Build a recognisable, powerful brand, and half the leg work for your business is done.
It sounds unbelievable that putting together a “look” can be so beneficial to a business, but just by looking at a handful of examples you understand the impact that brand recognition brings.
If you see red and white with a certain font, you know it’s Coca Cola related. If we mention the golden arches, the tick or the half eaten apple, you know instantly we are talking about McDonalds, Nike and Apple. Customers see this overwhelming branding, and relate it back to all previous experiences they have with the brand. It gets perpetually stronger – each new amazing iPhone Apple bring out reinforces their brand as being synonymous with cutting edge tech and quality. That in turn means their next product, whatever it may be, benefits from that conditioning and is likely to be a success.
So how do you go about building a brand? Well here are Bootcamp Media’s brand building basics.
Before you begin anything to do with branding, you have to agree upon your business’s ethos. This general idea of what your company is, and what it stands for, is comprised of many different things. Chief among these factors will be the unique selling points of your business, and your target market.
So before you pick out a single thing, write down your ethos, or mission statement. Are you a cutting edge fashion company, who want to convey quality to your high end fashionistas? Or a wholesale goods targeting start-up businesses with your friendly and prompt service? This brand identity will then inform every other decision.
A logo is a great starting point for forming your brand. In theory, this will be your most marketable asset (just look at the recognisable logos we mentioned above), so it is something you want to nail.
It is best to work on several versions, that are all variations on the same basic logo. Our only advice is to keep it fairly simply. Overly complex logos lack the instant impact that simple ones do. It should also reflect your identity in subtle ways, a process that will require research on your end into things that are related to your ethos. It is OK to take some inspiration from other similar companies, but avoid copying at all costs – it opens you up to legal disputes, and means you can be mistaken for a competitor.
With the logo sorted, it can be broken down into its core values. If your name is a key part of the logo (there should trademark at least one version of your logo that mentions the company’s name), the font you use is a great option to become the font you use in marketing and outreach. If not, you still need to decide upon a consistent font to use.
You can go for a pre existing font, which is fine and saves time, or you could search out a unique one. Some brands even commission the creation of a font that is trademarked to them. Apple just did something like this in their last IOS update, introducing the San Francisco font.
The other way to ingrain yourself in the consciousness of your customer base is to put together a unique colour scheme. This can be incredibly hard, simply because it seems that every colour combination under the sun has been taken. One way to narrow the options is to look at your competitors.
The colour orange has strong ties to both the airline EasyJet, and the mobile phone company Orange. Why does it work for both? Because there is no correlation – they are not competing with each other. In the tech world, orange = Orange, and in the airport lounge, Orange = EasyJet. If you competition isn’t using a particular colour or shade, and if it works for your brand, it can be a great option to use. If you feel strongly about a certain colour scheme that is rampant in your business sector, it can be tricky, but if you can find anyway to make it different to the rest, you should be fine.
This is an aspect you may not have considered, or even noticed. Apple use a certain language and wordset in their branding. As do McDonalds. These choices are designed to reinforce brand identity through text. A quality outlet will use fancy words, and a company pushing to convey speed in their service will use snappy sentences and punchy words.
Outline the themes you want to convey, and put together a word set. You can outline keywords to use, or allude to, and words to avoid. Combine this with your logo, font and colour scheme, and you can start to put together an all encompassing brand. And to keep it consistent, you will want to draw up a. . .
A brand style guide basically takes all of these aspects – fonts, colour schemes, logos, and brand word sets – and displays them for use internally and externally. You can craft your brand, but you may be handing off your product to a marketing agency. How do you ensure a consistent brand? By sending them a style guide.
This can evolve if feedback points you in a different direction, so don’t feel like you are committing to a style for life. But consistence in the short term is vital if you are ever to attain that desired trait of being “instantly recognisable”. Give yourself the best chance of achieving this, and as we said, half the leg work of your business is done.