Are you a small business or a non-profit organization? You probably think that you are doing the best you can and have built enough trust online. The problem is that we all inevitably fall to the common mistakes of classic branding. First though, let’s talk about what branding is . . .
What Is Branding
In simple terms:
branding is creating an identity or image of a company, product, service or individual in the eye of the public such that any mention of the name of the institution brings out a specific feeling or emotion
When you are asked about a particular business, person or organization you evaluate the entity in question and give a positive or negative reply. This is youru perception of their brand image or identity.
Technically speaking brand image is basically the manner in which an organization presents its face to the world.
Your brand is, in short, a picture of your organization from your own view point. An important thing to remember here that brand image and brand identity mirror the same idea.
Branding Your Organization – 6 Keys (and a bonus)
Now that you understand the basic theory behind a brand image, what makes up a your brand? Here are six key things that define/create a good brand image that stays in the reader or viewer’s mind.
- Logo – You logo is basically a symbol or picture that is unique and easily associated with your company or business.
- The moment someone sees your logo they should identify your business with it.
- It should be catchy, to-the-point, designed for maximum impact and geared around what your business is all about.
- Abstract logos can also work well although they require some time to age properly.
- Color Palette – The colors you choose for the logo or brand image are surprisingly important.
- Bright flashy colors go well with fun and entertainment based business.
- For more serious business, you should consider cooler colors or hues.
- Choosing colors is a vital part of creating a brand image.
- Consider alternative choices and try out different combinations until you are satisfied about the identity created by your brand image.
- Font/Typeface – The font you use for your brand image should always be easy to read.
- If possible, choose a font or typeface that is not typical in terms of design
- Your font/typeface should never be difficult to read or understand.
- Make sure that your design does not hinder the readability aspect. An easy to read logo is almost always more effective than a fancy one that is hard to read.
- Remember that your font/typeface should provide good contrast with the other colors of your logo or background. Use:
- Light text on a dark background or
- Dark text on a light background
- Avoid any colors that make your logo hard to read/see clearly. See the image below for a visual example:
- Tagline – Not the most important aspect of a brand image although a good tag line can make your brand much more memorable.
- A tag line defines your business in one line or a few words.
- It is something that you can use to brand your advertisements and other promotional material.
- Think of some of these tag lines – do you know the brand associated with them?
- You’re in good hands with ________ (Allstate Insurance)
- Don’t leave home without it. (American Express)
- Reach out and touch someone. (AT&T)
- The ultimate driving machine. (BMW)
- Takes a licking and keeps on ticking. (Timex)
- Think outside the bun. (Taco Bell)
- Where’s the beef? (Wendy’s)
- Layout – Where you place your brand image on your website, marketing materials and/or product also matters. It should be easily visible but should not form the majority of your message.
- Don’t fall for the classic entrepreneurial mistake of “Make my logo bigger!”
- Different Formats – As you engage in marketing your organization you will have the need to place your logo in many different places and on many different things. Have different (although similar and consistent) versions of your brand image so you can maximize the impact of your brand. You should have the following versions of your logo available:
- Your logo on a black background (if the colors look good)
- Your logo on a white background (if the colors look good)
- Your logo in white on a black background
- Your logo in black on a white background
- A grey-scale version of your logo
Extra Bonus!! A Branding Tip to Make You Shine!
In addition to creating your logo in multiple color formats (see #6 above) also create or have your designer create a square and rectangular version of your logo. This is especially important for signage and sponsorships where your logo will be displayed.
- If you are provided a square space for your logo and you only have a rectangular version your logo is going to be VERY SMALL and difficult to read when your rectangular logo is re-sized to fit the square space.
- If you are provided with a rectangular space for your logo and you only have a square version your logo is going to be VERY SMALL and difficult to read when your square logo is re-sized to fit the rectangular space.
Looking for some inspiration? Check out these great logos!
[box]Would you like some help with your Branding and Online Marketing? Contact Valorous Circle, one of the leading West Michigan website design and online marketing firms located in Grand Rapids, MI.
Mention this blog post and receive a FREE 30 minute consultation including a FREE review of your brand, your online marketing and recommendations for improvement. Call 616-929-0790 or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org[/box]