Your brand is essentially the personality of your company. It is what sets your business apart from your competitors’ businesses and presents the characteristics of your goods or services to the world. A brand is made up of a variety of aspects that come together to captivate your customers. Some of these aspects are concrete, material things, but branding also consists of unique ideas that come to fruition in pictures and words. If you are the owner of a small business, branding is about you and what you can offer to the market.
What Is Branding? — How to Get Started
You will need to know a bit of general information about typography and graphic design before you can make good decisions about the pieces that constitute a strong brand. You will not have to become a complete professional in these subjects, but you should certainly engage in some observation and research about them.
Your first step in establishing a business is to come up with a company name and figure out the legalities. Once you have done this, you will need to start making the aspects of your brand image part of your everyday business life. In marketing, this is known as creating a “business identity.” The way you choose to portray your brand to your market audience and connect with your customers is vital. The more consistent you make your business identity, the higher your chances of success will be.
What Is Branding? —Finding the Right Voice
The voice you use when you market your business affects how customers feel about it. Depending on the product you are trying to sell, you might wish to sound serious, sophisticated, or even easygoing. Regardless of which voice you choose, you need to use that same voice in all of the promotional content you create. The way you word your content helps determine where your company falls within its market niche. All of the material you write about your business should do one or more of the following:
- Distinguish you from other business owners in the same niche
- Contain a value proposition that tells customers why they should choose your product
- Consolidate your brand
What Is Branding? — The Concrete Parts
You should work to carry your brand in every form of communication you send to individual customers and the public. All of your business interactions should bear your brand visually, stylistically, and in other ways. The following are examples of material that needs to be marked with your business identity:
- Emails (include a logo/signature)
- Traditional “snail” mail (use your own unique stationery)
- Business cards
- Address labels
- Product tags
- Enclosure cards
- Blog badges
What Is Branding? — Logos and Portraits
Our own everyday experiences demonstrate just how powerful logos are. For example, we are all aware of the appeal of the Coca-Cola ribbon. As a business owner, your goal is to instantly spark your potential customers’ interest and solidify the way they perceive your company. When you are selling products online and posting to social media sites, your portrait or avatar can be as important as your logo is. These items should coordinate visually with your logo in terms of colour and style. Today, online sellers often use a number of venues. If you keep the visuals on your online venues consistent, customers will more easily remember your business and you will strengthen your brand. You can use books and the Internet to learn more about logos, but you can also look toward real-life examples for inspiration.
What Is Branding? —Using Colour to Bring Success
Different colours represent different emotions and moods. Blue often represents confidence and consistency; red is often associated with provocativeness and enthusiasm. Softer shades of blues, reds, and yellows can bring about feelings of nostalgia and memories of childhood. Clear, vivid colours tend to exude energy, while subtle colours are associated with complexity. It will not be a good idea to change the visual characteristics of your logo after you have introduced your brand into the world of e-commerce, so you will need to choose those characteristics wisely.
Erin Ferree, a brand identity designer, has stated that your colour palette should achieve five things:
- Tell the story of your brand through the use of “colour psychology”
- Lay the colour palette groundwork for a “visual vocabulary”
- Give your logo both light and dark contrast elements
- Have enough colours to be eye-catching, but not so many that you incur high printing costs.
- Be complementary and aesthetically pleasing.
Fortunately, you can find plenty of good advice about how and why you should select certain typefaces and fonts. Depending on what you choose, you can give your business a traditional, modern, masculine, feminine, or funky vibe. You can take a look at the logos of other companies you admire and soon make excellent progress toward designing your own.
Contact us for more information on how Cloud9 Marketing can help your company with Brand Development.