Branding is one of the most fundamental aspects of your business to get right. It is the appearance of your business, it is your reputation and it is the beating heart of your organisation. Yet so many companies fall short of seeing the importance of a strong brand, or how to go about creating one. ‘Branding’ is a word that’s thrown about a lot, but what does it actually mean and what does it encompass?
Essentially, a brand is people’s perception of a company, from their customer service and reputation to their logo and much, much more. There are many aspects to consider throughout the brand creation process; this is not about stabs in the dark, personal preferences, or ‘let’s just pick some ideas out of thin air and hope for the best’. In this blog series we will be touching on some of our key processes behind creating not just a memorable logo, but also a brand style that successfully captures your core business values.
How can a strong brand impact your business?
First impressions are key. We all make judgments about people everyday based on their appearance, whether we are aware of it or not. This is no different to the way people perceive businesses and corporations. According to researchers at the Missouri University of Science and Technology, it takes an online visitor less than two-tenths of a second to form a first opinion of your brand after arriving on your site. Quick, right? With this in mind, here we share a selection of convincing reasons as to why it is so important to have a powerful brand and how you can avoid portraying a lower than average first impression:
It’s not exactly rocket science to know that consumers are more likely to purchase from a business that appears credible. But how do you achieve that credibility? There are numerous ways that a business’s logo and brand can exhibit itself as trustworthy. Here are just a few of these ways:
There is in fact a lot of psychology that comes into play when choosing a brand colour palette. For example, the colours green and blue are often perceived as positive and trustworthy colours. Bright colours are seen as fresh and fun, whilst darker colours can have a more traditional and timeless feel. Picking the right colour to portray your brand is key. For further information on this, keep an eye out for an upcoming blog post all about the psychology of colours.
Ensuring that your brand is up to date with current design trends is key; you don’t want to be looking outdated compared to your competitors. By regularly refreshing your brand guidelines and logo, you can ensure that people perceive your company as being relentlessly on trend. Whether you have a well-established logo that just needs a spruce, or you are a start up business in need of a fresh and contemporary brand, it is essential to keep on top of the latest technology, fashion or processes. The most well-known and established companies in the world do it, so why shouldn’t you?
Using imagery within your logo can make it both relatable and recognisable. It is also an effective way to relay what your business does, especially if this cannot easily be determined by the name of your business. With the examples below, the imagery used fortifies either the brand name or eludes to what the companies do.
The type of imagery used on both your online and offline collateral also has a huge impact on your brand. For example, studies show that the use of professional images featuring real people can encourage a deeper connection with the user, therefore building trust. We have all seen the stock images of people in suits, holding briefcases and standing in the desert, or a calm image of stepping stones. These show very little in terms of imagination, relevance or personality whereas shots of your team, office or meetings are more relatable to users.
One of the most important components of your brand is the logo. Think how instantly recognisable the Nike ‘Tick’ is, or Apple’s powerful brandmark (forget the fact that Nike paid just $35 for their logo!). Acting as the face of your company, a logo needs to be simple enough to be timeless but bold enough to make an impression. This is why it is important to invest time and effort into creating a recognisable logo. When we start a branding process with any business, we first and foremost want to understand the brand and your goals. This helps us to advise on the best visual representation of your business.
What’s one of the most organic ways of getting new custom? Word of mouth. Fantastic branding enables your company to get referral business. The most successful companies all have one thing in common: they establish themselves as industry leaders with the help of a strong brand. The bigger the company’s passion to build a valuable brand, the better financial return they get.
Your brand is one of your most powerful marketing tools; make sure you get it right so you can leverage that instant step up on your competitors. In the next post in our branding series, we will be looking more closely at those important first stages when refreshing or creating a new logo and brand style.
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