Appearance matters more than ever in business. The way we communicate is changing; words matter less and images matter more. Think of a successful brand and you think of more than just their goods and services. You think of their logo, the colour of their packaging and even the font in their adverts. Virgin, Apple and Nike are just 3 examples of brands with well-tended and consistent identities.
You may think a strong brand identity is the preserve of large corporations and big brands. After all, if you have a small business without a dedicated marketing team, where would you begin?
Building a strong brand identity for your small business can be done without a large marketing team. Simply follow these 5 easy steps:
1. Know what you stand for
Get a better feel for what your business means to your customers. Take time to identify your brand values and be clear on how your audience sees you.
2. Choose your brand colours
Choose colours you like that are also relevant to your target audience, being mindful of any cultural associations. Select 2 lead colours with a further 2 to 3 colours for other design requirements.
3. Get to grips with typography
Add depth to your identity with font, typeface and letter spacing. Choose something that reflects your brand and is easy to read; don’t chase uniqueness at the expense of clarity.
4. Create a logo
Strong brands have simple logos. Work with a good graphic designer to help you with yours. Don’t buy a cheap logo pre-designed on the internet; you won’t know if “your” logo has been sold elsewhere until it’s too late! It is always better to create a completely bespoke logo that is unique to your business.
Once you’ve established your identity, use it everywhere. From business cards to email templates, use the elements of your identity across all communication touchpoints. To make sure your hard work is used consistently, create an official set of brand guidelines for employees and business partners to refer to.
Creating an instantly recognisable brand takes time, but hard work and consistency pay dividends. Your small business will look more professional and trustworthy and your communications will work harder for you.