Whenever I see a company sign write their company vehicle with about 5 various fonts I try not to cringe. For me it’s says a lot about the company itself. Whether we like it or not human beings (or customers) are visual creatures; we can ignore pain till we see it, we can get hungry just at the sight of food and often make purchasing decisions based on imagery taking in subconsciously.
Sadly we’ve learnt overtime that along with stereotyping we can differentiate a reputable business from a bad one. At least we think we can. Branding has become the foundation of a successful company. Ensuring consistancy and values can mean the difference between landing that client/customer and turning away thousands. Air New Zealand has always been an iconic ‘brand’ that emulates this. They ensure that their brand and values are consistent not just in their brand mark but also in their employees and partnerships. There is complete respect for the koru of which the logo has been derived from and this also runs through to where it is placed.
As a business owner your brand values should be reflected in everything you do. Right down to the way your product or service is delivered. The environment in which was seen and the transport type you use.
So as a business owner myself these are the things I often recommend to those who want to take some simple steps to ensure that they have met the very least guidelines in brand representation.
#1. Use your own domain name in email addresses. @xtra.co.nz or @yahoo.com just won’t do. If you have a domain, use it. A simple email setup can be done within 30mins which sets you up for all of your branding on business cards and company vehicles. Not only that but it means you OWN your email address. You don’t have to worry about changing service providers in the future and often it’s a lot cheaper. The secret is out.
#2. Get a proper logo done. I don’t care if you get this done via crowd sourcing (although you get what you pay for) or from a local Graphic Designer in New Zealand but get it done and ensure they give you some brand guidelines to go with it. What sort spacing should you have around it. Which complementary fonts should you use for body copy on invoices, websites etc. If you do this, pick a good graphic designer and check their portfolio to ensure you’re getting your money’s worth.
#3. Get an email signature. Now that you have your logo, is it reflected in all of your communication and all of your employee’s communication? This is especially important for those who remotely for their clients/customers. If emails are your touch point, make an impression! Ensure your email signature has your logo, website address, social media info, contact details and any key notes you want your customers to know. If you donate to a charity then note that their business is helping a good cause via you. Subtly obviously but I can show you how.
#4. Write down what your business values are. This takes such a short space of time yet it is crucial for ensuring you maintain your company vision for everything you do. If you’re a logistics company, tell me (your customer) what you represent. Are you reliable? Are you reputable? What are your beliefs in life and company vision. What does your company want to achieve long term. Ensure you inform your branding company/individual of this vision so they can help you bring it to life.
#5. Take a look in the mirror. Now that you’ve assessed the branding situation; tell me where you’re at. What do your business cards look like. Have you committed the crime of a non company domain email address? If you want to take it even further, why not ask your customers via a confidential unidentifiable survey what they think of your brand.
To conclude here are some facts about why branding equals success. Thanks so much for reading.
90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text. – Source
65% of us are visual learners
40% of people will respond better to visual information than plain text.
46.1% of people say a website’s design is the number one criterion for discerning the credibility of the company.
Pinterest generated more referral traffic for businesses than Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn combined. In other words, images are everything.