Branding isn’t just a logo or your name, a successful brand means much more than that. Your branding conveys feeling, emotion and passion for your business.
When you see the branding for a business or product, it should be recognisable, familiar and meaningful. Creating branding for your business is not just about what your logo looks like, it is about what feeling you are trying to get across to your customers. It is important for your logo to say who you are, but also to convey your passions. Brands convey your business’ personality, just as your personal style conveys yours. You want to get the right feeling across in the first instance, and then allow your customers to experience that emotion in their dealings with you to reinforce their belief in that emotion. Once you achieve this, your customers will learn to associate that emotion with your business and branding.
To quote Lewis Howes, an industry expert in brand design; “Your brand is the feeling people get when they interact with you or your work. It’s how they remember you and what they say to someone else when describing you. Your brand elements are just the visual representation of that feeling.”
One key way to influence your branding is consistency. Once you have an idea of what your brand represents, one of the worst things you could do would be to follow it up with completely different marketing. Say you had a logo with a focus on elegance, a fluid and clear design yet when a customer visits your website the focus switches to a loud, vibrant and energetic design. This presents the user with a confusing message; is your business focusing on elegance as your logo would suggest? or is it focused on something else?
Your branding refers to everything that presents your business to the customer. Whether this is your website, an advert or the way your staff present themselves in your stores. It is important to convey the same feeling, emotions and passion in everything your business does. Keeping your brand consistent reinforces your identity and promotes trust in your brand.
A great idea to ensure your brand is consistent is to create brand guidelines. This ensures that everyone in your business knows how to present themselves, how to use your marketing materials effectively and how the logo is to be used and not used. This can influence what you want your customers to feel. It can be something simple like defining your colour palette and letter-spacing. Or a full comprehensive document stating exactly how each visual element should be used, and how written text should sound. Which method you choose should be tailored to your business. A small business with few staff members will likely do fine with a simple document outlining a few key points. While a larger business with many more communication channels would benefit from more comprehensive brand guidelines.
However you choose to implement your brand guidelines, you should make sure that everybody understands them. This way you, your staff and your designers can work together to convey your business’ qualities, passion and emotion.
For more information on why a brand is not just a logo, check our article here.