At US Design Lab, we’ve learned that creating an effective brand identity is about more than just an appealing logo.
Through our experience helping hundreds of businesses with their FEC brand strategy, it has become clear that many businesses are under the same false impression: that getting a great logo is the pinnacle of branding for their business. Since there are now so many services offering well-designed logos at a low price, it’s easy to fall into believing that your beautiful $100 logo is all you need to sweep customers off their feet.
Unfortunately for businesses around the world, that just isn’t true. Branding is about a lot more than a captivating logo. Instead, you need a complete brand identity that encapsulates your business’ unique features, strengths, and competitive edge. Creating this particular identity isn’t simple; it requires the professional assistance of a brand designer and strategist. Sometimes, businesses bring in an entire design team and a separate branding team to create the perfect brand identity, at great expense to their bottom line. But what if you don’t like what they created? What then?
Here are some nifty things to consider when creating your brand identity…
How to Create a New Brand Identity
If you’re starting from scratch in creating your business’ brand identity, it can be pretty overwhelming. There are thousands upon thousands of businesses advertising branding services. To find the right branding professional for you, don’t just select who is on the first page of Google. Do your homework. We recommend asking yourself some of the following questions before speaking with a branding agency:
- Market: What kind of business do you have? What product or service are you offering?
- Audience: What is your target audience?
- Vibe: What do you want your customers’ first impression of your business to be? What kind of “vibe” or “feeling” do you want consumers to get from just a glance at your business?
- Strengths: What are your business’ distinctive strengths and competitive edge?
After you’ve figured out a direction, think about what kind of services you really need to bring your vision to life. You can get a decent logo designed for a low price, but that usually isn’t enough for consumers to get the right impression of your business. In our experience, a comprehensive approach is always more effective. Of course, you need a logo but you need a lot more than that, such as complementing mascot design, business stationery & letterheads, business cards, and more.
Details are vital; you want consumers to get a cohesive impression of your business. Additionally, to increase the effectiveness of your brand, we recommend partnering it with other design aspects related to your business, such as interior design, concept design, or even product, packaging, and furniture designs, for a complete brand identity that people will notice.
This way, instead of attempting to get your reputation across to consumers with just one image, you’re touching all aspects of your business to create a cohesive branded environment.
How to Breath New Life into an Outdated Brand
Maybe you already have a brand but haven’t seen as much growth as you’d like to. Perhaps sales have even begun to plateau. There are many reasons that a business can experience stagnation, but one of the main ones is an outdated brand. In today’s crowded market, one thing is inevitable: designs grow old, marketing messages become less effective, therefore, brands suffer.
As long as a business is willing to adapt itself, it doesn’t have to be this way. Many older businesses fall into the belief that they can force the world to adapt to them, or can stand on their experience or reputation alone. Unfortunately, no matter how much experience they have, the majority of businesses can’t stay afloat in the modern business world. In the current market, consumers are overwhelmed with options for nearly every product or service they’re looking for. Making your company stand out is no longer a preference, but a necessity. That’s why an effective, clear brand identity is more important than ever if you want to stay ahead of the competition.
In some cases, all it takes to revive an outdated brand is a new, fresh logo or a minor name change. In other cases, though, a business needs a full brand overhaul and renovation to attract new customers. Regardless, if you have a business with an outdated brand, you should take some time to consider your ideal identity, and then compare it with your current one to see where it differs. Keep in mind, no matter your business, an “old” brand does not mean a dead brand. With the right design and branding team at your disposal, any outdated business can be made new again.
Brand Identity is More Than Just a Logo
By now, you know that effective branding is imperative to a business’ success, no matter how old it is. You also know that the creation of an effective brand identity is about a lot more than just a logo. If you have a new company that needs unique branding, consider what you’d like a customer’s first impression to be. If you have an existing business with an outdated brand, try putting yourself in the consumer’s shoes for a moment: if you were a customer seeking the product or service you offer, what would make you choose your company, or what would perhaps lead you to look elsewhere?
No matter your needs, it’s important to keep in mind that branding and design should go hand in hand.
Good branding relies on fantastic graphic design, so you should look for branding help from a design-minded firm. A company offering branding services on an ugly website with a badly-designed logo should be a red flag.
When you decide on a brand agency, make sure they understand your business, its personality, your personality, your goals, and your customers. This way, they will design a brand identity that will be the best fit. Also, make sure they understand its more than just about a logo…it’s about the full brand identity, from when a customer walks through the doors to when they visit your site to when they get something in the mail to when you leave a business card with a potential partner or client.
Now get out there and start branding!