Strong, memorable, and effective company branding is one of the most critical factors to a company’s success.
In fact, branding is arguably the most important factor of any successful business.
A great brand can take a generic product and sell millions, whilst a weak brand might struggle to sell any.
Take Heinz, for example – many customers refuse to buy baked beans or ketchup from any other company.
Heinz has made its brand synonymous with baked beans and ketchup, just as KFC represents fried chicken and McDonald’s represents burgers.
Of course, it’s easier to talk about great brands than create one.
However, we’ve put together five top tips explaining how you can create a great brand identity for your business – read on to learn our golden rules to effective branding!
Customer and Competitor Research
Without understanding your target customer and your competitors, it’s extremely challenging to create an effective brand.
When developing a new brand, begin by creating a list of competitors and examples of their branding.
Additionally, you’ll need to create a couple of ‘customer profiles’.
These customer profiles represent your target customer and can include:
- Employment status
- Hobbies and interests
- Total expendable income
- Favourite brands
- Ethical considerations (personal morals, sustainability, specific ingredients or chemicals, etc.)
- Buying habits (frequency, quality, etc.)
- Customer behaviours
- Pain Points
There are many ways to categorise and identify ideal customers, but using these customer indicators will allow you to tailor your branding more effectively.
Ensuring that you tailor your brand to the customer is a critical step in the brand creation process – by conducting detailed customer and competitor research, you’ll find it easier to create a great brand.
Designs, Colours, and Typography
After creating several target customer profiles and collating a list of competitors and their branding styles, you can start to develop your visual branding.
It’s extremely important to think about your brand’s design, colours, and typography.
Initially, you should look to create a clear, simple, and memorable logo that’s distinctive enough to represent your business.
Although it’s incredibly rare to create a perfect logo immediately, you should ensure that your logo is simple, appropriate for your target customer, and represents your brand effectively.
Remember that simple is best – some of the most successful businesses in the world have simple logos that are instantly recognisable.
Let’s pretend that you’re setting up an eco-friendly mountaineering brand.
To begin with, focus on creating a simple logo in Canva with a couple of basic shapes or line art images – remember, it doesn’t need to be perfect.
For our mountaineering brand, we could create a couple of mountains using simple triangles and add a sun behind them.
Already, we have a rudimentary logo design that we can send to a professional logo designer as a reference.
Our mountaineering brand represents an outdoor activity, interacting with nature, and is eco-friendly – but what does that have to do with colour?
The fact is that we subliminally associate different colours with emotions, feelings, and meanings.
For example, we associate red with strength, love, and energy.
Green represents nature, freshness, and quality, whereas brown represents simplicity and dependability.
Consider what types of services your company offers and what feelings you want your brand to inspire in customers.
For our eco-friendly mountaineering brand, we’d want to use green (representing nature and freshness) and maybe orange (representing bravery and confidence).
Using Canva, we could change the colour of the mountains to a dark green and place an orange sun behind them.
Keep in mind that, whilst Canva is a great free tool for creating rudimentary logos, you should work with a professional logo designer to create something truly unique and outstanding.
For typography, we want a font that’s bold, robust, and appropriate.
We wouldn’t want to use serif fonts as this wouldn’t work with our adventurous, eco-friendly mountaineering brand.
Instead, we could use a big, bold, modern font such as ‘Bebas Neue’.
Finally, we can put the brand together in our heads and make a draft – our brand logo is a mountain and a sun, our brand’s main colours are green and orange, and our typography is bold and robust.
There are other factors to consider, such as whether the colours complement each other, whether the font is appropriate for non-logo applications, and whether the logo is too generic or too exotic.
These example logos by ‘Jcomp’ on Freepik show how our simple logo ideas can be developed into professional, attractive, and interesting logos and pictures.
However, these tips should help you to create a basic logo with an appropriate colour scheme and typography.
Building Your Brand’s Identity
Strong branding can distinguish your small business from other local competitors.
After researching your customers and competitors and creating a basic brand, you need to consider what you want your brand to represent.
For example, Apple represents quality and innovation, whereas IKEA represents simplicity, convenience, and solidity.
Take the time to think about what your customers want, what your competitors aren’t doing, and what you want your brand to be.
For our eco-friendly mountaineering brand, we should use environmental keywords, portray a sense of adventure, and create a sense of trust.
Having an inviting website with professional and relevant branding can be the thing that distinguishes you from competitors.
Consistency and Clarity
To build trust and to make your brand synonymous with certain keywords and positive thoughts, it’s important to maintain consistency and clarity throughout your branding.
For example, a brand that uses different colours and different logos on each social media platform is inconsistent and unclear – this is highly likely to confuse and frustrate potential customers.
On the other hand, a brand that focuses on consistent, clear branding across every platform will find more success as customers will recognise the brand no matter where they see it displayed.
To ensure that your branding is clear and consistent, consider creating a ‘brand kit’ using Canva.
Canva offers a range of free templates for beginners to create brand kits and branding templates, which are ideal for ensuring consistency across different platforms.
Brand kits are also helpful when working with designers or marketing agencies; providing information about your brand’s colours, typography, logos, and style will result in more satisfying results.
Maintain Your Brand’s Reputation
Finally, once you’ve built up your brand and customers are associating your brand with positive attributes, work hard to maintain your brand’s reputation.
Offering superb customer service and understanding the value of long-term customers is an amazing way to improve and maintain your brand’s reputation.
Improving your brand’s reputation is extremely important as this leads to a loyal and engaged customer base that’s happy to advertise your brand through word-of-mouth.
In conclusion, branding is a complex topic with many different influencing factors, but beginners can still create a basic brand using free tools such as Canva and following the tips in this blog post.
For clients looking for a more professional and personalised solution, feel free to contact us!