Three Important Elements Of Branding
Branding new businesses can be an exciting time. We get it and we were there once too! Having said that, we also made some miss-steps along the way and we’ve learned by trial and error what really works and what doesn’t. These three steps are critical to your startup and you don’t need to reinvent the wheel.
You simply have to understand that putting these in place when starting out will immediately assist you in developing your brand both online and off.
Branding New Businesses | Your Business Name and Logo – This is your companies baby – and it is the equivalent to naming your child (yes, we’re serious), getting the name and your logo correct is critical. It sticks with you the length of your business and hopefully, that means for decades to come! Think of your market segment. Yes, if you are a bakery or a business geared to children, you can be fun and whimsical but we caution about going over the top with too many trendy colors or images (trends change, good brands do not).
Variations: A good logo will allow for variations and look just as good in black and white as it does in full colour. This is important and often more whimsical logos don’t do as well in a stripped down version. Ensure you have several variations of your logo including positioning (ever tried to place a vertical logo in your square on Facebook? It doesn’t look great and it seldom fits). We recommend a solid logo with a design element (or monogram) that connects to your brand. A great example is Nike or Apple, both have formal logos and both incorporate a swish or apple as their symbol that is placed anywhere the entire logo does not fit.
Branding New Businesses | Colour is a great differentiation and we love using it as it can and does set the emotional tone of your brand. Try to stay away from overly trendy colors if you’re not in the position to update your website and print material on a bi-annual basis. Pick classic hues and you’ll find that you can still be ‘trendy’ without having the need to continuously reinvest in updating the material.
Looking for inspiration, one of our absolute favorite tools is Adobe Kuler. You can create, explore and see exactly how your colour choices come together. We also recommend creating a pallet with 5 colours that can be intertwined for various market segments and will allow your graphics team a bit of movement and freedom in creating varying marketing material. From the five, there are normally three chosen for primary purposes with the two remaining allowing for adjustments and variations in accent.
Branding New Businesses | Fonts this is often the forgotten lone wolf but it is incredibly important when building your brand. While it may be appealing to you to have everything in a script, it is seldom easy to read and can often make people click off before they have even begun. Serif is a great alternative and offers the curves that will appeal to a more artistic person but still allow readability online and in print. If you do want a script or more artistic fonts, make sure you use them sparingly in headers, titles and call outs. Refrain from using them in your copy, blog posts or important information.
San Serif is modern, clean and does not carry the curves the Serif Fonts do. We tend to use these types of fonts the most in our designs.
Whichever you choose, keep in mind your audience (i.e. corporate verse children’s books) and keep the fonts used in your online, print and any other media to a maximum of three to ensure consistency and recognition.
Once you have your design elements together, you can then move forward with putting those elements to work and building your vision and if you’re at a bit of a loss, find a designer or graphic company that you can work with. A good branding company will walk you through several questions to determine your objectives, messages and determine how to best present that to the world.
If you’d like to discuss your new business, or anything digital related – we’re here and talk is free! We’d love to chat with businesses and welcome your questions.