You have a great company but branding for business or logo design has never been much of a priority. You know with the right marketing and advertising you’ll be competitive but now you’re looking to grow and become an industry leader. So where exactly should you begin? Increase marketing activities? Ads? Social Media? A new website? Before you buy ad space, launch a social media campaign, or hire a web design agency, there’s something very important that your business should start with – something we call Branding and Identity. While branding is a broad subject matter in this post we will cover just a few of the branding rules that businesses should know about.
Brand identity, or, as Bloomberg Businessweek writer Karen E. Klein calls it, your company’s “personality,” is one of the very first steps you want to consider when building your company or when re-invigorating an established business. “Define your brand identity—your ‘personality—before you spend a dime on advertising or marketing,” says Klein. Define your brand identity – sounds vague and a little daunting, right? Don’t worry, we’re here (alongside some industry experts) to break it down for you so that’s it’s clear.
What Does Your Brand Stand For?
No successful company ever moved forward with a logo design without first understanding who they are and what they stand for. Defining these core elements will require some time and research, collaboration and buy-in from the executive team. However, it is essential to have a cohesive understanding of who you are and what your brand really stands for before you can communicate your brand to the public. Your company must know the answers to the following questions:
- What’s the purpose of my company?
- What’s the vision and mission?
- What’s our market position?
- Who exactly do we target?
- (If already established) What do people already know and think about our brand?
You may think you already have the answers to these questions – but you would be wise to go over them with a fine toothed-comb and really make certain your answers are accurate and shared by everyone in the executive team. It’s the answers to these simple questions that will provide your company with the basic building blocks for your brand identity and logo design.
A Strong Logo Design
Once you know who and what your company really stands for, it’s time to create brand elements for your business. No other brand element is more central or important than your business logo. This visual symbol is important but must be combined with the actual business name. A few months ago, we published a blog stressing the importance of your business logo. In it, we proposed five important points to consider when working on a logo refresh or logo design:
- Distinctive (make sure your logo is unique)
- Likeable (you want customers to feel a positive affinity towards your logo)
- Meaningful (your logo should stand for something)
- Memorable (make sure your logo leaves a lasting impression and is easily recognizable)
- Timeless (a logo is not something you want to re-invent every few years)
The business logo is often the central component of all brand elements. It’s the symbol most commonly used to identify a business. If created properly it will stand out and be easily recognizable. Once you have a strong business logo that accurately represents your brand use it consistently and at every opportunity.
Unify, Unify, Unify!
A unified appearance is something that can only be established once you have a solid brand definition and logo design, but its importance cannot be overstressed. As you begin to think about all business-related marketing materials – from your company website to your brochures and from your business cards to the content you publish on your social media channels – you want your brand to have a consistent look and feel at all times. Here are some important things to unify:
A terrific way to make a brand distinctive is through colour. A colour palette should be determined ahead of any branding and identity package. Your brand’s colours may have already been established with the creation of your logo design, but maybe a colour palette refresh is in order? Once established, the colour palette will be used consistently and for all creative assets and marketing materials. Since all marketing materials you create should feature your logo, the colour palette should blend and create a seamless appearance.
Like your brand’s colours, typography can provide quite an impact. Typefaces come in thousands of styles but most of us are only aware of a few. It’s important to select the appropriate typeface for your brand because the wrong one may hinder the communication process. Certain typefaces communicate certain feelings. There are even typefaces that can communicate masculinity or femininity. Make sure your typography helps communicates your brand effectively.
Your brand will never appeal to everyone, but it’s your company’s calling card. It’s also your first and last impression of the world. So creating a strong brand identity from the beginning and carrying those elements we mentioned through to the end is the way to go. These elements will enhance brand recognition and help keep your business in the minds of consumers. And that’s exactly the place where your business should be seeking permanent residence!