What makes a brand: The key ingredients to make your brand stand out

With so many businesses starting – and existing brands striving to catch up – brand development has never been more important. It can be the most exciting and overwhelming part of launching your own business; after all, your brand is the first thing consumers see and needs to speak volumes about the work you do and what you stand for. But what are the key ingredients for great brand development? Read on! Our friends at theroom are here to share them with you.

Vision
Whether your company is already established or a fresh start up, knowing what it stands for is a key aspect of the business. Your vision should be at the heart of everything you do – so it’s a great jumping off point for your brand development.

Not sure where to start? Ask yourself:

? What’s my end goal? Where do I see the business in 5 years?

? What would be the key adjectives or phrases I’d use to describe my business?
For example, theroom is a creative graphic design studio in Brisbane that’s personable, friendly, reliable and valuable.

? What would be the key adjectives I’d say my business isn’t?
For example, theroom isn’t boring, unprofessional or a one hit wonder.

? What does your business believe in and how do you show that?
For example, theroom puts business first by delivering creative solutions to problems and staying in touch with their clients every step of the way.

Now put it together to create a statement that shows who you are and what your brand believes in. It’s a great way to brief your designer and web development team, as well as to use internally to keep employees on track and on brand.

Personality

When you’re a small business or start up your brand is frequently an extension of your personality. Your personality can be expressed through your logo, the tone you use on your website copywriting and even things such as your social media updates or email signatures – this all comes together to become a part of your larger brand identity.

One important thing to consider is how your brand personality clicks with your prospects and clients. If you offer landscaping or experiences, customers might connect with a jovial approach and cheeky tone. When used for a professional service, such as accounting, that tone could be off-putting or unprofessional. Your brand personality should meet customers in the middle.

Another consideration for personality should be to provide a seamless personality in marketing communications and when dealing with your team. There’s nothing more jarring for a consumer than visiting a website and getting an idea of what a business will be like based on their tone or brand, then calling and experiencing something completely different. It can be a shock, especially when a consumer has chosen your business based on that first impression.

Too long, didn’t read? Find a balance between your team’s personality and your customers’ so that you can deliver a seamless experience from your first touch point to your last invoice.

Visual Language

A brand identity is so much more than just a logo. Your brand includes the colors you use, the typography, how your designer utilizes space and more. Creating a comprehensive visual language will mean that you’re never in a situation where someone “just puts a logo on it”. There are a lot of questions that need to be answered to establish a strong visual language, here are a couple of our favorites.

Typography:
What fonts do you use for headings, body copy, sub headings, quotes and calls to actions? Do you have fall back web fonts?

Colors:
What are the HEX, CMYK and RGB values for the colors you are using? How will the colors be applied to your logo and stationery? Do you have preferred colors for different aspects of your business?

Logo placement:
Where should your logo be placed on page? How much negative space should be left around your logo? Should suppliers or partners lock up their logo on the left or right of yours?

Iconography:
Do you have a set of icons you should use for social media or services? What are their minimum sizes or treatments? Are they used only in particular instances or are they able to be used whenever needed?

Consistency

A key aspect of brand development really is consistency. How you apply the visual elements and personality to each and every aspect of your day to day. Think of every possible point that consumers or clients could see your brand. Now apply creativity to how you brand each of those marketing communication touch points. Some starting ideas include:

? Business Cards

? Website

? Office signage

? Car signage

? Social media

? Invoices

? Search engine results pages

Building a strong brand online and offline means a seamless experience for clients. If you show a high level of attention to detail, it will build their trust and make it easier for you to get that deal across the line. A style guide will help you build consistency as your brand grows or as you roll out your brand identity.