We’ve shone the spotlight on what goes into branding, taking you through what makes up a brand and why it’s important. You need to know this before you ask a marketing agency to work on a logo for you or sign up for a brand package from an agency or a freelance designer, so read on!
Why do businesses rebrand?
Repositioning your brand can help attract new audiences or make your business more appealing to your existing market. It can also help you stand out in the marketplace, particularly if your old branding is looking rather dated and old-fashioned. It may be that your existing brand no longer represents who you are and what you do today. Even the biggest companies such as Coca-Cola and Apple update and refresh their branding from time to time.
It may simply be that you need your logo to work better in today’s digital world, and that’s your driver. Or perhaps your image now looks too similar to that of another company in your market, which may be confusing to your audience and potential customers – as well as leaving you open to legal action.
If any of those reasons sound familiar, give us a call on 01452 379 980 to find out how we can help you make a change. Or read on to find out more…
Do I need a brand package?
When you’re starting out, it can be a good idea to opt for a brand package. A brand package typically incorporates logos, typography, colours and messaging. It can also include brand guidelines and image applications.
Do I need a corporate identity package?
A corporate identity package takes the initial branding work several steps further. It includes how the brand is applied on everything from business cards and brochures, to your social media accounts and website. It will guide you and your employees as you make the transition from your old brand to your new one.
Eek! Branding is starting to sound painful.
Rebranding a company certainly isn’t for the faint-hearted. It can be risky, expensive, and time-consuming. Get it right, and you’ll feel the benefits for years. Get it wrong, and rebranding can be catastrophic.
Whether you’re going for a light touch rebrand, a brand update, or one of the two options available above, make sure that you are clear about what your agency or freelancer will deliver. It takes time to get a brand right, so make sure you and the management team are prepared to put the time in it needs, and be realistic about the timeframe you’re asking your agency or freelancer to deliver the work within.
Let’s begin at the very beginning.
What is branding?
Branding is so much more than a logo.
A new logo is what some people mean by ‘we want a new brand’. Your logo might identify your company, product or service, but branding is much more visceral – it’s the emotional connection to a company, encompassing every touchpoint you have with a company on any level. It applies both internally and externally, and you’ll often hear brand consultants talking about ‘living the brand’: this is when people reflect their company brand cultures, bringing them to life.
Good branding begins with strategy, not artwork and colours. Great brand architecture helps you connect and share your story with others, bringing them closer. A memorable logo, which one day might make you instantly identifiable, is purely a visual representation of your brand. You can enhance your brand identity with visuals, language and colours – but these are supporting elements, not your brand itself.
Think about what’s at the root of your brand. At the core, it’s about who you are and how you do business. It’s the foundation of your business. Every time you email, Instagram, speak, answer the phone, send an email, sign a contract – you influence the perception of your brand.
Every brand touchpoint matters. Even reading this, you’re gaining perceptions about Energy Creative, what we do and how we do it (hello!).
We’d love to hear how we can help you. Give us a call or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
What’s in a name?
A name represents a lot about a company and brand. Your own name forms an important part of our personal brand – just think about the hundreds of websites and books dedicated to helping parents find the perfect name for their children.
Yet, all too often, companies fail to pay attention to their name and the perception the market will have of them as a result. Just like names, fashions change over time. What worked 20 years ago may not work now, and perhaps it’s time to evolve from the initials of your founder or association with one particular geography.
Pick the wrong name and you’re shutting the door on potential business from day one. Pick the right name and you’ll be one step ahead before you’ve even begun.
When coming up with a new name, run it through these checks:
- Does it pass the phone test? ‘Energy Creative, how may I help?’
- Can people spell it? Otherwise, your SEO is going to be a real challenge.
- How does the name look when written down? It’s always worth checking what it looks like. Different scripts can change the way it is perceived. Whilst we’re at it – a play on words isn’t necessarily clever.
- Does it resonate with your brand values? The right name should encapsulate your vision and values, not work against them.
- Will it work with your domain name? And social media handles? Check availability before you go too far down the branding process. It doesn’t need to match directly (B&Q’s diy.com springs to mind) but you need to be able to pair your brand development strategy with a digital strategy which makes sense.
- What other businesses are out there with the same or similar names? You don’t want to get caught up in legal issues, or have to repeat ‘No, not THAT XYZ.’
- Is it adaptable and will it work with other cultures? This is particularly important if you want to grow your business internationally.
Need a hand with creating a brand name which resonates with your target audience? Give us a call on 01452 379 980 and we’ll answer the phone on brand.
Choosing brand colours
Colours can evoke very different emotions in viewers. The colours you choose for your brand will create perceptions about your company and how it operates. Often companies which have a logo won’t have thought about the primary and secondary levels of colours which sit alongside them, which can be a real challenge when it comes to making your marketing collateral look cohesive and aligned.
The primary colours
- Red is a strong colour. It draws attention and is domineering, often linked to feelings of aggression, strength and danger, but also love and passion. In the UK, we use red as warnings on road signs and for stop at traffic lights, but it’s also the colour used to represent Valentine’s Day and romance. We would suggest it’s great if you want to pack a punch, but otherwise is best left in small quantities.
- Yellow evokes immediate ideas of happiness and sunshine, making us feel positive and enthusiastic. Like red, yellow also tends to draw the eye, but in a softer, warmer manner. Bear in mind, though, that in the Middle East and Latin America, yellow can also represent mourning, so it doesn’t signify happiness everywhere.
- Blue is often cited as the most common ‘favourite’ colour. As the colour of the sky and sea, blue is seen as a very natural colour, and therefore evokes feelings of trust and dependability. Blue can, however, be thought of as cold and unwelcoming, so if you choose to include a blue in your company colour palette, pick the hue with care!
As we are all aware, there isn’t one single red, yellow and blue. The colour wheel offers an entire array to choose from, and tint, shading and tone all play a significant role in the way we perceive colours.
Pantone’s Colour of the Year
Every year, the experts at Pantone research films, fashion, art, design, technology and more to define and decide which colour ‘reflects what’s needed in our world today.’ In 2018, it was Pantone Ultra-Violet 18-3838 (2096 C). Those numbers probably don’t mean much to you but it’s certainly a bold choice, resonant of churches and royalty, art and spirituality.
The vibrant tone which will set the trend for a whole host of designs over the rest of 2018 and beyond. Drawing inspiration from the worlds of pop and nature, the colour is already all over fashion and interior design.
If you need a hand picking your company colours, we’d love to help. Give us a call on 01452 379 980 or email us at email@example.com.
The importance of typography
Like so many other brand elements, the style of typography you decide upon is extremely important.
Font is one of the major sources of information about your brand. It needs to work across a number of different platforms and balance with your graphics to add value to your text. The right font can prove to be vital in attracting and holding your target audience.
Is your company reliable, traditional and mature or casual, fun and quirky? Different font styles can evoke different emotions, impacting the way individuals feel about your brand and content. Your choice of font will say a lot to your target market before you have even finished typing your first sentence.
But the real question is, does your font say what you want it to?
Time for you to stop using Times New Roman? Get in touch to find your new font via firstname.lastname@example.org
Brand consistency. What is it, and why do you need it?
It doesn’t matter what size your business is. Developing and maintaining a brand which is consistent across different channels, whether it is applied to words or images, will drive your business identity. Reflecting your brand values in everything that you do – from presentations to email signatures, answering the phone to your latest advertising campaign – will help communicate all about your business, build trust, drive loyalty and help differentiate you from the competition. Whether you are working with words or images, what’s important is that you adhere to the brand – font, formatting, grammar nuisances – there’s a reason why brand guidelines exist!
Get it right and you add to the value of your brand. Get it wrong, and you can devalue months of effort.
Ironically enough, it can be hardest to maintain brand when you are going through a period of significant growth. New people come into the business, adding some great ideas BUT this can dilute your focus and messaging. On the other hand, it might be the nudge you need to reposition and grow your brand along with your business.
Ready to check your brand is on message? We’ll happily help. Call us on 01452 379 980 or say hi via email@example.com
Businesses often need to rebrand in order to help business growth, or because of new management, or they simply look outdated. Be prepared for your brand consultant to ask some difficult and emotional questions, and keep in mind the positive impact that rebranding can have on your business.
We love bringing brands to life, capturing the essence of a business and where you want it to be. We’d be delighted to hear from you if you’d like a hand with your new identity. Contact us on 01452 379 980 or via firstname.lastname@example.org. To read about our services head over to our what we do page here.