Think of branding as the DNA of your business
– it lets your customers know who you are, what you’re about, what they can expect from you, and why they should work with you.
Yes it’s a lot to convey, and therefore needs to be done right, from the start.
The three B’s
When it comes to building your brand, there’s three B’s you need to understand—brand, branding, and brand identity.
Your brand is the perception of your company out there in the world.
Your branding is the act of shaping a unique, distinctive brand; it’s the active practice of bringing a brand to life.
Your brand identity is all the elements your company creates—like your logo, your website, or your business card—to broadcast the right image and message to your audience.
You need all three to build your successful, marketable business – they are pieces of the branding puzzle. All three build on each other, and you need each to succeed.
Brand Strategy: the back-end work before brand identity begins. Think of brand strategy as your blueprint – it creates a clear direction on which to build your brand around.
To build our brand strategy you need to
- Define who you are
- Understand your point of difference
- Create your brand mission statement
- Know your values
- Get clear on your ideal customer
Brand Identity: defining key elements and principles to drive your brand.
Brand voice – traditional, loud, edgy, sarcastic, professional, straight-to-the-point?
How do you want to come across to your audience – the voice that creates the perception of how you want your customers to understand you.
Fonts – both the font families you choose and the way you lay them out in your designs are hugely important. Like your brand voice, you need to choose fonts that send the right message about your brand.
Colour – a powerful thing to be used wisely, not to be based on personal preference alone.
There are many sources for the meanings of colour, and when you understand those associations you can strategically choose to inspire specific thoughts, emotions and reactions with your customers.
Form, shape and imagery – different shapes you use in your marketing material can say a lot about your brand. Round shapes convey unity and warmth. Sharper edges convey efficiency and stability. A picture speaks a thousand words – and can deepen a customer’s attachment to your brand and build your brands aesthetic. Whether modern or traditional, simple or complex, clean or edgy, these images are more than simple visuals—they’re an opportunity to communicate with your potential customer. In order to find the right images, you need to source visuals that your audience will respond to.
Tie it all together with a brand style guide.
This document houses all your key information about your branding – logo, colour, voice, fonts and uses – it can be as detailed as you want.
At a bare minimum it should include:
- Brand story
- Logo(s) and logo variations (and when to use which one), check out the blog about Logo files
- Color palette
- Brand fonts and how to use them
- Imagery guidelines
- Brand voice details
Having something like this is essential in maintaining consistency, gets everyone on the same page to produce whatever marketing material is required from social media to packaging design.
The key to branding – keep things consistent yet flexible.
You need to create a consistent experience across all your platforms, designs, and brand touch points. That’s how you build trust with your audience—and that trust is what’s going to drive them to want to work with you.
Now, consistency is key—but so is flexibility!
If something isn’t working for your brand, you need to be willing to change it—and if your brand grows and evolves, your branding needs to grow and evolve with it, too.
Has your business look got out of hand – you’re a DIY type vs DFY? (done for you)
A brand style guide can keep you on track.
Needing some help to anchor down a direction for your brand?
I would love to help you get that sorted.