updated - July 18, 2019 Thursday EDT
It goes without saying that branding is an important part of any business. No matter how great your product or service is, it will never reach its full potential without the correct branding. Get it right and you create a memorable identity which resonates with your target customer and becomes established in the marketplace. Get it wrong and your product or service could be cast into the wilderness.
But what happens when your business operates across different platforms or offers a range of different products or services? How do you approach branding to achieve consistency in this scenario? To get an idea, it is a good idea to look at what other companies are doing. In this case, the award-winning online casino, sports betting and poker website 888.com provides a great case study.
The name 888 has become synonymous with online gambling, and the company has successfully merged all of its products and services under the 888 banner without diluting the brand in any way. The first thing to note is the neutrality of the name. The number 888 has symmetry, it reads the same both ways and also reads the same upside down. The fact that the company's name is a number makes it ideal for an iGaming platform, where numbers play a vital role.
Choosing the right company name can be harder than you think. After all, you probably haven't started trading yet and the direction of your business and marketing campaigns may change a little once you have some experience under your belt. Therefore, your business name should not box you into a corner. It should be memorable but also ambiguous enough to allow your business room to breathe, grow and adapt to future changes.
In the logo for 888, each eight digit appears to be made of two overlapping zeroes. This emphasises the symmetry and also plays on the number theme, suggesting the logo actually represents three eights and six zeroes. The logo could also be viewed as a row of six poker chips ready to be wagered. Still, in aesthetic terms, the logo is pure in its simplicity and instantly memorable.
Rather than changing the logo for each service the company offers, the company has simply changed the colour. Sports betting fans instantly associate 888sport with the colour orange, but anyone who plays 888casino games will think of green (a common colour on casino tables). The branding for their poker site is a vibrant blue colour (a tone often used in the backdrop of major televised poker events), while the bingo portal uses pink as the dominant hue (reflecting the large number of female players attracted to bingo sites). By keeping the logo the same across all their products and only changing the colour palette, the company achieves consistency while retaining a strong brand identity.
You need to take all this into consideration when choosing your own business logo. Like the business name, the logo should not restrict or define you to one niche. It should be transferrable across multiple platforms and work with every product and service you are thinking of producing.
As well as translating well across different platforms, 888's branding and logo also works well in different languages. As numbers are universal, there is no problem recognising the brand in any tongue. This is in contrast to some other companies who have had to launch themselves under a new banner in other countries because their existing brand does not translate. This is not cost effective and can be risky as it breaks the company into several regional brands rather than one that is recognised globally.
When the brand can be used across multiple regions, the only thing that needs to be changed is the site content. This makes life easier for just about every department in the company.
So, when you are planning your own branding, think about what sectors you might want to expand into down the line and make sure you plan for the future today.
Another thing to consider is product promotions. How many promotions should you offer? How often should you offer or update them? And should you have different promotions for every product?
This is an area where you can use your strong branding to cross-promote your different products. For example, poker promotions on 888 are listed alongside the casino promotions and there is a page linking to the current promotions available across all platforms including the latest poker offers, which apply to the different variants available, including Texas Hold'Em and 7 Card Stud. Any customer who seeks out poker or sports promotions will be exposed to those from the other platforms. This way, a sports bettor who is also interested in Texas Hold' Em may spot a relevant offer on the page.
Promotion from one platform could also be used to introduce players to another service. For example, a sign-up offer on a poker site could offer players free spins on a video slot or casino game. The importance of promotions can never be understated and it pays to have new and ongoing promotions available on a regular basis.
If you are about to embark on a business adventure, you may be in a hurry to get up and running. That is fine, but make sure you spend enough time getting your branding right before you rush in. If your branding is not on point, it will bug you down the line and could even hold your business back. You really do not want to be wasting time and money on a re-branding exercise in the future because you neglected to pay it enough attention in the development stage. And if you intend to offer multiple products and services, think about how you can maintain that consistency from one platform to the other without any loss of impact.
Remember, your brand represents you and how you want to be perceived in the marketplace. From the company name and logo through to your website, advertising and promotional material, your branding is your professional profile. It can add value, attract clients, build trust and grab attention. The time to get it right is the first time.
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