As a creative agency, we’re often asked to design a new brand or do re-branding work for a client. We love this kind of brief and often squabble over who gets to work on the project in the studio.
Possibly the first contact a customer will have with your business is seeing your logo, so there is no denying the importance of a good one. However, a logo is really just a way of recognising you – it’s a simple graphic representation of your business, but no more than that.
It’s your brand as a whole that will create experiences, evoke emotions and engage your customers. Your brand is your personality and it tells the story of your business.
Here are our top 5 tips on what makes a powerful and timeless brand:
1. Brand Story – neuroscience proves that storytelling is the best way to capture attention, so having a brand story will help you do just that. Your brand story covers the history of your brand and the driving force behind it today. How did your business start? What obstacles and troubles did you have to face? How did you resolve the issues? Crafting a good brand story will allow your customers to care about you, and ultimately, remember you.
2. Visual Identity – alongside your logo, colours, imagery, fonts, patterns, textures and icons all contribute towards your brand’s visual identity. Creating a set of colours for your brand is key. For example, Coca-Cola can be recognised purely by its red colour, without any need for anything else. By choosing fonts that reflect your brand’s values – traditional or quirky, fun or formal – you can attract the right kind of customers. Interestingly, that doesn’t necessarily mean using whatever font you have chosen for your logo mark. Try to ensure your fonts are web friendly so your printed collateral will complement your online presence. Every part of your brand’s visual identity is important, not just the logo.
3. Personality – just like people, a brand needs a personality. Giving your brand a set of human characteristics enables your customer to relate to you, and shapes how they feel about your product or services. In 1997, Jennifer Aaker published her study – ‘Dimensions of Brand Personality’– offering an insight into the ‘Big Five’ dimensions that companies can use to establish their brand.
1. Sincerity – Down to earth, honest, wholesome, cheerful. (example: Dove)
2. Excitement – Daring, spirited, imaginative, up-to-date. (example: Disney)
3. Competence – Reliable, intelligent, successful. (example: Volvo)
4. Sophisticated – Upper class, charming (example: Chanel)
5. Ruggedness – Outdoorsy, tough. (example: Caterpillar)
After you’ve locked down your brand’s personality, creating a strong tone of voice will help express it. Your tone of voice should be distinctive, recognisable and unique. It’s important because it builds trust and can be used to influence and persuade your customers.
4. Deliverables – how are you going to reach your target market, both online and offline? This will be different depending on who your target market is, but examples include: advertising, brochures, reports, packaging, signage, stationery, uniforms, vehicle livery, events and videos. You don’t need us to tell you that everything is online these days; if your brand doesn’t have an online presence it will get lost. A website is key, no matter what your business is.
5. Consistency – this is the absolute key to ensuring your brand reaches its full potential. Opportunities to engage with your customers are precious, and you want your brand to come across the same on all channels, whether that’s online or offline. If your brand is looking different or telling a different story on each channel, then your customers will become confused. Creating a solid set of brand guidelines will help ensure that messaging and brand asset use is consistent across every touchpoint.
If you need help creating a brand, or re-branding your existing company, come and speak to us! We’d be more than happy to help take your brand to the next level.
Author: Katy Robinson