Are you guilty of thinking Branding, design and logos were things that you created because it’s what businesses needed to sell themselves.
My degree barely touched on the topics I’m mentioning here. Because as designers’ we are never told the real reason why branding is important.
No matter which business you’re in, branding will be brought up at some stage and ultimately as a business owner, you will question the value of branding.
So what is all the fuss about?
Here’s the low down:
Branding comes down to one thing: Consistency.
Consistency is the backbone of any business. And when you combine brand consistency and an amazing product that users love, you are bound to hit success.
Consistency with customers. Consistency with the product or service. Consistency with the experience of your brand.
Heck, consistency with blogging!
It really has very little to do with ‘making things pretty’. You could take the worst designed logo, and as long as you kept the colours, chosen fonts and logo size consistent – you could and would ultimately be a successful brand.
Companies like Coke, spend millions ensuring the colour on their can of Coke is the correct shade of red. Tiffany (jewellers) has trademarked the blue on their boxes. Because consistency = dollars.
When people know you for something, you become memorable for that thing. And when you want to scale the thing you do, consistency helps you do that.
So how do you keep consistent? I’m pretty sure I do that already?
Well, if you don’t have brand guidelines, you probably aren’t consistent.
Brand guidelines can be as simple or as complex as you like. They outline the following:
– Logo colours (used in black or colour)
– Button sizes, form field styles
– Tone of voice in your emails (what does your brand sound like?)
– Mission statement
Brand guidelines can be printed out or ideally placed online so you can iterate and share with your entire team.
I want to highlight that brand guidelines are different to digital guidelines and you cannot get a print designer to create digital guidelines for you. Digital guidelines need to take into account
- Web Compliance
- Colour Contrast
This is where ‘making it pretty’ simply does not come into the equation.
What about my ROI?
So where do the dollars come into this? Branding is really a long game – it’s going to take time but it’s going to be worth it.
If you see branding as growing and nurturing your own reputation, you know that it takes a while to get people to know you. Ensuring you are consistent with the way you represent your company, the easier it is for your customers to build upon that relationship as you grow.