As the number of teams increases every year, it’s easy to see why brands are more important now than at any time in the past 26 years. Brands are psychology and science brought together as a promise mark as opposed to a trademark. Robots have 5 month life cycles. Brands outlive seasons. Brands convey a uniform quality, credibility and experience. Brands are valuable. Many teams rely on the value of their brand to boost their performance and odds of winning competitions. Here is a quick video that describes branding;
You may already have decided on a name for your team or decided to just take your school name, but if not, take a step back as the right team name can make a real difference. The following articles have been written in an effort to help you choose a team name that will help your team stand out. Choosing the right team name is a key part of your team’s branding strategy and you will be stuck with it for years to come, so a little extra thought and effort in the early stages really can pay dividends.
A logo is simply a graphic that represents your team. Typically, logos are simple, making them easy to remember. Logos are also connected to advertisements in the form of posters, flyers, videos so your school and community can learn to associate the logo with the team. It is easy to print logos on team documents such as awards, web sites, white papers, buttons, robots, videos, and stickers that can be handed out to expand the reach of the team at competition.
Some tips for creating logos
- Find a sponsors that could create one for you
- Ask a team member who likes graphics to design one
- Reach out to the art club at your school or in your community for help
Here are some articles you can use to get started on your logo design
Graphic Elements & Standards
Once you have created your logo you will need to create a set of design “rules” that tie together the look and feel of all your marketing materials. These rules are often referred to as “brand standards.” Ideally, brand standards do the double duty of creating awareness of your brand and differentiating your brand from other teams. It is recommended that even the smallest teams develop and maintain brand standards. The breadth and depth of brand standards can vary greatly, depending on your needs. Keep in mind that if you are too strict, you may hem yourself in creatively, while if you are too loose, design chaos can result. Focus on strategy and consistency, check these articles out for details on how to create your brand standards
Examples from other teams and organizations
- UCLA graphic elements
- Team 1111 graphic elements
- Team 1538 graphic elements
- Northwester University Graphic Elements
Unless you’re a design professional you’d probably find yourself very surprised at just how much time, effort and money goes into choosing the perfect font for a particular brand. You’ll never find big companies like Coca Cola, IBM, Microsoft or Google opting for a default font, for example. In fact most of these companies have reinvented typography to enhance their own brand awareness. So how do you go about choosing the perfect font for your brand or business? Well the first choice you need to make is between fonts which are viewed as being more traditional in nature, or something far more modern instead. Here are some resources t help you pick the right font for your team;
Color sends a powerful message and is key to representing your team brand. Your brand color is the most important element of your visual brand identity. People remember color because it stirs up emotions. Therefore, you want to choose colors that best represent your team and your brand.
Videos & Animation
Video content is thriving more than ever before, and print is rapidly giving way to the 30-second scripts. With massive studies done by the likes of Wistia, YouTube, and Ooyala on video engagement, and with video projected to take up over 90 percent of the online content pie within the next decade, it’s hardly surprising that teams are scrambling to keep up with the expectations set by great FRC teams, YouTube celebrities and Viners. Here are some resources to help you create better videos
Video branding resources
Once you have created all of the visual elements of your brand you will now need to use it in all of your digital and print media.
- Digital media
- Print media
- Award submissions
- Judges packets
- 1 sheets
- Tech sheets
- White papers
Info-graphics are the most effective way to quickly communicate a complex story.
Info graphic resources
Social media is a way to connect on a different level with your sponsors, volunteers and students. Use it to create that personal connection with people. Why? Because relationships are super important and can be your competitive advantage. Leverage the channels it provides to be genuine and reveal a little more about your company, your brand, and yourself.
Social media branding tips
Branding your robot is a form of product branding? Simply put, product branding is how a product interacts with its consumer audience through design, logo, and messaging. It is difficult to settle on one product branding definition because branding triggers an emotional connection in consumers. If done well, product branding can be maintained and produce a solid, well-connected connection throughout the life of the product. The challenge, however, lies in how much capacity your team has to execute a well branded robot. When you start to think about branding an FRC robot you should consider the following;
- Color scheme
- Robot name
- Team name
- Sponsors logos
Product branding tips
- Product branding
Another form of product branding is your pit. A great pit will help you build brand awareness and bring awareness to your team. You need to spend time designing a creative, professional looking interactive exhibit to have a big impact at an FRC competition.
Creating brand apparel is almost a necessity for teams. Team t-shirts are how most teams get involved with branded apparel. Branded apparel is great way to create new loyalties with your sponsors, volunteers and students and enlist them to spread your name to new audiences. But you have to do it in a way that creates viral sensations, not just oversized promotional T-shirts that end up at the bottom of someone’s closet. Team’s should consider making polo’s, sweatshirts, hoodies and other wearable items to create team unity and help teams make an impact at events.
Strong brands, both personal and business, are clear in their communication. They know the level of detail it takes to reinforce their message because they have invested the time to do the research. The branding process is about developing clarity in goals, vision, and purpose. Brand clarity brings awareness to the details that will help to reinforce or detract from the brand, and this is why companies in particular establish dress code policies.