A big BIG mistake I see when it comes to branding, is businesses thinking that once they have a logo they are all set. But, in truth, branding is so much more than a logo. In fact, a logo is the last piece of the branding puzzle, and with a strong brand, many businesses could get by without one.
A brand is your business’s personality. It is who your business IS. How others – including your potential customers and customers themselves – see you and relate to you. A brand is something that shows up in everything you do – from your packaging to your website to your tone of “voice” in emails and social media to the types of visuals and photos you use. A brand is all encompassing.
And, importantly, your business’s brand – its personality – isn’t always YOUR personality. It can often be a challenge for an entrepreneur – especially when they ARE the whole business – to separate themselves from their business brand.
A common mistake entrepreneurs make is to assume their tone, their favourite colours, and their personal style choices and to give those to their brand.
A better way to look at it is that your business brand may – and likely does – have ELEMENTS of YOU. Elements that are suited for what you want to put forward for your business and what you want the world to see. Also, elements that are suited for the type of business you run and the customer you want.
Let’s look at some of the building blocks of building a killer brand.
One: Think of your Audience
While your brand is a reflection of YOUR business personality and self, it also needs to be one that speaks to your AUDIENCE. After all, your audience is who you want to speak to! Your audience is who you want to build a relationship with, evoke feelings in, and who you want to be engaged with your brand. When selecting images, think about ones that would appeal to your audience. What would grab their attention? What would they find meaningful and interesting?
Two: Brand colours
Your colour palette is a key part of expressing your brand’s personality to your audience.
Colours offer a lot of opportunity for customization but also the potential to be used incorrectly. Mistakes often made include using too many colours, using colour combinations that don’t go together, or using colours that don’t fit your brand.
We often have the temptation to use colours we like without much thought as to whether they are the right colours for our business or brand. The RIGHT colours are key in sending the right message about your business to your audience. Beyond what looks GOOD and NOT GOOD together, different colours and fonts say different things about your brand.
From a colour palette standpoint, ask yourself what your colour choice is saying about your brand, and whether that is what you want to be saying.
Three: Selecting the right fonts
Much like your colours, your font choice will say a lot about your brand. When choosing fonts, it is helpful to ask yourself if your fonts will appeal to your audience and whether they’re a good fit for your brand and business.
Because there are SO MANY fonts out there, finding the right one can be more challenging than finding the right colours. Understanding the traits or personality you want your brand to put forward will help you pick the right fonts. Is your brand modern or traditional? Is it bold and loud or gentle and harmonious? These are questions to ask when thinking about what font would best express your brand.
Branding is all about consistency. Once you have an established what your brand looks like and what its personality is, you want to make sure you stick to it. When you design content for social media, flyers for your business, and even your website, use the colour palette and fonts to guide the design. When writing for your blog or website or social media, make sure the voice reflects your brand’s voice. When put together, all your business collateral – or marketing pieces – will help to establish and show your brand to the world.