As the owner of a visual graphics company, branding is my business. It’s my job to counsel customers on getting the right look for their brands and provide the latest innovations to get them there. Branding is crucial for all businesses no matter the size of the company. If you’re planning a brand refresh, consider the essentials outlined below.
Let’s talk branding essentials.
At its core, a company’s branding should tell consumers who the company is and what it values. It is imperative that companies create distinct, effective imagery and messaging that is consistent with the brand’s core identity. A consistent look and feel is key to making a brand stick in people’s memories. Over time, consumers will begin to recognize the brand when they see consistency in ads, marketing collateral, websites, social media marketing, vehicle marketing or event marketing. Consumers engage with brands they recognize and trust. A consistent brand identity makes consumers feel that a brand is dependable. They know what to expect from the organization and that makes them feel safe.
I always remind clients that they shouldn’t try to be something they are not. Remain consistent with your core values. And while this may seem like a no-brainer, don’t use multiple company logos. It confuses consumers and will make it hard for them to recognize you in the marketplace.
Here are just a few tricks of the trade along with the latest trends in design to ensure effective branding:
Leverage innovative design technologies.
Graphic designers must be on the cutting edge when it comes to the latest trends and tools. The proliferation of design technologies, such as design apps, pressure-sensitive touch screens, 3D printers and mobile workstations, has made branding more efficient. Tools with cloud storage allow designers to handle larger files, which gives them more time to focus on the design itself. Not only is this cost effective, it also leads to more thoughtful design.
Keep it clean.
These days, marketers and the general public alike are exposed to better branding design. They are more knowledgeable when it comes to what does and doesn’t look good. The latest branding trend is all about minimalist design with clean lines. Another popular trend is leveraging the concept of negative space, which means creating a simple design that is not cluttered. Consider the hierarchy of text size as well: The more important the idea behind the text, the larger it should be.
Use vibrant and fresh colors.
When it comes to color, companies want the newest palette options available for branding. And new colors come out every year via the Pantone Color Institute. There could be as many as 20 or more new colors each year, including different shades and hues of existing colors. Color use is cyclical as evidenced by the fact that neon is once again popular. More companies are using neon because it’s easier to print than ever before — previously the vibrancy of neon did not translate in printed materials.
These are just a few of the ways in which marketers can connect with their customers through branding. Remember to be true to your company and consistent across all channels to ensure customers recognize and trust your brand.