Entrepreneurs who come up with a show-stopping idea for a business are likely to be more concerned about developing their minimum viable product (MVP) or honing their value proposition than they are about just making a brilliant brand that stands out from the crowd. Founders aren’t usually experts in design, PR, or branding, which means that their passions lie elsewhere. But you should be cognizant of just how important your brand is for your future success, dictating how people see you and who recognizes you and trades with you over and over again. As such, it’s important to hone your brand and optimize its appearance, as this guide will explain.
Whether in thumbnail form or blown up to huge proportions on your office wall, you brand logo is everything about your company crystallized into one image. It’s an image that has to be recognizable in miniature form, without too many small and complex moving parts. It’s also something that you should be able to adapt for all your marketing, including framing it in different colors, or scaling it back to its design essentials. A logo is perhaps the most distilled version of brand design, which is exactly why it’s important to get a designer on board to help you with this stage of your brand development.
You should be comfortable leaving this to an expert in branding and logo design, who will almost certainly have a better understanding of what works than you do. If you go with an external consultant or agency, they’ll be more than happy to receive your feedback, explain their design choices, and incorporate your own ideas to make your logo something that you fall in love with – and that you’re convinced consumers will too.
Name and Strapline
Next up is your company name and strapline. Now, it’s fair to say that most businesses find themselves a name fairly early in the ideation process. They will put in a stand-in if nothing else, with the actual name of the brand to be confirmed or toyed with later. But now that you’re developing your business and preparing to take it to market, it’s more important than ever to hone in on the best brand name and strapline to go with it. Just like your logo, it’s these two small pieces of text that your customers will remember.
A great way to start this process is through brainstorming. Think about what your business represents, how you want it to make people feel, and what competitors have called themselves. Before you decide on a name or a strapline, do a little research on Google to make sure you’re not choosing something similar or the same as an established company. Once you’re sure what you want to use, purchase a URL with that name and register your business under that title.
Colors and Shapes
With your name and logo sorted, you’ll really be beginning to build a cohesive brand that your staff and customers can get behind. That’s great progress, but there’s more work to be done. You’ll also want to consider how you use colors and shapes to build a bigger impression of your brand. By colors, we mean the dominant swatches that you’ll use throughout your website, your app, your merchandise, and your marketing materials. And by shapes we don’t mean squares and circles, but the overall graphic design ethos of your brand materials. Are you modern, dynamic and smooth, or are you angular, arched and traditional? These are considerations that’ll inform much of your content output for years to come.
Again, this is a task that’s best teased out by experts. You could either hire someone to build your branding and marketing on a permanent basis, or you could turn to an agency who have built up a brand identity for hundreds of different companies in the past. In either case, you’ll be benefiting from the kind of expert viewpoints that can help you to make a truly compelling and memorable brand.
Is your company young, hip, and informal? Is it targeting Gen Z or Baby Boomers? Do you want to be trusted above all else as a wise sage, or do you want people to identify you as a trend-setting fashionista? All of these brand qualities will determine how you communicate with your customers; from the wording you use on your website to the words you use when you’re communicating with customers. This all means copywriting and finding a writer who can distill your brand as concisely as possible.
A copywriter should also feature in your larger marketing team and will be helpful for various writing tasks in your firm. From writing your web copy to drafting key marketing emails, a copywriter will help you hone your brand identity and message while also providing you with expertly written information about your brand and your products.
Bringing it Together
Having performed all of the above, you’ll have created a huge amount of digital assets. These will need managing, with a digital asset management (DAM) provider. The benefits of DAM providers are multiple, but the key value you can extract from them is keeping all of your brand materials in one place, which means they’re instantly accessible to all of your staff, and they’re shown together in a large cloud-based folder so that employees designing new materials have a reference point for consistency.
Using a DAM is most important for marketing teams who are going to be regularly using your branding materials to share your business with the world. But it’s important for new starters, too, to help them onboard with your business and the brand as quickly as possible. Saving you time, sharing your brand values internally, and ensuring consistency are the key benefits to using DAM platforms for your brand.
There you have it: the key tips you should be aware of when you’re looking to hone a distinctive and memorable brand in the coming weeks and months.