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Great brands inspire customer loyalty, and it’s not by accident. In fact, designing a good brand for your business is critical to company growth and long-term success. Want proof? Consider these branding statistics:
There’s no doubt branding is important to business, yet ]]>only 55 percent of marketers]]> think their brand is well-aligned. Since so many companies are poor at branding, it means there’s plenty of opportunity to boost your business by designing a memorable brand.
So, how do you build a brand identity? With our brand identity guide.
How do you start your own brand? The brand identity design process starts with a name. You might already have a brand name in mind, or you might be an established company that wants to rebrand to stay relevant; however, if you don’t already have a brand name (or you’re considering a change), use these tips to pick a brand name that resonates with your audience.
|Create your mission statement||Identify your company values||What is your vision, and how will you carry it out?||Discover your customers||Understand your competitors|
|What does your company do, how does it do it, and who does it do it for?||What is your vision, and how will you carry it out?||What makes your company unique? How do you differ from the competition?||What do they need? What problems do they solve? What benefits do they offer?||How are you different and better than them?|
Once you have these items, you can create a list of relevant brand name ideas. Your list should include obvious associations to your mission and your customers, synonyms, and symbolic references. Answer the question: how do you want to brand yourself?
Next, make a shortlist of the names you like. Make sure they match the tone of your brand and your customer expectations. Are you an authoritative brand? A fun brand? A brand that makes things easy? A discount brand?
Cross-reference your shortlist against registered business names and available domain names. The last thing you want to do is settle on a brand name that’s already taken, or one that doesn’t have an available URL.
Finally, take a step back. Ask trusted advisers, existing customers and business associates to weigh in. Make sure your shortlisted names fit your mission, values, USP and customer expectations; that they are relevant to what you do and how you do it; and that they differentiate you from the competition. Then, pick your favorite name.
Your brand messaging is the foundation of your brand, and you might even take this step before you choose a brand name. Your messaging is what your brand stands for.
To develop a strong brand message, start by developing your mission statement, as described above. Then, create a tagline (or slogan) for your brand: a succinct sentence that sums up your mission statement.
The key is to focus. As ]]>Adam Kleinberg writes in Entrepreneur,]]> “In the mind of the customer, you get to be one thing. One. That matters because the customer's mind is where your brand lives.”
What is that one thing that makes you stand out from the competition? That one thing you do best for your customers, that one benefit that stands out among all others? What, exactly, do you bring to the table?
Think about some of the great taglines out there and how they express the one thing their brands are best at. Here are some examples of branding:
Each of these taglines focuses on a single idea and helps tie emotion to its brand. Emulate what these famous brands have done to craft your own brand messaging that resonates with your customer base.
You’ve laid the foundation for your brand; now, it’s time to learn how to create a brand identity through design. Your choice of colors and styles are critical to how your brand is perceived. We’ve already mentioned how colors can increase brand recognition by 80 percent, but here’s an even more telling statistic: ]]>60 percent of people will decide]]> whether they’re attracted to a message based on color alone.
So, how to choose brand colors? There are multiple approaches to choosing your brand identity color palette, but suffice to say your brand colors should:
Similarly, your choice of fonts impact brand perception. An authoritative brand might select bold fonts, for example, while an elegant brand might choose script fonts. Again, there are different approaches to brand font selection, and you can explore several from these resources:
Your brand colors, fonts and other styles should follow a set of usage rules, outlined in a visual style guide for your brand. These resources will help you create a brand style guide:
Once you’ve created your style guide, or brand identity guide, you can move on to creating your brand logo.
Entire books have been written about how to design a great logo, so it’s impossible to cover every single facet of logo design in a single article. That said, you can follow these basic steps to craft an exciting logo that inspires customer loyalty.
Consider your brand messaging, tagline/slogan, and your brand name. Jot down related words and symbols. Study other logos to find inspiration. Study your competitors to make sure your logo doesn’t resemble theirs. Ask others for ideas; even if you don’t like the ideas, they might serve as springboards for your own inspiration.
Take your list of ideas and mentally visualize the impact they’ll have on customers. You already have your brand colors, fonts, and styles, so you probably know what colors to make your logo and what types of fonts it will use. Decide what kind of logo design you’d like: a modern, minimalist logo, for example, a retro logo, or a traditional logo.
Also consider what type of logo you want to represent your brand. Writing for 99 Designs, ]]>Hilda Morones says there are seven types of logos]]>:
Once you have a concept in mind, create a few sketches. Don’t worry – you don’t need to be a graphic designer – all you need to do is flesh out your ideas on paper to get a feel for what your logo will look like on screen and on paper.
The next step is designing a brand logo. If you’re a graphic designer, have at it! If not, you have multiple options for getting your logo designed:
It’s a good idea to design multiple versions of your logo to see which you like best. You also need to consider logo usage: How will your logo look on letterhead?
On your website? On mobile devices? In grayscale or black and white?
Now, take a step back and consider your options: which logo satisfies the need to visually represent your brand and resonate with your audience? Run with it!
You have your brand messaging, your colors, your fonts and your logo; now, you need to apply all of these to a successful branding process. Print marketing is the backbone of any branding effort, because it’s the best way to put your brand in front of your customers. Use the following tried-and-true ideas to build a brand strategy that inspires customer loyalty.
Corporate identity kits might lack the luster of other branding efforts, but if you’re a business that routinely submits proposals or sends information via direct mail, corporate identity kits are powerful branding tools that emphasize your brand identity.
So, how to create a branding package? A good corporate identity package includes business cards, letterhead, brochures, stickers, sales sheets, envelopes and presentation folders. The beauty of a corporate identity kit is that every single piece of correspondence you issue carries your company’s brand and reinforces your message. Your branding is even more evident when you package all your identity collateral in a branded pocket folder.
Repetition is key to branding success, and direct-mail marketing is the perfect way to consistently put your brand in the best place possible: right in your customers’ hands. Direct-mail postcard printing is one of the most cost-effective ways to do this, and you can boost your brand power by printing ultra postcards, which stand out because they’re triple-thick and feature an attractive band of edge color to match your brand style.
Other direct mailers include brochures, flyers, sales sheets, catalogs and sales letters. Refrigerator magnets and calendars also make excellent direct-mail marketing tools, since they’re useful and can put your brand in front of potential customers daily.
Promote your brand by printing posters, flyers and stickers to place in strategic locations your audience will notice. You can place marketing materials on community bulletin boards, on walls and windows, and in unexpected areas such as mirrors and on vending machines.
Get creative to make your brand stand out; for example, you might print large stickers to place on floors in retail stores. You can also print flyers or stickers to place in partner packaging: pay non-competing businesses who share your customer base to stuff your marketing tools in every box they ship. Or, consider partnering with a restaurant to print table tents that feature your brand on one side and their messaging on the other.
Print brochures, flyers, and rack cards to place in point-of-sale displays. Partner with retailers, service stations, and brick-and-mortar companies that sell your products and services to place your stickers, calendars, and other marketing tools on their countertops.
Print branded labels that stand out to get your products noticed on the shelf. Or, print stickers to place on partner products to cross-promote your brand with theirs. A great example of this is when stickers are placed on potato chip bags and soda cartons that offer a discount when the two are purchased together. Though this might be considered direct response marketing, creating associations between your brand and established brands that share your audience can be a powerful strategy.
Print banners to place in high-traffic locations to put your brand in front of the masses. Print wall graphics to command attention in downtown shopping districts. Print window clings to promote your brand to window shoppers – and to turn them into customers. Print yard signs and door hangers to showcase your work and get your brand noticed in targeted neighborhoods.
Sponsor events and set up booths so you can hand out your business cards, brochures, flyers, and promotional marketing tools to potential customers. Make sure you print event banners to make your brand stand out and suggest associations to your audience’s passions.
Make sure your brand has an online presence with a website, social media pages, branded content and online advertising. Remember, your branding should be consistent between all marketing channels, so that customers recognize your branding when they see it online and in print.
Take out ads on television, on radio, and in newspapers and magazines to promote your brand in the media your audience consumes. Be consistent in your branding efforts, not only in style and messaging but also in quantity, since repetition is important to branding success.
Finally, understand that promoting your brand means you must go beyond traditional marketing. You need to infuse your brand principals into your company culture and train your staff to deliver a branded experience to your customers. Consider the customer experience from start to finish and identify ways to help them enjoy the benefits of your brand every step of the way.
Creating a brand for yourself isn’t difficult, but it does require attention-to-detail and a thoughtful brand identity process to make your brand relevant and inspiring. Ready to promote a powerful brand image that inspires customer loyalty? Do it for less with premium printing at discount prices!