Your business’ brand is so much more than your logo and official website; your brand is your promise to customers. It tells them what they can expect from your business, but it also helps create loyalty and recognition for who you are and what you do.
If you think of the most successful logos of all time, perhaps the Golden Arches of McDonald’s, the iconic swoosh of Nike, or the swirling of the Coca-Cola logo, you can see that each logo carries with it a sense of what the business is all about.
Your logo is your first step in your branding strategy, so make sure you develop your logo with an eye for how to build a brand. A clean, simple logo works best. It has to be something that looks good on both a large and a small scale. Does it work on your signage as well as it does on a business card? If so, this is a quality logo.
Corporations spend millions of dollars on logo designs and branding strategies, but you can get the same quality with a little elbow grease on your part. Start by defining your brand.
What is your mission? What makes you different from your competitors? What do your customers already associate with your business? What qualities do you want them to associate with your brand? Answering these simple questions can help you in every aspect of your branding, from logo design to marketing.
Brand positioning and finding a niche is key. Integrate your branding strategy into every aspect of your business (especially in the planning stages). Determine whether you want to convey a formal voice or a more relaxed tone. A more formal branding strategy conveys authority and experience, but it might be too stifled for some purposes.
A more relaxed tone conveys approachability and familiarity, but might be to casual for some business models. Know what works for your business. Answer phones, emails, and other correspondence accordingly. Make sure every employee knows the branding strategy and sticks with it.
Develop a smooth tagline that simply conveys the basics of your brand. It might be catchy or it might be utilitarian, but it should give your customers the essence of who you are and what you do. It should reflect the overall tone of your company, whether formal or casual.
Display your carefully crafted branding strategy everywhere. Use your logo and tagline on everything you produce, from social media to your business’ website. Get the image out there into the marketplace, and then develop the relationships with customers to build your brand. Stay consistent by constraining yourself to a few font choices.
Choose simple colors, 2-3 maximum. All promotional materials should stick to this font and color family.
The purpose of a brand is to create loyalty and recognition. People should be able to see your logo and instantly associate it with your business. If you’re not using consistency in your branding efforts, clients and customers can get confused and mixed messages from you. Create a solid, consistent identity and stick with it.