From Athens to Tokyo and everywhere in between, competition thrives. Be this be the physical prowess of Olympians through to the mental fortitude of chess champions there is always opposition. Naturally the primary competition we will be focused on within this blog is the challenge of successful branding.
An often overlooked but vitally important aspect of the marketing war is the embodiment of the brand itself – the brand identity. Countless times we have encountered a mishmash medley of mediocre marketing posts just haphazardly smashed together with hope to hook a hapless patron. Each ‘design’ had no heart or soul, no purpose or poise – simply created to, often unsuccessfully, catch a quick sale or to remain somewhat relevant.
“It’s just a logo/font/colour, it doesn’t have to be fancy” is often the words uttered by the culprits of these heinous crimes. Well fret no more – we are here to tell you why it IS important that your brand guidelines are on form and how we can help you go for gold in creating a successful brand identity.
The first pit stop in our pentathlon of project pointers is pinpointing a plan to pursue your target market (phew that’s a lot of Ps). To put it simply, we need to sort out who you are trying to target with your brand. This is the core foundation of your brand identity.
It is very easy to skip over this step as it may seem tedious, boring or obvious to you but without a core market in mind the rest of your brand will crumble. Now it is true that your audience may change as your brand grows and develops and that is a good thing, but it doesn’t mean you should say your target audience is everybody. Believe us when we say it’s very unlikely to be everybody!
“How do I go about doing market research?” I hear you ask. As obvious as it may sound it is literally in the name – you need to research the market. Have a look at products or services similar to the one you’re planning to offer, ask around and see who would benefit from what you’re offering or even make use of the plethora of online tools at your deposal.
Remember, this step is vital in creating a successful brand identity – there is no sense in marketing fish food to a gymnast.
Climbing the Ranks
Now we have the pitons in place it’s time to attach the rope to the harness and start the long climb up the corporate cliff. In other words, we are ready to figure out your branding identity using the 3 Ps – purpose, position and personality.
By this point, you should already have a general-purpose of what you’re offering, be it a product or a service but we need a clear and specific goal in order to best embody the brands vision. Think of a purpose as a reason – what are the reasons that the world needs your brand and how will it benefit others?
Brand positioning is all about the old adage; be in the right place at the right time. That principle applies here too, this time however we can influence what the right place is with our brand identity and position. In essence, it’s what position does your brand fit into the current market?
Branding personality may sound like an oddity at first, how can a brand have a persona if it doesn’t really exist? Well you would be surprised on how huge of a roll a brand personality plays in the modern corporate world, it encapsulates the tone of voice you are setting within your business and keeps your marketing communications clean and consistent. Giving your brand a personality is a solid way to ensure customers don’t have trouble connecting with your brand. A good way to think this is what would my brand be like if it was a person?
Triathlon of Design
Armed with this newfound knowledge of your envisioned brand it’s time to move onto the fun part of the process – bringing your brand identity to life. As a graphic designer by trade it may be obvious why I find this aspect of brand creation the most enjoyable but that isn’t to say it isn’t any less challenging or important than the other steps. Like a set of hurdles, each one needs to be conquered before you move on to the next. As the title may suggest this section is split into the main 3 aspects of your visible branding identity; colours, fonts and logo.
There are over 10 million shades of colour visible to the human eye yet when picking for your brand identity we recommend avoid choosing any more than 4 where possible. Having a small subset of specific shades selected ensures people remember you when they see those particular colours as they associate them with your brand.
A common misconception people is mixing up typefaces and fonts. Although basically interchangeable there is some slight differences between them. A typeface is just simply the name of the lettering styled used, such as we use ‘Montserrat’. A font goes into more specifics about the typeface, dictating the weight and size of the typeface, so for example we use ‘Montserrat 16pt regular’. For your branding identity, you will have to find typefaces that match the atheistic and personality of your brand then compile it down into a list of fonts that you wish to use.
The logo, the face of your brand, the signature to your identity – this is what you will be seen as. As daunting as it may sound at first, it is much easier to overcomplicate a logo than it is to make it stand out amongst the crowd. Although we can’t tell you exactly how to go away and create a logo since everybody’s brand is different, we can definitely point you in the right direction – just think about what we have covered in the previous points then create a visual representation of this.
There is a lot more thought and effort that has to go into choosing these fonts, colours and logo designs than you may believe and that’s where we come in. We have many years’ experience in creating identities for companies and can use our expert knowledge and advice to set your brand out to the field on the right foot with our branding identity guidelines. Call us today on 01925 563 960 or contact us to see how we can help you.
As far as the main planning for your brand identity is concerned you have past the post on that front, from this point on its plain sailing to the top. Well we say plain sailing but it’s going to be rough waters but with enough determination and clever marketing you can surely reach the top.
That puts us on to one of our final points, consistency in your fonts. As we covered earlier it is extremely important that you keep your brand consistent and on point; stick with the fonts you’ve chosen and try not to stray from your own path. One of the most common ways a brand fails is by muddying its identity and this usually comes from losing its brand consistency. If you want your brand identity to truly look professional – keep it consistent.
The Branding Marathon
Here you stand, gold in hand, on a podium, with your brand. You’ve made it to the top and now you’re here; what next? You may be sick of hearing us say this now but the keys to the kingdom lie inconsistency. All that’s left once you’ve created your brand identity and followed our guide is to keep it up and carry on putting your brand out there. Don’t stray from your plan and everything should work out.
If you need any help in creating your Olympic level branding and bringing home the gold then don’t hesitate to contact us and we will get you on the champions’ path in no time! Call us today on 01925 563 960 or contact us to see how we can help you.