In the spirit of setting the record straight, we’ve put together a list of the seven things we wish you knew about branding. (Honestly, I’m surprised the list is that short!)
We’re divulging the truth on all the misconceptions and lies we’ve heard on the topic of branding. Misconceptions like these are dangerous- they can sabotage your success without you having a clue that anything is wrong. We don’t want that to happen to you, dear Betty, so read on.
1. A brand is more than just a logo.
The misconception we hear the most– “Your logo is your brand, isn’t it?”.
It’s so much more than that!
A brand includes your logo, but it extends to the entire visual presentation of your business– your fonts, your colors, your photographs, your whole vibe.
When it’s time to brand YOUR business, don’t stop at the logo.
2. A brand is more than just your visuals.
While we like to focus on the visuals here, but a complete brand reaches far beyond what you see. Your brand is how you communicate who you are to the world. How do you do that once you’re done with your graphics? With your words (both written and verbal), with the types of promotions and events you produce, and your customer service style.
3. Branding isn’t about looking like everyone else.
One of the biggest tragedies we see is business owners who think that, in order to look professional, they must look just like their colleagues.
How is anyone supposed to remember you, never mind call you, when you disappear into a sea of sameness?
You do you. Authenticity is what makes a brand attractive.
4. Successful brands are intentional
A good brand is developed with research, thoughtfulness, and intention. As a designer, I never choose a color simply because I like it (or anything else for that matter). I choose a color because it’s cultural meaning reflects the message my client wants to send, it projects the feeling they want to invoke, it’s appropriate for their industry, I know it will show up well in both print and web formats, and it blends well with all of the other elements of the brand.
When building your brand, give thought to every individual piece. Ask yourself:
Why did I pick this (font, color, photo, etc..)?
Will it work? (Example: If you really like a font, but people have a hard time reading it, it does not work.)
Will it send the right message?
5. Successful brands are consistent
You’ve spent countless hours selecting your brand elements with the utmost intention, now the trick is putting them into place, consistently. Your webpage, social media accounts, email newsletters, business cards, ads, anything and everything you put out for your business should have your logo, as well as your chosen colors and fonts.
One of the best ways to make sure that keep things consistent is by developing brand guidelines that you can refer back to as needed- a simple Word document that contains all of your color formulas and font names. This one little file tears down a tiny roadblock that can keep you from branding consistency. (Seriously, how many times have you thought, “I’m not sure exactly what my colors are, so I’m just going to guess this time. No one will notice, right?”)
Need help building your brand guidelines? Download our free guide: How To Make Over Your Brand Overnight for step-by-step instructions.
6. Successful brands are classic
Everyone loves a trend, but they have no place in your branding. Trends by design are only meant to last for a short period of time. You are looking for something with some staying power. Imagine all of the people who are now in the process of redesigning their logo because they stuck a bird on it?
7. The best brands evolve
I know, we just got finished telling how consistency is important, but the best brands know it’s okay to make changes when necessary.
You may have started out your business with one look and now find that it doesn’t match what you’ve become. It’s better to make a few adjustments than to continue on with a brand that doesn’t represent who you are in an effective way.
P.S. If this is the spot you’re in right now, Brand Therapy is perfect for you. We can help you figure out exactly what those adjustments should be.
Tell us in the comments below; Were there any items on the list that surprised you? Things you already knew? Stuff you’d like to learn more about?
We want to know!