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As we all know, when it comes to making great first impressions, a business primarily needs great branding. Metaphorically speaking, poor branding is the equivalent to a limp handshake. You might really want to do business with a person, but there was something weak in their delivery that stopped you from being fully invested.
Your brand is the foundation of your business. It is on this very foundation where you build your client relationships, sales and reputation. However, it would be remiss to believe that great branding simply comes down to having a fabulous logo.
Great branding is a combination of many factors, which all boil down to one predominant idea. Your brand is what you project to the world. It’s not what you say that matters, it’s what it your brand says about you. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind when building a bigger, better brand.
Establish your Identity
The most important part of your design process is establishing your identity. It’s what sets you aside from thousands of others. What do you want your brand to say about you? If you are a small and modern company, find a way to show that off. Similarly, if you are a friendly and personal company, or even a larger corporation. Working with a designer that understands what you want to achieve and how you want to sell yourself will be extremely beneficial to harnessing your identity.
Learn from the Giants
It goes without saying that most of the well-known industry giants are recognised first and foremost by their brand. They may not even have their name in their logo, but you can identify the company just by their colour palette, type-face or tagline. Spend time researching the well-known brands, what makes them stand-out? What makes them so recognisable, so successful? Conversely, look at brand failures. What re-branding errors have made a distinguished company go into decline? You can learn from their branding mistakes so you don’t have to make them yourself.
Set your Guidelines
When you have found a designer that you want to work with that both understands your needs and can deliver the desired message, spend some time with them setting your brand guidelines. Whether it’s your logo, tagline, imagery or typography, what can and cannot be compromised? Without setting these guidelines, your brand risks losing its direction, consistency and therefore credibility.
Police the Usage of your Brand
Once you set your brand’s guidelines and have implemented them across all your company’s marketing properties, it’s important not to deviate from them. If you want to build a strong and powerful brand, you need to protect it. Take care to monitor where and when other companies are using your branded elements on your behalf. Is your company sponsoring an event or advertising on another business’ website? Make it a priority to check that they are using the correct logo, tagline, font, and even language to promote your brand. As minor as it seems, one small error made frequently over time can be very damaging to your brand.