Creating and maintaining company’s brand identity is as important as keeping an eye on its assets, employees and bank balance. Creating a recognizable, comprehensive brand identity with a good reputation is an ongoing effort – and in this article, we will talk about what makes it.
#1. Know What Your Brand is All about
First and foremost, your
#2. Company Logo
What most of us imagine when we think about a well-known company is its logo – which is why a number of possible logo designs should be your prime concern and starting point when inventing a new company’s identity. An ideal logo is an instantly recognizable symbol of your business as a whole, conveying its character and credibility to the customers. That is why hiring a professional to design the logo is a must – resorting to amateur services, a design contest or a DIY logo kit, you run quite a risk of embarrassment. You may believe you have an excellent idea for a logo, but if you know nothing of how these things are done, you sure are better off trusting a professional.
As you will have to collaborate with the designer, keep in mind several important things. First, a logo should be simple yet unique. Second, it must be relevant to your industry and your objectives (and not necessarily your aesthetic preferences). Third, the design ought to be long-lasting, so that it looks and does its job well no matter how visual surroundings change over time.
#3. Logo Variations
Considering situations in which you’re likely going to use your logo, having a set of several alternative logos handy is certainly a good idea. The logo is only effective if it reads and conveys its message well, no matter in which media and what size it appears (e.g., emails and website, stationery, apparel, tags and labels, screens and billboards and so on).
#4. Color Palette
Colors have an enormous impact on how we perceive things, which is why your business should have a stable set of colors associated with it. Usually, there are no more than one or two strongly contrasting colors that are consistently used throughout company’s materials. More complex arrangements are possible, but company design has for a long time been moving towards simplicity.
Today no company, however far removed from IT market, can afford to forgo having a website. Yet sometimes a poorly designed website can do more harm than good – absolute majority of people visit company websites before making a decision to deal with the business in question in any way (making a purchase, for example), and a considerable percentage of them report that a website strongly influences their decision. Therefore, having a modern and professionally looking website that is regularly updated and well-designed is a must for any company that wants to attract and retain customers.
#6. Company Typefaces
You may not notice the difference between two typefaces consciously, but don’t worry – your brain does the job for you on a deeper level, even if you have nothing to do with typography. Having a consistent set of typefaces used in all company printed materials adds that little bit of professionalism to the corporate image you may have lacked.
While not an aspect per se, originality is something that should permeate all other representations of your brand. While it is alright to learn from those who are more successful than you, copying them isn’t. Especially if you try to imitate the look of big, well-known brands for a small business – in this case it looks pathetic, not impressive.
#8. Brand Narrative
In our age of content marketing telling a compelling, fascinating story is as important as providing excellent products or services. Customers are all after experience, something intangible, and the brand narrative is an important part of it. To build a strong brand story, you have to create a consistent voice for your company, the voice that will be immediately recognizable to anybody who once encountered it.
There are multiple approaches to it: embracing the underdog status, declaring a problem your business is meant to solve, redefining a well-known experience and turning it into something entirely new – whatever you may think about and whatever may attract the attention of your clients. Brand story gives your business a sense of personality, separates it from faceless businesses that are so unpopular nowadays.
People have a weakness for riveting stories and anecdotal evidence – they might doubt that the amusing accident that allegedly led to the creation of your business really happened, but they will wish it to be true, and they will remember it nonetheless, setting your business apart from the hordes of bland, corporate-looking competitors.
#9. Consistent Style of Imagery
Whatever type of images you use, you should make sure nothing looks out of place. For example, let’s take product images: all of them should be about the same quality, shot using the same lighting, against the same (or very similar) backdrop. If every image looks as if it was taken from a new and unrelated gallery, it doesn’t just confuse visitors – it looks unprofessionally and sloppy. The same goes for any other type of imagery you use: drawings, graphs, infographics and so on. Once you’ve picked a style, stick to it in everything you do.
As you may see, brand identity is something much bigger and more complicated than just a logo and a slogan. It is everything that makes your business what it is, makes it different from all the others – and you should spare no expense on nourishing it.