The Importance of Good Branding
Whether your business is based online, offline or both a good, strong and ultimately recognisable brand is of upmost importance. Not only does it make you instantly recognisable to existing customers it can also instill trust, professionalism and security. Some of the world’s biggest brands remain in business and continue to be successful in business purely because of the strength and power of their brand – not neccesarily because of the product they offer. But obviously, if you do have a good product, it makes retaining customers a whole bunch easier.
The colour of your logo can say a lot about your business. Each colour effectively has it own story, meaning and what it says about your brand. Take a look at this article I found recently that talks about each colour and the messages they convey – quite an interesting read and something you can apply to your own branding to match how you’d like your company portrayed. The right colour scheme if used correctly can work wonders for your brand and it is most definitely something that should be considered before worrying about typography or logo design. It is a well-known fact that some colours work better than others for certain business sectors. When it comes to colour one does not neccesarily fit all, far from it.
Fonts are available in abundance and with practically an unlimited pool to choose from, finding one that fits your brand can be a challenge. Whether you want crisp serif fonts, script fonts or something completely out there such as a grunge style – you’ll find a font to suit. The font choice should match the nature of your business. This goes without saying. You wouldn’t see a legal firm using a Graffiti style font for example. Just as you wouldn’t see a Heavy Metal band using Arial in their logo. The type style must suit but that doesn’t mean to say you can’t be creative in your design.
If possible, perhaps consider using a custom type style. You don’t need to have a font made from scratch, that would be costly – but you can modify an existing typeface. Lots of designers out there frequently add bits, remove bits and general edit bits of the typography to give them that custom look. This also presents people from copying your logotype so easily.
The logo can be considered as two separate elements. It can be the icon or illustration used in the design or it could be the combination of an illustration with the typography of your choice. Having the right typography to match your brand and even the right colour is not going to help you if you then attach an unrelated or unprofessional logo or icon onto it. The whole style should be uniform, the typography and logo icon should match and the best brands such as Apple, Nike and McDonalds have the logo parts of their logo immediately recognisable with or without the accompanying logo text. This is something you should aim to achieve should you up to include an icon or illustration in your design.
Mascot / Caricatures
This is something that is becoming more and more common. I recently saw a tweet from HostPresto.com where they had created a mascot in the form of a Wizard to match their brand and were running a campaign to get users of their service to name him. I thought this was a good idea for two reasons. Firstly, the obvious social benefits of interacting with users and getting people to talk about their brand. This was a huge plus and also it helped to make their brand recognisable. Even if the people interacting were not particularly interested in Web Hosting, it gained brand awareness and who knows what may come of it as a result.
Personally, I prefer an outright logo when it comes to branding. Placing a mascot in advertising media, be it print or online is always going to be a challenge but if done right such as the above case then I think it can be a viable add on to your brand and corporate identity. Of course you don’t want to detract from your brand itself and having a Mascot more well-known than the company behind it could spell disaster.
Your corporate identity is not just your logo design. It encompasses everything from your logo right through to your business cards and corporate stationery. Typically, all elements of your stationery should follow suit and convey the same message as your logo. Your colours and styles are of the upmost importance and should be carried through across all formats.
The Importance in Marketing
The right branding can make your marketing tasks significantly easier or much more difficult. If you’ve got a brand that is instantly recognisable and remains at the forefront of people’s minds after they’ve laid eyes on it, you’ve done your job properly. If on the other hand it looks too similar to someone elses, doesn’t instill trust or is so mediocre that it is forgotten instantly then it’s time for a rethink.
All marketing material be it online or otherwise should contain your brand both in name and design. It needs to be anywhere and everywhere at the same time. It is equally important to attach the brand to the product or service you offer. There is little point in having a brand that everyone knows but nobody understands what you offer.
First Thoughts and Brand Recognition
The first thought people have when they lay eyes on your logo is most important. It’s not uncommon for weak branding to deter people from using your service, even if the service you offer is a good one. Companies frequently spend tens of thousands of pounds, sometimes hundreds on the development of their branding. When you see an advert for Nike on TV, it’s not to encourage you to go out and buy a pair of trainers the next day. It’s to put their brand to the forefront of your mind so the next time you do want to buy trainers, you think Nike and their ad campaign.
Hopefully the above goes some way to illustrating how important your brand is. The logo, your mascot, the typography and the colour scheme you use are of equal importance. Get it right and you’ll go a long way to get your brand out there. Get it wrong and you could well be fighting a losing battle – even if your product is far more superior to that of your competitors.