Branding your business is a core step that needs to come early in the process. Getting your brand right from the start is important in ensuring a consistent experience for your clients or customers and your team. Not only that, but beginning with a solid brand saves you time and money down the line.
There are many considerations to make when designing a brand. Hiring a good graphic designer or specialised brand designer will ensure everything goes smoothly. Here are some aspects for you to think about before approaching a designer:
A brand is more than just a logo, but let’s start here. Your logo is the symbol of your business. It’s the first thing your audience sees, so it needs to be distinct and recognisable. Think about shapes and icons that best represent your company.
You can take it quite literally and create a visual representation of your product or service. If your name is quite creative, try basing your logo off of that. Some names inspire imagery off-the-bat, while some don’t come quite as easily. You don’t have to have this all figured out when you go to a designer though, that’s what they do best.
The name of your brand can be anything from your own name, to a completely made up word. Your brand needs to be memorable and stand out; a unique name can do this for you.
Some businesses like to have a back story to their name or add hidden meaning. Such as ‘Caladrius Massage Therapy’ – their name comes from the legend of a rare bird who’s visit brought healing to ailments.
Tip: Be sure to check that your name is not already taken in your field or area (NZ businesses can use ONECheck to find out).
Picking a select range of colours ensures your brand will be recognised quickly. If you don’t limit your colours, it’s harder for your audience to connect different touch points (e.g. your website & printed flyers) as being from the same company.
Your colour choices can also portray meaning and emotion. Be mindful about what feelings you’re associating with your company. Try to align your colour choice with your brand’s values and services.
Tone of voice and word use are a less talked about aspect of branding. Think about the words you use in all communications with your audience. This includes emails, phone calls, social media posts, website copy, and advertising. Do you want to sound friendly and casual? Professional yet approachable? Sophisticated? Make sure to plan for this and ensure your whole team is brought up to speed before they correspond with clients or customers.
Tip: Don’t overlook the basics of spelling and grammar! Ensure you’re hitting the mark and covering basics first.
Just as important, imagery plays a crucial role in branding. The photos and graphics you use add to the story of your brand. Are they vibrant and playful, like your colour palette? Perhaps they’re a bit more subdued and refined like your tone of voice?
The subject matter of your imagery should always be relevant. Stick to your themes. When it comes to sourcing images, taking your own photos is the best option. Even if your photos aren’t professionally taken, they have the best chance at looking authentic. If you’re going to use stock imagery, try to select interesting images that don’t feel cliché.
Tip: Always get permission to use images that you haven’t taken yourself. It’s easy to take images from other people or Google images, but it’s only going to hurt your business and the original creators.
For a strong and recognisable brand, it’s best to align all the different elements to each other. For instance, a dessert bakery might choose to use pink for a feeling of sweetness, heartwarming and wholesome language, bright and colourful photographs – all of this correlates nicely to create a harmonious brand experience.