Gone are the good ‘ol days of building a brand by simply pasting your logo on every product, email and communication. With so many varying channels of communication, a brand is more than logos and colors, and now encompasses your content’s tone and personality.
Here are 7 tips for developing and using an effective brand:
You know your business better than anyone. Before you start the process of branding your company, spend time reflecting on how you would define your business. What do your customers need? What makes you truly different from competitors? Ask friends and colleagues for their honest input. Sometimes we are too close to our own companies to accurately define our true customer. Business owners are guilty of making sweeping assumptions about their target market and are often surprised by who is actually interested in their products or services.
Your business has as much personality as you do, so as you create your brand be sure to let it shine. The start of your business is when you need to decide if you want to portray yourself as the fun attorney, the balanced start up or the serious photographer. Once your brand personality has been established, it can be hard to shift.
Different brands from the same industry often start to blend together. Think of how many real estate companies use navy blue on their signs or how many food companies use red packaging. You want your brand to stand out from the rest, but you don’t want to look like you’re trying too hard. Keep away from overused color schemes (unless there is a great reason to use them) and industry specific imagery. Focus on creating a brand emphasizing what makes you different over what makes you the same.
Colors can add life and personality to your brand. If you’re struggling with picking colors, take a look at our color picking guide. There is a lot of psychology behind colors, so choose wisely! If you need help, let’s sit down over a cup of joe and discuss a few options.
Once you have created a logo, use it in a consistent way. We often see business owners who are ‘tired of their logo,’ and start playing around with a different logo on social media or their email marketing. While you might be tired of your logo, your customers have grown accustomed to it and look for a consistent experience. Rebranding haphazardly can do more damage to your brand than you might think.
Reinforce your brand’s personality by communicating in a tone that is consistent with who you created your company to be. You always want to communicate professionally, but if you have a fun brand, allow yourself some wiggle room in your communication. If you are buttoned up and serious, communicate accordingly.
Above all you need to maintain a consistent brand. Create a brand guideline for you and all your employees to reference when preparing marketing materials and when communicating with your customers. Cover how to use your logo, what colors and fonts are approved as well as the type of tone to use in communication. Your customers are looking for the consistency in their experience and it’s brand consistency coupled with a great experience that will bring them back.
If you need help building a brand guideline, say hi! We can help with that.