When you are creating your brand, there are several factors you need to consider when deciding how you want to be represented. Below are a few key things that will help you determine the type of brand you want for your company, and will help you grow your brand further in the future.
Does This Make Me Look Phat?
Are you bright and vibrant? Dark and moody? Classy or a little quirky? Or, do you look like everyone else? You see, a lot of companies fall into this last category fairly easily these days. The same clean header design, gray tone palette with a “splash of color”, same generic motto, same “mission statement” – it all becomes a little predictable at times. If you pay attention, you can notice that there is really no uniqueness to the brand.
These days a clothing company can have the same look as your local baker. Or, your favorite coffee shop’s logo now also looks similar to a tech company’s logo with the same arrows pointing in different directions. This brand style is called “clean and modern”. It’s a term most companies use to describe how they want their brand to be perceived as. No personality. No uniqueness. Something that has already been done thousands of times and is quick and easily accessible to put up on a template without much effort.
Don’t get me wrong, there is a reason why this look works and why tons of companies use it. From a value perspective it saves time, money and gets companies “ahead of their competition”. While from a visual perspective it makes the company look sleek and modern. However, in doing this technique you have now lost the opportunity to reach a higher target audience.
No amount of negative space and clean photography in the world can save you if you don’t have a story to tell within your brand. If you don’t have a clear “look” to your brand, if your style is just like everyone else, then what else do you offer that sets you apart from your competition?
Comparison Kills Brands.
Let’s say you are a clothing company and your brand look is a beautiful model wearing a red dress, posing against a clean gray background and nothing else behind it. You are promoting a sale and the dress is 40% off. Very visually enticing, right? Now let’s look at your competition. They are also promoting the same red dress on sale as well for 40% off, however their branding approach is very different. Their model is wearing a red dress, against a red backdrop, wearing a gold crown with other golden trinkets around them. On the graphic they have additional text that reads “For the Brave at heart – 40% off. Sale starts now.” This company is literally pitching the exact same dress at the exact same discounted price. But because they are trying to tell a story within their branded posts, their ad is likely to reach a higher audience and receive more sales, especially when next to their more “clean and modern” looking competitor.
Remember, your brand needs to tell a story to be successful, it needs to have a look, a vision that sets it apart from the competition. If it doesn’t you’re just blending in like everyone else.
Do You Want To Build A Brand Pallet?
The answer is always yes. On your way to discovering your brand you will come upon a very tricky question to answer: “What colors do I want to represent my brand?” The answer is never easy but it doesn’t always have to be a battle either. When considering your brand colors, think about the impressionable feeling you want others to have when looking at your brand. Do you want them to look at it and feel calm or excited? Feel a sense of confidence? While emotional thinking for brands is something that develops over time, there are ways for you to channel that mindset for your own brand.
Look at your competition, how do they make you feel? Do you feel that they have a sense of power to their brand? Do they feel mysterious? Do they feel like they tie in their historic roots? Or do they feel more fun and engaging? Congratulations! Those collective feelings you are processing right now is the first start to you understanding your brand on a deeper level. Remember, the goal isn’t to be like everyone else, or copy their style. The goal is to figure out how you want your company to be perceived to others, and there is no wrong answer. It’s all the matter of opinion.
Once you have that clear mindset, now it’s time to pick your pallet. Your pallet should never come before deciding what you want your brand to be. This is because your pallet is an extension of those thoughts and the presence you want to radiate as a brand. If you are working with a team on deciding your brand image, be sure you and your team are on the same wavelength for how you visually see and experience the brand. And even if you don’t all agree, take those differences and set them aside for later when you hit a wall. Some of the best brands get born out of a combination of agreement and disagreement.
Can’t Touch This! (dun nah nun nun)
Just as equally as you should know what your brand should look like, you should also know what you DON’T want it to look like. A lot of companies make the mistake of trying too hard to be an “everything company” and it shows when on the outside looking in. This is because when the brand was being developed, there was never a “No, this is not who we are” conversation, which is critical when developing a brand. While working on these exercises it might be fun to keep coming up with ideas on how to grow and think of extensions to your company, but when doing this you have to remember to not forget the goal of the brand. If your brand’s goal is only to make money, then you aren’t going to get very far with your brand, because you have no vision to pull it further into the future. Always keep in mind who you strive to be, but clearly define who your company is not.
It’s Never Really Over.
I hate to tell you but this is just the beginning for your brand. When creating a successful brand, the project is never really over. It takes years to create something that resonates with viewers and even longer when trying to reach global recognition. Think of all the major brands we know of today: Apple, Target, Nike, Amazon, etc.. It took years for them to create a globally recognizable brand. And while their messaging might change from time to time, their brand’s identity never truly changes.
Building your brand needs to be about telling your company’s story as time goes forward. What is the legacy you want to leave behind for your brand to be remembered as? Moving past the fluff of basic marketing materials for promotion, what else are you willing to do to increase your brand’s awareness? Thankfully you don’t have to do it alone. At AVX Digital, not only is our team skilled in helping you stick to your brand’s core messaging, but we are also here to help you when you don’t even know what your brand’s core messaging is. If you want to learn more about how we can elevate your brand’s performance reach out!
Every brand has a different story to tell, so what will yours be?