What is a brand? What is branding? How do you create a strong brand and what does that mean for the bottom line of your business?

Wading through the marketing side of your business can be difficult if that’s not your area of expertise. Local media publisher, The Fold Southern Highlands, spoke with Francesca Bozic, our Creative Director and asked her to break branding down a little.

As originally published by The Fold Southern Highlands.

A little background on Francesca. How did you end up as Creative Director at Banter Group and what do you LOVE LOVE LOVE about your role?

I moved from Sydney to the Highlands four years ago to raise my family. Six months after having my daughter, I was itching to start work again. I came across an interesting Facebook post from Val (our CEO) so I made contact.

Val and I hit it off instantly and although at the time Val couldn’t guarantee me any design work, I was happy to see where this opportunity would take us. Coming from ‘big agency life’ in Sydney, both Val and I had one major criterion in that the work we did had to be at the same ‘big smoke’ standard we were used to, regardless of the office postcode. We soon found clients were also wanting a higher standard of marketing and design and work started to flood in.

The team grew quickly, and it was a joy to employ other extremely talented local designers, producers, and developers and some tree-changers who also wanted to escape Sydney life for the beautiful Highlands but continue the advancement of their careers.

The thing I love, love, love about Banter is we have created an ‘impossible agency’. A real workplace, where being creative and producing world-class work can co-exist while being there for our families in the glorious slower-paced vibe of the Highlands. Banter draws its inspiration from nature and the local community but sets its standards on out-doing our Sydney counterparts.

Banter Group, What’s a brand and why do you need one?

Why is getting the branding right so important?

Businesses have turned upside down because of the bushfires and COVID so it’s more important than ever to get their communication right to their customers. A solid brand will help you do this.

If your brand wants to be perceived as modern and professional with an eye for detail then your brand’s job is to prove it.

How do you do that? By having things like a useful up to date website, a professionally created logo and you keep your ‘fun weekend’ photos off your business social account. All those cues add up for your customer.

COVID has taught us we need to be online to communicate to our local customers, but it has also reminded us that being online opens up fantastic opportunities nationally and internationally. If local businesses want to be taken seriously in those markets, they need a strong brand to pull it off.

Can you define what a ‘brand’ actually is and why a logo isn’t a brand?

We are emotional, intuitive beings.

A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a business. People establish this gut feeling from a set of cues blended together to paint a picture of a business.

A logo is just one cue. Expectations, memories, language, tone, colour, texture and typography are much bigger influences in how people perceive a business.

Can you explain why colour selection is so important and what colours say about your brand

Colour is a big brand cue. It’s the cue your customers will instantly use to identify their brand. So yes, it’s important to get it right.

Colour evokes instantaneous emotions and feelings about how we feel about your brand.
There are tonnes of colour theory information out there and it’s worth taking a look to find the right fit for your business.

Host Partners is a local Airbnb management company that we developed the brand for. We chose warm, earthy modern tones to evoke instant feelings of comfort and professionalism, which links with the service and experience they provide.

Banter Group, What’s a brand and why do you need one?

Too many businesses shy away from using colour to appear more contemporary, sticking to black, white and grey. I feel they lose a great opportunity to stand out. We recently revamped our own brand guidelines for Banter because we wanted to include a lot more colour. For us, colour is all about fun, that’s reflective of who we are.

And Yes, PANTONE 13-0647 (yellow) was a big deal for us too with it being our CEO’s favourite colour! Here’s our latest palette for everyone to have a look at too. As you can see, we don’t mind a bit of colour!

Banter Group, What’s a brand and why do you need one?

Marketing and branding is about making an emotional connection with people. How can brands impact how people feel, and can you explain the concept of why perception is 9/10ths of people’s reality.

Some businesses come to us when someone in the group has said ‘oh brands don’t affect me, they don’t affect my opinion of a product’. We love asking them about their car choice. They might use words like quality, good reputation, or reliability. Many of these perceptions are formed by brands using clever lifestyle and emotional imagery to connect with key audiences. We have a lot of Range Rover drivers in the Highlands so why do you think drivers really choose this car?

If a business hasn’t thought about their brand, or has started to think about it but doesn’t know what to do, what would you say to them?

Thinking about your business as a brand is very important. When you do it right, people will notice and start to value your business more. When you do it wrong, your customers may question your authenticity because things just don’t add up for them.
We love being part of that journey with them.

Banter Group, What’s a brand and why do you need one?