Looking to create a great brand that you and your audience will love? Here are a few things to consider:
Choosing the right name Is the most fundamental act of branding, yet, often the most overlooked. Plenty of research needs to be done, especially if you plan on going into foreign markets—this will help ensure you avoid running into branding bloopers.
There are many methods when it comes to picking a great brand name. It can often feel like a balancing act between the obvious and the obscure, not to mention picking a name with website domain availability, where you’ll build your online presence.
A family name or first name can be a good place to start. For the more scholarly among you, you can take a page out of Xerox’s book and try combining Greeks words to create your own unique brand name. For even more naming methods, check out this other post.
Your logo is the stamp of your brand. Whether a simple typeface or an elaborate emblem, it sets the character and tone of your business. And creating a great one is never easy.
Done right, you convey the feeling and value your brand has to offer while sticking in your audience’s mind long after they’ve walked away. Done wrong, you give your audience the wrong impression, causing them to misinterpret the value you offer and making them lose interest before they’ve even had a chance to engage.
Fortunately for us, there are 3 simple rules we can follow when creating a logo for our business:
There are no rules when it comes to colour palettes. And unfortunately for us, this means our eyes have been made to suffer the consequences, with many companies using bold, brash, and sometimes nasty colours to compete for our attention.
To avoid making the same mistakes, you can think of colour in terms of visual noise, asking yourself, how much noise do I need to make? When it comes to a brand's colour palette, even a muted colour will appear ‘loud’ when surrounded by more muted hues.
Still, certain situations may call for ‘loud’ visual noise to capture attention—supermarket shelves, anyone? When faced with situations like these, it’s important to make sure the colours of your brand remain working in harmony and aren’t all fighting for attention. Too much noise and your audience may not even stop to listen.
Your business needs to have a clear identity. When it comes to thinking about what your brand consists of, expanding your thought process beyond the logo, colour palette, business card, and letterhead is a must.
It doesn’t need to be rigid and formulaic. For a small business, an expansive and detailed brand identity might not even be necessary. In fact, it may even go against the grain of what the business is all about. Conversely, for a large company, a detailed brand identity may be just what the doctor ordered, helping make sure everyone follows the same rules and hierarchies when representing the brand.
Either way, your brand’s identity should have a certain level of coherence across all touchpoints. One of the easiest ways to do this is by choosing an adaptable typeface and sticking to it. Consistently using it on your website, emails, and all your print materials that make up your brand’s identity. This, of course, goes hand in hand with everything else discussed so far.
The entry point to your brand needs to set the right tone. Whether it’s your storefront or your homepage, the first impression matters.
You don’t want to overload people with information, leaving them confused and potentially put off your brand altogether. The same way a website can be overloaded with information and turn people away, a poorly conceived storefront or office space can too. This holds true for all touchpoints our audience might conceivably interact with.
For that reason, it’s important to present our value in the right light—literally. From the lighting level in the reception to business cards, branding should be an interactive experience, inviting your audience to explore what you have to offer.
You’ve created a flawless logo, your brand colours are singing in perfect harmony, and you’ve even defined your brand identity with a personality that conveys confidence and invites exploration. Now it’s time to show it off!
If you’re a bakery, be sure to tell people how you make your bread and where you get the ingredients. Make it a story worth sharing. And don't forget to tell people where they can buy it.
Just as important as the story you tell, be sure to put your logo and address on all your packaging, wear uniforms that exemplify your brand's personality and create an environment that you and your audience feel comfortable stepping into.
It might seem like excess, but the more you can incorporate your brand’s identity throughout everything your business offers, the more likely people are to take notice.