On today’s episode of Tepsi Talks, the creative team talks about the importance of brand consistency and what it takes to establish a successful brand utilizing out-of-the-box marketing strategies that highlight your unique style and brand personality.
WHAT IS A BRAND?
A brand is a name, slogan, design, icon or identifying feature of a business’ services or goods that is distinct from their competitors. From your presence online, your print collateral to even your employees, what makes your business YOU is a direct reflection on your brand.
We often tend to think that only large companies such as Nike, Target and Under Armor are brands. However, no matter the size of your company, you have a brand. Whether you own a restaurant, hair salon, gas station or even have a freelance gig, if you run a business you have a brand.
WHAT MAKES A BRAND?
Your brand is a combination of what you are using to represent your goods or services to your target audience, both digitally and in print. From your logo, messaging, posts on social media, website, business cards, your employees and even a guests’ experience while in your business (whether it be in person or online), it all reflects back on your brand.
To establish a brand, it really all starts with a professional logo. A logo is a mark that is used to represent your company and can be either an icon, a company name or a combination of both. Your logo should be professional and personable to you so that it represents the personality of your company as a whole. From the style, color scheme, font selections and overall feel, your logo should be one that no one else can copy and is unique to your brand.
As designers, what we love about logo designing for our clients is taking their visions and making them a reality. That feeling of having a client excited about building their brand and establishing their business is the best feeling in the world.
PRO TIP: A machine cannot capture the funky qualities of your brand in the matter of a simple click. Your logo should be your prized possession in your company and represent your personality. Make the investment and make it a mark that people will recognize for years to come.
BRAND STYLE GUIDE
Once you have a logo that you absolutely love, and nobody else can copy, your next step should be to establish a brand style guide. A brand guide is a set of standards that lay out the fonts, color schemes, messaging and tone of your brand. Think of them as the do’s and don’ts of your company. Why is this important? Because it allows you to keep your brand consistent throughout both digital and print so that you gain recognition and trust with your target audience.
PRO TIP: Your brand guide should outline how to use your logo, how not to use your logo, your brand colors, fonts and tone. It can also provide samples of print and web designs so that in all applications of your marketing, your brand remains consistent.
After establishing a look and feel to your branding, next comes content creation. Content creation is a combination of your website, social media posts and print collateral. All of which should look consistent with the styles and formats set forth in your brand style guide.
Your first digital presence and avenue for content creation should be your website. Your website lends a virtual experience into your company and allows your target audience to learn more about what you have to offer, no matter the time of the day. With this in mind, it is important to keep your website consistent with your brand, easy to navigate and, better yet, easy to find.
Next, comes the images and verbiage you present on social media. When your target audience is scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or another social platform, you have less than 6 seconds to grab their attention. Keeping the same aesthetic and tone throughout your marketing will build trust and recognition with your brand so that when they are scrolling, they know what posts are yours. This can be a combination of photography, videography, and graphic design.
PRO TIP: Your goal of social media should ultimately be to bring your target audience back to your website for lead generation.
Finally, print collateral. Print collateral is your chance to physically get into the hands of your target audience. From business cards, brochures, sell sheets, postcards, letterhead and even flyers, each piece should be consistently designed to mimic your overall brand presence. Why is this important? Because you don’t want consumers to think that the postcard they just received in the mail is a completely different company than who they look up online.
PRO TIP: Utilize authentic photos and videos for your marketing and stay away from stock photography. This will allow a persona to be built around your brand while highlighting your unique products and employees.
IMPORTANCE OF A BRAND
If you don’t know who you are as a brand, how can you expect your target audience to know? The more your brand is consistent throughout all forms of marketing and content creation, the more trust and recognition you will build within the community and with your target audience. From graphic and web design, photography and even videography, all aspects of marketing directly reflects back to your brand.
An important thing to remember is that focusing on just one aspect of marketing is not going to build your brand into a highly successful company. Sure, social media will work well on its’ own, but when you combine social media, design and print, you’re going to be unstoppable.
Looking for additional guidance on the steps of building a brand? Comment below or contact the Tepsi team for a FREE consultation.