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Category: Business Buzz
Begin by understanding that you don?t operate a business, you manage a brand. It?s a critical distinction. Why? Because businesses sell products and services but consumers buy brands ? and they?ll pay a premium for a better brand experience. 

Let?s clarify something. Your brand is not your logo. Your brand is an idea and a feeling about your company, products and services that lives in the hearts and minds of consumers. That?s why, your brand really doesn?t belong to you. Your brand isn?t what you say it is, it?s what they say it is ? and you?d better be listening, because they?re vocal.

Consumers, patients and customers decide for themselves what your brand means and how they feel about it. Ultimately, your products and services don?t matter unless consumers decide that your brand matters. You can?t control how they feel, but you can influence them.

Design is influence. It?s how you form that idea in a consumer or patient?s mind of what your brand is all about. You?re irrelevant until you can establish how your brand adds value that makes their life better. Great design demonstrates your brand?s relevance by creating value across every consumer touchpoint.

How does your marketing engage with consumers? Does your advertising interrupt what they?re interested in or become part of their interests? What is their experience within your office or retail space? What is their experience within your social media space? How do they experience your brand within their personal spaces? Is your web site convenient or cumbersome? How about your customer service? Across all these touchpoints, and more, the most important question is? do consumers feel better after experiencing your brand?

Realistically, the answer can?t always be yes. But, design allows you to shape those experiences and have some control over the outcome. Done right, it arouses desire, creates loyalty and forms indelible emotional bonds. That?s the essence of branding. Because once consumers or patients are emotionally invested in your brand ? once they?re convinced that they can?t live without it ? you win.

But, the game?s not over. Brands must constantly adapt because consumers constantly evolve. Staying focused on the customer experience and designing outward from there to continually make their lives better is the only way a brand can remain relevant.

By the way, you have to make it look and feel effortless. Great design is, after all, simple. That?s why it?s so hard. There is no doubt that great results and great design are inextricably linked.

Visit our portfolio pages to see examples of graphic design and marketing as part of a larger branding process.

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