We know you’ve heard the terms brand and branding. Its essential in running a business. If you aren’t familiar with the terms here’s a quick little breakdown.
What is a Brand?
It’s your service, the experience you give clients, your product and reputation.
What is Branding?
It is the visual representation of your mission and product, your identity – your brand. It’s the string that holds it all together through business cards, packaging, website, logo, colours etc.
What is a Branding Package?
Typically a branding package includes the majority of the following:
- A logo in multiple formats
- An alt logo ie. watermark
- Font pairings
- Custom colour palette + colour codes
- Social media cover
- Business card design
- Custom patterns
Which is exactly why we’re talking about 3 branding tips everyone should know today.
1. Set your foundation.
It’s tempting to dive straight into an idea. Momentum is there and you want to go-go-go! You likely want to skip right ahead to the part where you’re making tons of money and networking like a freaking rockstar. BUT if you think of your business idea literally like a building you absolutely do not want to skip the foundation work.
Branding is your foundation.
Branding is more than a logo.
Your branding is your identity
Questions to ask yourself:
What are you building?
Where do you see it being in 2 years time?
Who is your target audience?
What vibe will your target audience respond best to?
Who is your competition?
What is your growth strategy?
How much can you/are you willing to invest?
Cheap design services are tempting when you’re getting started. You may feel like you just need a placeholder logo that you’ll switch out later when you can afford it but the reality is you get one chance at a first impression. If your branding is cheap and you’re not completely happy with it, or it’s nice but not entirely relevant to your vision, it isn’t going to attract your dream, target audience.
If you have time to have a placeholder logo, you have time to research and analyze the design package you need which also gives you the time you need to save up to invest in your vision, if money is the issue.
2. Brand for your target audience not for yourself.
Target Audience – Voice
It’s hard to separate your own preferences from what is relevant to your brand. A professional graphic designer is going to ask you a lot of questions and will wait for your answers because they’re crucial. Sometimes this means figuring out where your personal preferences end and your brand vision begins.
Part of our design process involves clients scouring Pinterest for images that speak to them. It makes our job easier if there is a visual clue involved, and it helps our clients focus on their brand vision – often times it makes them realize that their own personal favorite colors don’t need to be included, that they don’t want a knock off logo they came across on Fiverr. We strive for next level – that next level from primary contact, for the client to have something beyond what they’ve imagined.
The other thing about having professional branding services is that you have hired a team that is dedicated to you and your project. Your success is their success.
Laura’s tip: Your sister, mother, husband etc. are NOT your team unless they are 100% invested in working on your brand and business and are completely on this journey with you. Do not “run it by your team” unless they know every aspect of your vision. You do not need to put the logo options your designer has created for you up for vote on a Facebook group. The team you have hired is Your Team. They know you and are invested in you. Go with your gut, and trust your actual team.
3. Brand for the future
Where do you want to be in 2, 5, 7, 10 years?
Your future self is running a successful empire. How did you get there? With a Fiverr logo?
Nope. Are you fixated on current design trends? Are they timeless? (Do you still love chevron?)
We are obviously pro-hiring professional designers, the same way we are pro hiring a trained accountant, going to a certified doctor or dentist etc. but we do recognise and understand that a lot of people don’t choose that option until they’ve tried the other options, this isn’t life or death like the doctor example, and you’re not going to be audited/potentially imprisoned like the accountant scenario but we do see time and time again the regret a lot of clients have when presented with a branding sheet and their full professional branding package – they should have done it sooner.
If you’re going to do your own branding – go for it! Do it properly though by following these branding tips.
You are going to want to:
- Explore font pairings and color palettes.
- Research and analyze other brands within your niche.
- Sketch your ideas – focus on balance, contrast and readability.
- Digitize. Know raster from vector.
Am I recognizable across all platforms?
Do you have nay questions about branding tips that we didn’t answer in this post? Let us know in a comment below!