When you start to talk about ‘brand’, a lot of people automatically think you mean logo. We all have the Coca Cola or the Nike symbols etched into our mind, but have you ever thought about what’s behind the logo? Why are those brands so strong that you remember them? Have you ever seen an advert and known who it was even before you saw the name of the business?
Your initial brand work should lead you to the logo, not the other way round. However, most people start by designing the logo, without really thinking about their offering and what it means to them and their customers.
When we work with customers on putting together a marketing strategy, the first thing we do is get clear on the brand. Starting right from the beginning is the only way to get it right.
So what must you think about before you put pen to paper? Know your customer for starters – because whatever you present, has to appeal to them. This is a major pillar of marketing strategy. It is very often forgotten in the excitement to get something you are passionate about, to market. Once you have worked that out, you can start to get specific on brand.
I like to start by thinking of colours and an association with that colour. Pastel tones are very calming. Browns and greens allude to nature and a bright red would indicate passion and excitement. Everyone is very familiar with the Cotswold colours. They originated because they were complimentary to the Cotswold stone that is used for building in this area.
Be cautious about selecting a colour just because you like it. It has to fit your product, your company and your customer.
When you think about colour remember it’s not just specific to your logo. You should also use different tones and complimentary colours for other elements of your marketing. Try and get everything to tie in together, and remember with brand, it is the small details that really make a difference.
Tone of voice
Language and tone of your business’s voice is another integral part of your brand, and often overlooked. The ‘attitude’ your business has and the way you communicate with your customers is important in attracting them. Nike for instance is about people getting out there and achieving great things through being active. They have made themselves aspirational by their association with professional athletes, and the slogan ‘Just Do It’ backs this up.
This is where good copy writing is very important. If you are writing anything for your customers yourself, make sure you are setting aside the time and getting yourself into the right frame of mind to write correctly with your ‘company’s voice’.
Drilling down into little details – another important aspect to consider is font. This is crucial in tying together all your marketing material and making your brand stand out. It means when people see your promotional material or product, their subconscious mind is making that association with you, don’t miss the opportunity to use those cues.
Whether you do it yourself, or appoint someone to do it for you, starting your business with a strong brand, will give you a huge head start.