Defining your business through branding
Branding isn’t about a logo, it is about awareness, identity and communication. The logo is the first part of your branding, the greeting or virtual handshake to your consumers, the branding is what backs it up, makes it recognisable and memorable. The best branding is the one that creates a ubiquitous feel to it, that helps it to stay in the back of your clients and customers minds and will be the first thing they think of when they need a product or service that your company may sell. Your branding and your logo should go hand and hand, they should compliment each other and still be recognisable to your company when separated.
Step 1 – Creating a logo
The first step to creating a brand is logo design, a logo should represent your company’s interest, it should reflect what your company stands for and it easily identifiable to what your company does, it is never about creating a pretty image. There are five elements to designing a good logo they are;
- Effective without colour (as a silhouette)
- Scalable to any size
- Able to work on both light or dark backgrounds
When you begin creating your logo, keep these elements in mind as they will help your design to become more effective. For instance, if your logo is printed in black and white in a newspaper you will be happy that it was created to be effective without colour, and if it’s ever shown particularly small you’ll be glad that you designed it to be scalable.
You must also ask yourself who is your ideal audience and what image to you want to present to them, is your business a highly professional financial institution or is it a friendly local bakery? What makes your company unique and can this lend itself to the creation of your logo? Finally what story do you want your logo to tell?
Keep it simple, many logos fail at the get go as they are too complicated, keeping your logo simple and unique can be the key to a recognisable brand. Simple logos are easy to remember and identify, take a look at these simple logo designs below that are very easy to identify.
The final stages to logo design are colour and typography, they are also the next step to creating a strong brand
Step 2 – Developing the brand
Typography is integral to good logo design and until you’re as recognisable as Nike or Batman it is advisable that you’ll need to include your company name alongside your logo design. Do not be tempted to make your logo stand out by using childlike or tacky fonts like Comic Sans, in fact never use Comic Sans. Using a gimmicky font can reflect badly on your company, so try keep your typography simple and clear. In an ideal situation it is best to have your own font designed for you, as this will help keep your brand unique.
Logo designs need to work in silhouette as well as colour, bear this in mind before bringing colour to your logo. It is better to use solid blocks of colour rather than gradients, this is because solid block are much more easily translated to black and white and gradients are becoming more passé when it comes to logo design and it can make your logo seem dated.
Make sure the colour scheme that you choose for your logo are easily translatable to be adapted for use on your website and marketing materials. As mentioned above it is best to decide on your logo first, then pull a colour scheme from that to use on their website and other promotional materials.
Step 3 – Brand awareness
Brand awareness is the process of building your brand and using it to make your customers aware of business, by creating a memorable brand through well designed marketing strategies. This allows more people to discover your business, know who you are and through this you’ll receive increased sales and even repeat business. The initial part of creating brand awareness is the development of your business name, logo design and your company tagline. You’ll also need to advertise with your new brand on printed materials like flyers and business cards as well as allowing to spread through online marketing like social media and your website while encouraging good management of customer relations.
Brand awareness is important not only because it brings new customers to your business for the first time, but it also encourages them to keep coming back. The general public and businesses like to buy from brands that they know, trust and that they can identify with; when your logo and tagline are easy for them to remember, your brand becomes ubiquitous and it’s the first thing to come to the consumer’s mind when they’re ready to buy.