In a world where people speak hundreds of languages, corporate brand identities can transcend continents, governments, and cultural barriers. Marketers define branding as the name, logo, or other visual elements that differentiate a particular product or service.
What makes some brands stand out in customers’ minds while others are easily forgotten? Following are some ways to ensure your brand identity resonates with your desired audience.
Do Your Research
Sometimes it’s easiest to define yourself in terms of something you’re not. Take a look at all the existing competitor brands, and get to know their customers. This kind of in-depth research helps you spot weaknesses and opportunities in the marketplace. If you can afford it, engage a data scientist who specializes in web analytics for a short-term contract to dig up some helpful data for you.
Craft Your Identity
With your research in mind, create a list of your core values. What unique value proposition are you offering your customers? What can you do better than everyone else? This document can be long or short, but it captures the essence of your brand identity. From there, it’s time to distill it all into the most important aspect of branding — your company name.
Once you've settled on a name, check it with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office search tool. See if your name is already in use or if it's fair game for a new copyright.
Transform Your Ideas Into Design Elements
Next, make your name and ideas come to life visually. Don’t try to weather the design process alone. An experienced graphic designer can help you capture your core values.
Colors. From aggressive red to muted lavender — your brand color should be unique in your space and match your desired tone. Once you have a primary color, choose one or two others to complement it.
Logo. Your logo should incorporate imagery that evokes your values, such as Amazon’s arrow, which communicates fast delivery with a smile.
Tagline. A great tagline is your chance to help consumers remember your brand and associate it with the products or services you provide.
Typography and graphic design. From your website to your product packaging, your branding should be front and center in all your marketing collateral.
As you collaborate, your designer may email you large graphic files for feedback. Once you convert a PDF to Word, you can leave feedback directly on the file, and the designer can address your concerns efficiently. Best of all, you can compress multiple files into one PDF without degrading image quality.
Create a Brand Book
You’ve put a lot of thought into your company’s branding, but that work only pays off if you’re consistent. Consolidate all the written statements and design guidelines into a brand book or style guide. Armed with a robust brand book, your new hires and freelancers, from writers to designers, can reproduce your brand identity seamlessly.
Be Willing To Evolve
Even the biggest brands change with the times. (Starbucks’ logo has evolved dramatically over the years while still featuring the iconic double-tailed mermaid that started it all.) Document your branding process carefully, and revisit it every few years.
Join your local chamber of commerce to brainstorm with other local entrepreneurs, so everyone’s branding stays fresh.
This Hot Deal is promoted by New Bern Area Chamber of Commerce .