A brand – do I really need one? It’s all marketing hype and jargon isn’t it?
Well, unless you are planning on winning all of your work by word of mouth (which is fine by the way) then you will want to make sure that people recognise your business when they see it. You need them to react in a positive way e.g. by buying something from you. This is where a brand comes in.
A brand and a logo are different
Don’t confuse your brand with your logo. A great logo is a real positive, but before you rush off and design one make sure you understand the market you are trying to appeal to. Think about what kind of message you are trying to get across to its membership.
See your logo from your customer’s point of view, and take into account their demographic. Fonts are a good example of this. Comic sans is unlikely to grab the corporate world, but is a better font choice for a young person’s social enterprise.
Steer well away from re-using elements of existing corporate brands. You could attract a ‘cease and desist’ order. You won’t be able to get your own logo covered by a trademark.
Increase your chances of being awarded a trademark by having a company/product name that is unique within your business sector. It’s even better if the visual elements of your company logo are specifically designed for you, rather than clip art.
Moving on to branding, your brand is all about standardisation. Signage, brochures, cards, popups, exhibition spaces and shop interiors. Everything must be instantly recognisable as belonging to your brand, and needs to be standardised.
Fonts and colours are simple examples. For your website pick a font and a colour palette which works well for your brand. Try to use this palette consistently across other types of media, your brochure for example.
Try not to confuse your customers by wrapping your logo with one font in your brochure and another one in your magazine advert. The same goes for colours. Get it right and people see a colour combination and associate it with your brand. Your company doesn’t even need to be mentioned.
Design your brand and logo together
Find a designer to create a branding pack for you at the same time as designing your logo. Everything links together, and the brand and logo will reinforce each other.
A branding pack will list exact colour references, fonts, sizes, spacing and how to use the logo and marketing messages in combination with other print elements. Also included will be how the branding looks in full colour, black and white, reversed out, transparent and in all print and web-friendly formats.
As with most things, if you set off in the right direction it is easier to maintain and develop. Your brand can be re-usable across your Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts as well as on your website.