Small businesses and entrepreneurs face exceptional challenges trying to set their new brand apart from others.
Where do you start? With my last blog, below: April – Brand Month. First, you need to understand the distinct differences between a brand, an image and a logo. Then, create a unique brand identity.
Steps to build your brand identity
Work with a graphic designer to develop a logo that considers three basic elements:
· Business name – using a specific typeface and treatment
· Brand mark – the symbol that sits with the name, always. This is really what distinguishes your brand from others. Some examples are:
· Your positing statement or tagline – The first few words that describe your product or service, your tagline is CRITICAL to unknown, smaller brands. Your positioning statement should live and breathe with your logo and tell the consumer the problem you solve or the experience they’ll have. A few local examples:
Downtown Houghton “History in the Making”
Portage Health “Here for Life”
Marketing Department “ALL WAYS Thinking”
Choose your colors and be specific so you can communicate that color palette to whomever is handling a design for you. Whether it’s your web developer or printer, they should all understand your brand.
Work with a designer to choose:
· Primary color
· Secondary color
· Accent colors
You should never use any more than three or four fonts. Once again, identify your primary and secondary fonts.
PHOTO/ IMAGE LANGUAGE
The consistent use of your photos and images is critical to your brand. It’s important when working with designers to define your photo / image rules. For example, my favorite store Talbots does a great job of consistent photo language. Whether online or in print, models are shot full-body on a dark, texture, warm background, and of course, the models are gorgeous!
Another example of folks who use consistent photo language are my good friends at Wal-Mart. Whether its TV, web, print, or in-house signage, you see big, bright images, always on white!
In summary, if I can impart just one tip to small business owners and entrepreneurs about the creation and execution of their brand identity, that tip is – BE CONSISTENT!