BEGINNGERS GUIDE TO BRANDING
Everything you need to know to branch your business
Starting your own business can be an overwhelming task. You’ve got to decide on your business venture and the products or services you want to offer. You’ll spend days brainstorming a name and you’ll think endlessly about the customers and clients that you’ll be servicing.
But while clients and sales are vital, branding your business is just as important. That’s because a bad first impression is worse than no impression at all. So, it’s essential for business success that your brand is memorable, professional and unique.
When it comes to your branding, there’s no need to get overwhelmed. This beginner’s guide will step you through the items that will help you define your brand’s personality, and lead to a cohesive, professional, memorable brand that brings in the very best leads.
A logo is arguably the most important element of your business branding because it’s the first point of recognition for your clients. Your logo should be bold, symbolic, unique and relevant to your business. It can be made from typographic elements or just an icon. But regardless of your direction, your logo should not be too detailed or complex. It should be easily identifiable from a distance.
A great way to know whether your logo is strong enough is to determine whether it conveys your brand without the assistance of colour. If it works in black and white, then you can be confident that your logo communicates your brand personality well.
Although not essential, brand marks are a great way to elaborate on your brand’s personality. Brand marks can be small icons, abbreviations of your primary logo or some other brand specific illustrations that further communicate your service, values or personality.
It’s important to ensure your brand marks aren’t purely decorative. Every visual within your branding strategy should be used purposefully to convey your brand personality and need to be as strategic and intentional as your logo.
Colour is more than a visual aid for your logo or business name. In fact, it’s an extremely important consideration when branding and marketing your business. Along with your logo, your colour scheme is one of the first impressions that customers have of your brand.
Your colours have the ability to set the tone of your business. So where you might want to use earthy, natural tones for a pottery business, you may instead use sharp grey tones for a construction company. Whatever your direction, colour is a useful tool in conveying emotions, feelings and experiences and showing potential customers what your brand is about.
Thoughtful and effective use of typography provides an overall seamless brand experience, exactly what potential clients are looking for. Importantly, well considered typography can subliminally demonstrate attention to detail and clarity of thought leading your audience to see you as a brand that is organised and confident in itself.
Font choice, colour and text size can also prove to be vital in attracting your target audience. Legible, easy-to-read fonts allow readers to perceive information easier and subtle font changes help you to dictate information hierarchy.
A brand statement is a concise summary of what your business does. In just a few sentences (or preferably even one) your brand statement should convey your company’s mission, goals, values and how you or your business is different from others like you.
Your brand statement may also identify your business’ key values and features, even becoming a slogan or mission statement of sorts. It’s an excellent internal reference that will help you focus on your goals and values and maintain a drive towards your strategic business model.
At this point your brand is comprised of your logo, brand marks, colour scheme and fonts. Now it’s time to bring it all together. The important thing here is to keep it visually consistent.
Visual consistency is extremely important in keeping your brand focussed across all platforms – website, social media, business templates, invoices, business cards and so on. If you have certainty and conviction in your branding, then your audience is more likely to trust your services. And, when you keep within the confines of your branding you help potential clients recognise you in the market. The average person consumes 11.4 pieces of content before making a purchasing decision. The more often they see and recognise you in the market, the more likely they are to work with you in the future
Of course, your brand doesn’t finish here. Your brand is every touch point, interaction or even feeling that your client or customer has in relation to you. It’s the way you dress and the car you drive. It’s the way you answer your phone and the way you sign your emails. While you don’t need to completely change your life to suit your brand, you must be considerate and thoughtful when acting for the brand. And it does mean you should never link your vegan chip brand to pictures of you at McDonalds!
If you are looking to develop an intentional and strategic brand – we would love to help you! Get in touch today.