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October 27, 2021

The True Purpose of Branding within Motorsports and Business

by Samuel Pawlak

What drew you in to motorsports when you were young? For me, it was the speed, the colors, the graphics, the brands, and the overall sensory overload the sport supplied. Today, as a designer and brand strategist in the industry, I came to realize early on that there’s a lot more to a brand than just the aesthetic draw, and that’s what I’d like to dive into in this blog.

Let’s start with a question worth defining first: What even is your brand?

Your brand is ultimately how other people interpret, interact with, experience, and identify your business, your race team, or yourself as a driver/rider in the market. The key term there is “Other People”. If we believe the former to be true, it therefore follows that your brand should follow these core guidelines.

One: Consistency is Key

Your brand should be consistent across all domains you play in from your website, to social media, to experiences provided, and even across print media. Being consistent will build brand recognition among your audience, allowing them to identify you no matter the medium or platform you operate on. The value of consistent recognition wherever you go is tremendous, and it allows you to affectively tackle the second core guideline, scaling.

Two: Ability to Scale

Scaling is a term used among designers usually in reference to things like a brand’s logo. Does a logo scale? What we mean by this is, your logo might be totally legible and identifiable when applied to the side of a racing hauler, but does that same logo maintain legibility and identifiability when used as your Twitter or Instagram profile image?

The term scaling also can refer to one’s entire brand ethos too. Do all of the brand elements, graphics, or aspects that let people identify you scale across all domains effectively? Or does it only work in some domains, but not others. Having a brand that scales effectively wherever it’s applied will allow you to easily and effortlessly establish yourself wherever your business or racing endeavors take you.

Three: Recognizability

What good is being scalable and consistent if your brand looks just like everyone else, and is therefore sometimes difficult to distinguish at a glance? As important as the first two guidelines are, having a brand that differentiates itself properly is equally as important. This can be graphically differentiated (visual) as well as personality differentiation (audible / emotional), or both.

So then, what is the true purpose of branding?

To circle back to the original question, the answer is that all of these aforementioned attributes and many more make the task of actually marketing yourself or your services more efficient and profitable.

A well positioned brand when marketed will be far more impactful, efficient, better at communicating, and easier to execute / scale. And with recognizability, scalability, and consistency as former variables now solved for, it will also be much clearer which pieces of your marketing efforts are truly effective, and which ones are not. And in the world of marketing, the less variables we have in play, the more efficient and effective we’ll be able to make your marketing efforts on the whole.