Branding isn't just as simple as slapping your logo on something and adding some pretty colours. It's the sum of many different elements that creates a brand.
You've all probably been there and heard:
"Can you make it pop?"
"Make it bigger."
"If you make the logo bigger, it'll scream fun."
What is branding?
Branding isn't just a logo. It's the sum of many parts that creates a brand. Your personality and the way you present yourselves to customers along with your logo, colours, imagery, typography, textures & patterns, website design, general graphic design and miscellaneous customer interactions make up your brand.
The personality you want your business to show is split into 2 different parts; philosophy and tone.
The way you present yourself as a business is the single biggest determining factor of your branding. It decides and guides everything else your business does, from the colours you use to the design of your logo.
You will find that every part of your brand is rooted in your philosophy and tone. This is what guides your branding decisions.
What does your business stand for? What are your aims? Do you want to be an environmentally sustainable business? Are you a premium brand? Or, are you there to provide a service at an affordable price?
These are just some of the things you should take into consideration when looking at the philosophy of your business.
The tone of your business is essentially the 'voice' that you use. Your voice might be authoritative, knowledgeable and informative or it might be, relaxed, happy and fun.
Every written and spoken part of your brand should follow the tone you want to use. This includes your employees, social media posts, emails, letters, phone calls, just to name a few.
If a customer speaks to an employee, the 'voice' they receive should be consistent no matter the employee. This 'voice' should also be the same they read on your website or social media.
All of your business communications should have the same 'voice'.
'My logo is my brand'
I've heard it before. And it's not.
Your brand is more than your logo. Your logo is usually the most recognisable part of your brand, but it's not the whole brand. It helps identify who you are.
In the example below, I have created a quick mockup of a premium cosmetic brand.
What makes it look premium? The stylistic choices made. Thin lines, in gold, is stereotypically associated with being premium.
This doesn't mean your logo has to follow the stereotypes associated with your area. But it does have to have to reflect the philosophy you want to portray.
As you can see, the stylistic choices made are rooted in the philosophy of the brand; premium.
Like everything else, the colours associated with your brand should portray the personality you want to present to your customers.
You wouldn't necessarily use black and dark colours for a children's nursery.
There is a lot of thought put into choosing colours for brands, so don't just choose your favourite colour.
Perhaps a quick search for the emotions associated with a colour might help. ("emotions connected with _____"
Imagery is one of the most important parts of your brand.
People prefer looking at imagery over large blocks of text. This is because imagery is easy to consume and process. This is why it's important to tell a story with your imagery.
Having a style for your photos is equally important. Will that photo or image be recognised as belonging to your brand?
Take a moment to consider the style your imagery has.
Are they black and white?
The saying 'a picture is a thousand words' is true. You want every photo you use to tell a story.
Most people don't realise it, but the typography you use can also have a big effect on how people perceive your brand.
Many things go into the decision on choosing which fonts to use, but here are just a few things to take into consideration.
Fonts generally fall into two main categories. Serif and Sans Serif. The image below shows the difference between the two.
Serif fonts are usually chosen for more expensive brands that want to convey a sense of being premium. (Serif fonts usually appear old)
Sans serif fonts tend to be chosen by brands that want to appear modern.
The design of your website is a topic within itself. But put simply, your website is the largest representation of your brand.
Your website includes everything associated with branding; personality, logo, colours, imagery, typography, general design, customer interaction points.
A website is a 24/7 representation of your business, and therefore it should be a consistent representation of your brand. When people look for your business, they will look at your site.
Your site and brand should be working in harmony.
You only have around 7 seconds to make an impression. In that time you have to make sure you communicate your brand effectively. (And keep a user on your site)
For help with your website, get in touch and Let's Make It Happen.
General Graphic Design
Your graphic communication includes all of your visual communications. Packaging, leaflets, social media posts etc.
Your graphic communication must be consistent with every other part of your branding.
Imagine owning a little pizza shop. You have a seated area in your store and accept online orders. A customer pops in to order a pizza. While they are waiting, they look around and see incredible menus at the tables, pizza boxes with your web address and logo on them. The customer decides to take a look at delivery options for the future and loads your site. The site loads and has a different look and feel to your restaurant.
That inconsistency makes you look amateur. You must be consistent through every interaction with your customer to strengthen trust.
Here's a list of some of the things to ensure are constant:
Stationery (business cards, envelopes, headed paper etc.)
Brochures & Flyers
Miscellaneous customer interaction points
Almost everything else that your customer interacts with falls under miscellaneous customer interactions. The biggest being your actual product/service.
What you sell or do has to follow the same philosophy as your brand.
If you portray yourself as a premium restaurant and then sell beans on toast, you end up breaking the trust you have built with your customer.
Things to takeaway
Trust is the number one thing you want to build with a customer. Trust is built through consistency, of which your brand has to be.
Your brand is more than just your logo. It's the sum of many different parts.
Pay attention to the details as much as the bigger picture.
Start with your personality. Keep it consistent and everything else will begin to follow.
Consistency is key. You appear more reliable and it builds trust.
If you remove your logo from any part of your brand, will it still be recognisable?
Looking for your own site? Need an expert to help? Get in touch and we'll help you on your journey.
Noah Lovell - Web Designer