Your brand image or brand identity is often the very first thing prospective customers notice – and in that short window of opportunity, it has to communicate everything about your business.
As customers, the choices we make about which brands to engage with are so intricately woven with the image they project.
Branding is so much more than just a logo; a logo is really just a symbol, a font, or a combination of both. A brand identity is about the entire visual style of all your marketing and communication collateral.
It’s your use of colour, imagery, wording. In both print and digital. It’s the look of your vehicles and signage. Your website and social media presence. Your latest brochure. It’s all these elements, implemented consistently.
Above all, it’s about reflecting your company’s values, your ethos and your mission – while making it crystal clear who you are, what you do and who you do it for.
Get any of these elements wrong, and your business can quickly look outdated, messy, inconsistent and irrelevant – sometimes, without you even realising it. After all, if you’ve managed with it so far, you might feel you don’t need to change a thing.
We live in an increasingly competitive marketplace, where new and exciting brands are emerging all the time, and when customers compare two brands like-for-like, it’s unlikely they’ll choose the one that looks tired and outdated – because that doesn’t say great things about a business or a product.
Branding is a really important tool in the sales process, too – customers need to see or engage with a brand six or seven times before they’re ready to ‘buy in’, so if your identity is inconsistent (or non-existent, in some cases) then it becomes unrecognisable and unnoticed.
So is it time to breathe fresh life into your brand? Let’s take a look at the four biggest signs your brand could definitely benefit from an update.
#1. YOU NO LONGER STAND OUT
With so much competition, it’s hard to cut through the noise. That’s why your branding has to stand out – and that doesn’t necessarily mean using the brightest colours and boldest fonts – it’s more about creating a clear perception of who you are, and why you’re different.
#2. YOUR BRAND IMAGE IS INCONSISTENT
As a designer, I come across confusing and inconsistent branding all the time. Accountancy firms that look like burger joints, pioneering food brands that look like a firm of solicitors – the list is endless. It’s so important that your brand identity fits consistently into your sector, and also stands out.
#3. YOU WANT TO ATTRACT NEW CUSTOMERS
A brand update or rebrand is about increasing marketing reach and winning new customers. A well-executed update can give fresh impetus to all your communications, which in turn can lead to an increase in enquires or sales.
#4. YOUR BRANDING DOESN’T REFLECT WHO YOU ARE, WHAT YOU DO & WHO YOU DO IT FOR
We just won a new client, and the business owner showed me some work done by a couple of other companies claiming to be ‘brand designers’. The concepts didn’t in any way reflect who they were, what they did or who they did it for – in fact, they looked like they were designed for a company in a completely different sector. Reflecting your service, and your demographics, is crucial.
So where to start? Before you can pinpoint which direction to go with your branding, you need to nail your positioning.
That means defining your position in the market, your mission, brand values or qualities, your target customers, your competitors, and what makes you unique. Lots of companies are confused about their brand positioning, so most of our clients come to us for the whole package – brand positioning, brand identity and implementation.
Does an update mean completely changing the look and feel of your brand? Sometimes, but not always. Believe it or not, it may not even involve changing your logo. When we look at some of the best examples of companies who have improved their brand, they often go under the radar – no fuss, no big announcement; they just work.
How can we help you bring out the best in your brand?
Let’s have a chat…
This blog post and its content © Carl Jones Design Ltd 2019