Posted By: Joelle Pittman
Last month, we took you back to the basics of building a brand. We looked at what brand identity means and why it’s such an important part of creating long-term success. In this month’s blog, we’re going to continue breaking down the components of brand building, giving you the tools you need to build a lasting connection with your target market!
Your brand is your promise to clients, letting them know what they can expect from your team and the services you offer. At its most basic level, your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be, and who people perceive you to be. That’s why your first step in creating a compelling brand identity should be market research! Different people want different things, after all. The more you understand about what your audience wants, the better equipped you’ll be to create a brand they’ll love—and one they’ll be loyal to.
Knowing the difference between you and your competitors is imperative to developing a successful brand identity. This also ties in with your mission statement, which we talked a bit about last month. It’s easy enough to explain what your business offers, but you should also have a clear mission statement that describes your vision and goals. Knowing the purpose of your practice or business means you can put its personality to work for you!
If you’re not sure where to start, carrying out a SWOT analysis can be really beneficial in helping you better understand your brand. By exploring the characteristics your brand possesses, you’ll be able to zero in on the ones most important to you so you can really make them shine. A SWOT analysis determines the following:
Strengths—the positive characteristics of your business that give you an advantage over competitors
Weaknesses—these characteristics could turn out to be a disadvantage to your overall success
Opportunities—are there any recent changes and trends in your industry that offer your company unique opportunities?
Threats—look for elements in your environment or industry that have the potential to cause real issues for your business
Once you’ve gotten your identity down to a science, it’s time to branch out into the world of brand building. This is what brings your business to life! We touched briefly on logo design in last month’s blog, but we’ll dig in a little deeper here since it’s such a vital element in the branding process. In fact, it will be the most recognizable part of your brand, full stop. Your logo will be on everything from your website and business cards to flyers and online ads, so it’s imperative you nail it from the get-go.
There are a few things to consider when developing a logo design, including its visual representation, how unique the concept is, and how memorable it will be. A good visual representation of your logo will create a lasting impression and a link between your logo and brand that your audience will remember. Some logos are strong enough that they eventually become a synonym for the brand itself, especially when they nail a unique concept—think McDonald’s arches or the Nike swoosh!
Over the years, numerous studies have shown that people will often remember a product or business by the logo rather than the name, yet this isn’t the only element you need to build a strong brand identity. The color palette and font design also play a big role in making your brand stand out! Choosing colors that compliment your brand will not only add visual appeal, they’ll also allow you to create variety within your designs while remaining true to your vision. When it comes to fonts, less is actually more—keeping the same typeface and style throughout your materials will give your brand a cohesive look and boost your credibility.
When it comes to brand identity, consistency is key and can really make or break you. This is why it’s so important to research first. Know what you want to convey as a brand, explore multiple options for logos and design, and don’t commit to anything until you truly love it. Using these design choices throughout your business will create a harmonious identity that builds confidence and increases brand recognition!
While consistency reigns supreme in the world of branding, you’ll also need to maintain some flexibility. Today’s consumers are always looking for the next big thing, so thinking on your feet is essential to stay ahead! Flexibility will allow you to adjust your ad campaigns, taglines, and other components throughout your entire brand in conjunction with the latest trends and research. That means shaking things up brand-wide every now and then to keep things fresh and relevant.
To ensure you stick to these branding “rules,” it can be helpful to create a set of brand guidelines that will keep all your brand’s do’s and don’ts in one place. This guide may contain specifics on everything from fonts and colors to logos and associated imagery—essentially, it provides a template for how you want to present your brand to the world! It will help guide the design for all of your company content, whether it be a blog post, a public presentation, or something as simple as business cards and flyers.
Even if you aren’t building a brand from the ground up, it can be overwhelming. An overhaul of your brand still contains lots of moving parts and you may wonder how you’ll ever keep track of it all! Neon Canvas is proud to partner with clients who need a little push in the right direction and those who could benefit from better organization. Next month, our blog will look at creating and maintaining a connection with your audience through your brand identity. In the meantime, we’re here to help you get started any time you’re ready!
As always, we appreciate your trust in us, and welcome another year of building and growing your brand.
Kyle Fagala, DDS, MDS
Co-Founder, Neon Canvas