The benefits of effective brand design are plentiful and surprising. From brand recognition and building customer loyalty, adding credibility with a strong visual identity to beautifully reflecting the quality and type of products and services you offer. Overall, igniting business growth.
Brand design is something that every business should focus on from startup to established mogul. And we’re not talking about a logo or brand or vice versa. But brand design in terms of the whole package. Yes, your logo design is the most recognisable device, it is but one element of branding.
We like to talk about branding in terms of touch points – where it comes into contact with your customers or potential customers and team. From collateral such business cards and stationery to your website, social media, quotes, signage, uniforms etc. And then we go into tone of voice, brand promises and how you communicate… You get the idea, it’s a large category of business and vital to your image.
With the level of competition out there, it’s never been more important to have a strong, authentic brand and proposition. Effective strategy and brand design is at the core of companies that are thriving.
Here are our tips for effective brand design
Don’t aim for trendy
There are certain brands which have reached iconic status because they’ve not fallen into the trap of designing to current trends. Trends come and go and it’s costly to keep updating your look, you don’t want to have to do it too often. The Red Cross, Apple, Paul Smith are some brands which have achieved this (with evolutions) and their brands aren’t just a great ‘logo design‘. We can’t tell you how many times we get asked to design something as iconic as the Nike tick! Their brand design delivers on so many levels…
Not going with the trend doesn’t mean you have to stay too classic (and boring!) It just means looking at a brand design and asking whether you’d be able to see it lasting for the next ten years. If not, then does it have the longevity it needs? It might not matter if your product has a short life-cycle or is constantly changing but consider future business directions and audiences early on to make your brand design more versatile.
Let your vision lead you
Have you ever looked at a logo and you have no idea what the company does? It’s vital to let your vision and mission direct your brand design. We have an in depth way of pulling this out so it can be shaped during the design process when working with clients, it’s the first thing we do in discovery before any creative work begins. It helps ensure that what we create is unique and authentic.
As well as your vision, understanding your target audience and aligning their preferences with your overall identity will create a connection. Trying to appeal to everyone and being all things to all men will dilute your brand.
Make sure the logo works where you need it to
We mentioned that brand design encompasses the logo but also where the brand needs to be applied. During identity design, we often start with sketches and then take the best concepts to screen in black and white only. This is a really important step, the logo needs to work in monochrome and if it doesn’t you need to question the strength of the concept.
Will it work in a small scale, maybe you need an app icon; will it work on uniforms with embroidery or on signage, way-finding, on product labels or swing tags… It needs to be strong enough that the logo identity isn’t lost in application.
Consistency is king
If you went to a restaurant and had a pleasant experience but on your return visit the service was poor, the food was bad how would you feel? You might give it one more try but customers want reliable quality and service. It’s no different when it comes to brand design. Consistent application of your branding builds trust with your audience. Consistency is king, you can’t afford not to make this is a priority. I’d bet my bottom dollar that this is why Starbucks is hugely successful worldwide, in fact that’s another story of how I had a new found love of branding in an unlikely place!
To help with consistency in brand design, a set of brand guidelines will help and ensuring you get team buy in during the branding and induction process of new team members will be protect your investment.
Get out there
Major brands such as Apple or Nike we mentioned above have reached iconic status from the sheer mass of investment they make in reaching their customers through advertising. They have this advantage but online and social media strategies mean you have as much potential in establishing your brand. Do it justice.
We hope this has been helpful in getting you started on creating a solid brand strategy to set you up for success and ignite business growth.
Last but not least, hire a reputable brand agency to help you with your brand design. It’s the face of your business and it’s an investment you want to get right. It will pay dividends in ways you can’t imagine.