Look at your business’ branding for a moment. Is it made up of different colours, logos, and voices? What do you think your branding says about your business?
To be clear, your brand and your branding are two separate things. You have 100% control over your branding, but your brand is in the hands of others. Your brand is how it is interpreted by those who interact with your business as opposed to your choice of shapes, fonts and tone. Therefore, it’s incredibly important to consider how others view your brand when you’re creating and/or modifying your branding elements.
Here are ten ways to build your business’ identity through your branding:
1. What’s your name?
If you are a new business, the first branding element you should establish is your name. It doesn’t need to describe exactly what you do, but it should be relevant and easy to remember. Include what you do in your name or add a tagline to your logo and other locations where your name appears. When naming your products or services, apply brand names to each so people will associate them with your branding and ultimately your brand.
2. Show your colours.
Colour can affect a person’s mood and purchasing decisions. It can also affect their perceptions of brands by increasing brand recognition significantly. Make sure you choose colours that are associated with your product or service when developing your brand. For example, if you are an environmentally friendly company, green would be a wise choice as many people associate the colour green with the environment. Red is a colour not recommended in accounting nor health organizations. As an example, the below colours have psychological effects inherent to them:
- Blue = Trust
- Orange = Friendliness
- Yellow = Optimism
- Red = Excitement
- Purple = Creativity
- Pink = Playful
- Green = Peace
3. ‘Image’ine the possibilities.
As the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” The most important image you will create as part of your branding is your logo. Your logo should reflect your branding colours and chosen font(s). While it may be the most widely used, your logo isn’t the only image that will represent your brand. Along with your logo, the design and visuals used on your website, social media profiles, and other marketing materials make up your branding. Ideally, you should use high-quality photos or videos of your actual products. If this is not possible, you should choose images or illustrations that accurately represent your business.
4. You have a voice. Use it.
As you create marketing content, remember that the way you say something matters just as much as the words used in your copy. Be mindful of tone of voice by using language that is understandable, yet personable. Remember, your tone of voice establishes your brand’s personality in written marketing materials. Some examples of tone of voice include:
- Masculine vs. Feminine
- Grey vs. Colourful
- Simple vs. Intricate
- Approachable vs. Authoritative
- Conservative vs. Extravagant
- Fun vs. Serious
- Necessity vs. Luxury
- Modern vs. Classic
- Professional vs. Casual
- Sporty vs. Elegant
- Safe vs. Extreme
5. What’s your type?
The font you use is part of your branding. From your logo to your website, this font should appear on all written materials. Make sure you choose a legible font that matches the tone of your brand. Sans serif fonts are generally considered modern, while fonts with serifs are more formal. Where your content will be viewed – online vs. offline – factors into this decision as well. Fonts without serif have proven to be easier to read online.
6. Speak to your audience.
Your business has a target audience and your branding should speak to this group. To provide direction for your branding and other marketing strategies, you should create customer personae to help focus your marketing efforts. If you don’t know who you are marketing to, your branding messages will miss the mark (or hit the mark with limited effectiveness).
7. Say what you do and do what you say.
Your business has a set of morals and values that guide it. These values can frame your mission statement or other marketing content, as well as your brand. What matters more, is how you act on those morals and values. Your customer service, community involvement, and other actions should reflect the values associated with your business.
8. Be consistent.
Like doing what you say and saying what you do, an overarching brand message must be consistent in all interactions with your clients, prospects, vendors, suppliers—and especially your staff. Brand consistency is more than just using the same colours, logos, and images across your marketing materials. While this is important to your overall image, the experience your stakeholders have with your business matters just as much, if not more. Your personality and values should be reflected in every transaction with your brand whether it’s online, in person, or over the phone.
9. Can you drive a standard?
The easiest way to be consistent is to document it. Once your branding elements have been established, it is a good idea to develop a brand book or style guide. Regardless of what you call it, this guide is a set of standards for your business’ marketing and branding materials for both internal and external communications. Your employees should be aware of this guide to ensure that your branding is well-represented. It should be updated as your brand and marketing strategies evolve.
10. Current Affairs.
Make sure your business’ branding stays current. Design trends come and go. Make sure that your branding keeps up by rebranding regularly. In addition, you should design your branding with growth in mind so that rebrands are not too drastic. Go for fonts and colours that are timeless, rather than fashionable. This will keep your brand from looking dated. Refreshing your branding will establish your relevance to your target audience.
Creating a brand for a new business or rebranding a current business can be an exciting time. You can create your business’ identity and present it to your target audience on your own terms. Need some help? Reach out to Wingman Direct today for a needs assessment and initial consultation. In 30 minutes, we’ll show you why we say “We got your back” and how we back that statement up.