Building a strong brand is part of a successful business. Many people, however, don't really know what branding is. The most common misconception I come across describes branding as a logo design, business cards and some promotional flyers. In reality, this is just a fraction of the full branding picture. I would split branding into 3 categories:
Alignment of branding components
Let's break these further down.
Your brand is a complex structure of the unique voice and personality of your business. When you create the brand you will have to think of:
Values and Mission of your business/brand
A Name that represents the values and mission of the brand
A Tagline that sends the right brand message
A Tone of Voice that suits the brand personality and is aligned with the target audience
Brand Identity is what people usually mistake for branding as a whole. But in many cases, they can't name half of the components that form the full brand identity. Here are the basics:
Stationery (letterhead, business cards, envelopes, folders, etc.)
Marketing Collateral (flyer, posters, e-books/books, brochures)
Product Packaging and Label Design
Staff Uniforms and Promotional Apparel
Communication Materials (external & internal email templates, tv, radio and print ads)
Physical Store Design
If you are just starting your business, agencies and freelancers offer different brand identity packages that can get you going. The majority are very expensive, but there are designers who work with startups exclusively and charge less without compromising the value.
Alignment of Branding Components
While you are working on the creation of the brand and the brand identity you have to make sure that all components are aligned together. This will continue after the design process is complete. For example, the images (profile picture/cover photo) you use on your brand's social media should be aligning to the imagery on your website, the language and tone you use should also be the same in all of your communication channels. Any deviation from or between your overall established branding components will damage the strength of your brand.
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