Creating a Brand Identity for the Creative Business continued
Phase 2: Creating the Visual Identity for your Brand
Last week we reviewed the process of identifying what your brand is all about and developing a brand position statement. This exercise is critical for you to have a brand snapshot.
Now we move on to the visual branding elements your customers will actually see.
Visual Branding Elements
No matter the size of business your business, you need a strong logo. It is a recognizable name, symbol or trademark and is the quickest way for consumers to identify your brand. If you don’t have the capability to create your own logo, hire a graphic designer. No matter what your budget, you can find a talented graphic designer that will work with you. You may even want to consider barter as an option. Follow this link for some good logo examples (curated by Adele Charles). Your logo should be used in ALL of your communications
A tagline is a small phrase that conveys the most important attribute/what is at the heart of your brand. While you can develop branding without a tagline, it is yet one more way to distinguish yourself in the crowded marketplace and it is highly recommended.
Some famous tagline examples:
Burger King: Have it your way.
John Deere: Nothing runs like a Deere.
Crest: Healthy, beautiful smiles for life.
Clairol: Does she or doesn’t she?
Gerber: Babies are our business.
L’Oreal: Because I’m worth it.
Your tagline should be used anywhere your logo is used unless space does not allow.
3. Visual guidelines
You will want to formally outline how all graphics will be treated in your store and in marketing materials. This includes photo styling, header for your store, business cards, etc. All visuals displayed for your brand should have a consistent style. Some questions to ask yourself:
Do you use models to display your products? What should they be wearing?
How should their hair and makeup be treated?
Are you a rustic brand? Will you take your photos outside?
What type of props will you use to enhance your product?
You may use friends as models. That is perfectly OK, but by setting some parameters, your results will be more consistent.
Do you want a clean, modern look? Or elegant? Or quirky? Select a style and stay true it.
Do you use a signature pattern that you can incorporate into your graphics?
What elements will complement your logo?
What is the hierarchy of the elements you will be using?
By putting your thoughts down on paper, you are able to refine your ideas and create an outline that will ensure optimal results.
4. Product Naming & Copy
You want to convey a mood through your copywriting and product naming.
I am not going to lie, this part takes some time. Your copy about a product does not need to be lengthy. Keep it concise and focused on the great features of your product, but make sure it supports the mood of your brand.
Do your products have a vintage vibe? Try some romantic copy, creating a mini story about each product.
Are your products made with a special material? Use descriptive adjectives to bring it to life.
Have some fun with it. Invite friends or family members over to brainstorm with you. Often, people build off of one another’s thoughts and in the end you achieve better copy.
5. On-product branding
It is important to include your logo in a non-removable manner on your product. This serves several purposes. It is an unconscious reminder of where it came from each time your buyer looks at it. It also serves as a mini billboard for your brand to anyone who comes in contact with the product. Techniques for on-product branding are printing, stitching, engraving etc.
By developing each of the above elements, you will build a strong visual identity and communicate a clear message to your customer that will be worth your efforts.