Branding Basics: Creating a Brand Identity
We recently talked about the basics of digital marketing and how you can do it well. One of the keys to marketing is CONSISTENCY. Be consistent visually, in messaging, and in customer experience. If a potential customer researches your company, what will they find? Will they find a consistent brand or will it feel disjointed, as if there is more than one of your company? You want to draw people in and give them a reason to STAY on your website and social media etc., and engage you and your team. This doesn’t happen by chance; you have to be intentional about creating an environment for them to do so.
Laying the Foundation
Since the first element a potential customer may see is the visual part of your branding, let’s start there. There are questions you’ll need to answer before you decide on the “look” of your brand and logo, and we’ll talk about that too. Whether you’re building a business or a house, you have to have a good foundation. Brand identity is the foundation from which you can build a great website and even future marketing initiatives. Take the time to build your brand’s identity; implementing these elements across your company will bring cohesion and a familiarity both internally and with your customers.
Where to Begin
Let’s begin by discovering the true identity of your company. What are your core values, ideals, and goals? What is your mission? Beyond what product you sell or service you provide, how are you adding value to your community? Your values and principles should be woven throughout the message on your website, your marketing strategy, your employee training, and your customers’ experience. This is the starting point of building your brand.
Framing the House
Now that you’ve answered some foundational questions, let’s talk about what your customers and potential customers see.
COLORS: Research what colors compliment the products or services you offer. For example, red is often used for food, while blue is used for massage therapy and brown for pet services. Check out mood boards on Pinterest to get a feel for color combinations and the emotions they stir up when considering the colors that fit your brand.
LOGO & FONTS: Choose simple, clean fonts that are easy to read. Fonts and imagery should be scalable, so regardless of how small or large you make them (e.g. on a ballpoint pen or on a billboard), they are clear and recognizable. Choose fonts that are timeless rather than trendy. Your company is going to be around for a long time. Even though a redesign may be in your future, it’s wise to create something that will stand the test of time, like the Coca-Cola logo. Tie your branding materials together by using the same font from your logo throughout all of your materials (on your website, on promotional materials, etc.). Consistency in using your chosen elements helps build your brand. Repetition is key in making your brand memorable.
SIMPLE IS BEST: Use minimal colors (3 at most) to keep your designs and branding clean. Remember, it will also lower your production costs when you start printing t-shirts, flyers or a giant bus advertisement. Additionally, make sure your logo and designs look nice in black and white, since some materials and digital pieces may be used without color.
FILES: #ProTip: If you are having someone design your logo, make sure you get the .PNG (for web posting), .JPEG (for printing purposes), .EPS (allows you to edit the layers of the original file), and Adobe Illustrator files. The last thing you want is for the relationship with your designer to end and for you not to have access to the original files.
You Can Do This!
Take an hour or two to brainstorm what elements of your brand need to be sharpened or created. Then, start a plan for getting these on paper and into motion. Get your team or a trusted advisor involved as well. You can even reach out to a marketing firm for help. They may have input you haven’t considered, and together, you can formulate a more complete branding strategy for your business. Don’t be afraid to go back to the drawing board, even if it takes multiple times! Remember, it’s YOUR company and it should represent YOU visually, in its messaging and the experience your customers have. Be creative and don’t be afraid to share yourself with the world.
Do You Need Help With Your Branding?
We can come alongside you and help with each stage of this process. Contact us today and let’s build your brand together!