showcased in my portfolio is a visual brand identity project known as HOTEL REIGN. The project taught me, as each one does, just how involved and all-inclusive the term “brand” really is.
When I am approached to create a visual identity for a brand, I must first research the market it resides in. Each market, each type of business, comes with its own challenges, goals, and requirements. The hotel and hospitality market is particularly interesting to me because of the service and experience it provides for people. Hotels across the country invest a lot in their visual brand. The reasoning behind their investment speaks to the essence of “branding” itself. You can apply these general concepts/goals to your creative work, regardless of area of focus.
Fundraising is a necessary practice for band programs across the country, especially those that see their budgets dwindling. Programs that see success in fundraising translate the interest they have gained from performances into donations. Investing in brand building and communication is the best way to reach potential donors. If you want to fundraise with any success in 2016 and beyond, you need to invest in your logo(s), visual brand identity, social media, and overall communication strategy. Capitalizing on the power of your brand and communicating with clarity maximizes the effect of your effort.
From July 14-18, I was in Las Vegas to participate in the Evolution Championship Series (“EVO”), the largest and longest-running fighting video game tournaments in the world. For years, I dreamed of being at this event live and in person. It was an outstanding and, at times, surreal experience. The visual presentation and the atmosphere created added to my overall experience. And that is what an event (and branding, in general) is all about.
I am a lover of the visual medium. As a graphic designer, I enjoy seeing great visuals and designing work that others will enjoy. When you are trying to tell your story, you want to create content that attracts the right eyes and inspires the owners of those eyes to share your content. Video content is the best way to accomplish your goals.
Some of the most powerful logos are the most simplistic in nature. McDonalds, Apple, Nike, Coca-Cola are all worldwide brands that are recognized around the world. The execution of the brand message combined with the relative simplicity of the logo makes it easy to inhabit the consumer mind. The amount of people that have your logo memorized is an indication of your brand’s reach. (I touch on this in Episode 49 of my Instagram video series, Touch of Gold. Hehe. I see what I did there.)
I’m a fan of minimalistic logos that manage to convey a concept’s message with no filler. They are also easily reproduced on various products at various sizes. These logos can be more easily memorable and more subtle in communication. It doesn’t demand too much attention (or confusion) and acts as your stamp of authentication.
Succeeding in any crowded market means bringing something unique to the table. Instagram is littered with self-proclaimed fitness and health experts promising to have the solution. You need more than pictures of your perfect abs and muscles to create a new, memorable brand.