In the Oxford Dictionary the definition of branding is “Mark with a branding iron” – so ensure your brand leaves a lasting impression.
A pictures speaks a thousand words – so getting your logo to represent you and your business is essential. Let’s look at some well-known brands:
Forever Living – Green the colour of nature but also the colour that makes us think we can earn money. Also very motivational and Inspirational. Absolutely what The Forever brand wants us to think.
The Blueberry home – The different shades of purple which is regal, sophisticated and very magical. The imagery immediately gives you the feel of class. If I was looking for an interior designer, then this would definitely sway my decision.
Audi – Silver, simple and elegant and strong. Almost a brand mark in itself. Gives you the feeling of stability and confidence.
Barbie – pink, maternal, nurturing. Border-line sexy. Iconic.
Not so good choices
Choosing the wrong colour can do serious damage to your brand. For example; Merck is one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies but got a lot of stick over this logo rebrand. Who else thinks it looks like a toy store?
Don’t use unreadable fonts, illegible text and fonts – make it easy for people to read and want to know more about what you do.
Illegible fonts on business cards are a nightmare too – if people struggle to read your name and telephone number you won’t be hearing from them any time soon.
Less is More – and this is always true when it comes to logo’s. The more cluttered it is adds to the confusion.
One other thing – PHOTOS belong on marketing materials and websites. NOT IN A LOGO.
Times New Roman – Old Fashioned but still around. Representing stability and long standing.
Classic old style fonts – still sophisticated and give the impression we know what we are talking about. Such ones as Garamond.
Neo Deco is a beautiful, professional font that is clean, simple typography in action with a real sense of style. Used here in the centre pages of Vogue.
PLSTK is a completely unique font. Something very different for those that prefer to stand out from the crowd.
When our prospective customers see our branding, pick up our card, look at banner, read our literature – what do we want them to think?
- Simple Elegant, less is more.
- Reliable and Trustworthy
- Wise & Intelligent
- Motivational and Inspirational
- Playful and Creative
Do you want your brand to say Buy from Me or Run from me? I am fab or I am crap?
We get 4 seconds to grab attention – Use it well.
Ask yourself these questions and determine your values:
- Do you want the image of being value for money or high end?
- Do you want to reflect economy or luxury?
Do you want to be seen as high street or designer?
- Do you want to be seen as a generalist or a company that offers a tailor made service?
There is however just one rule when you have decided you want a new logo:
Don’t do it yourself, get someone else to do it for you.
Someone who can get inside your head, someone who knows how to write a brief and someone who can put your words into pictures. Now this isn’t necessarily a designer. This is someone who I prefer to call an Architect of Print. Designers follow briefs. Architects write those briefs.
Now a strapline doesn’t have to go by the side of a logo; it’s what comes to mind when you see the logo. I’m sure we all know a few well known ones:
- Nike – Just do it
- Star Wars – May the Force be with you
- Martini– Any time any place
- Tesco – Every little helps
- Marmite – You’ll either love it or hate it
- L’Oreal – Because you’re worth it
- Audi –Vorsprung Durch Technik (Advancement Through Technology)
- Heinz – Beans means Heinz
4 easy steps to create a simple dynamic strapline
- Make sure it has SUBSTANCE – has to mean something or it’s better to not have one.
- Make sure you don’t have too many people working on it. Try to work in a 1-2-1 environment instead of working with a team. I go back to having someone get inside your head.
- It needs to make sense to your customers and its generated at the correct demographic. Nike “Just do it” isn’t going to work for pensioners?
- Most important to me – be CREATIVE. APPLE “Think different” epitomises everything we thought about Steve Jobbs.
Remember the word WHY should come up constantly… Why should people buy from us? Why are we better than anyone else? Why do we do things differently?
People often think they NEED a strapline. My suggestion is … A strapline must be done well or not at all.
Once you have your brand guidelines you MUST use these religiously throughout your entire organisation and social media platforms – consistent imagery is key to being recognised. Use different images and people get confused.
There are however, just 3 important things to remember when thinking about creating a brand.
- What colour am I/are we REALLY?
- What do I ultimately want my prospective clients to feel?
- Consistency, consistency and again, consistency.
If you want to discuss branding or even want me to analyse your business card contact me; I’d be delighted to discuss both.