Are you struggling to get prospective customers to take you seriously? Failing to reach sales targets? Or are you simply starting our and wanting to make sure you’re successful? Creating a unique brand is essential, and the key to upscaling your business.
You’ll need to make decisions on items like embroidered work shirts, stationery, office décor, working styles, authority structures and the like. All form a part of your brand. It doesn’t matter whether you’re on a shoestring budget or whether you have tens of thousands of dollars to spend on professional brand ambassadors, the process will be very much the same.
Photo by Marc Mueller, Pexels
Create an Emotional Connection
All of you understand the importance of a brand that’s outstanding. However, in order to captivate your clients, you’re going to need one that appeals to the senses and expresses your personality. It should also reflect where you want to go in the future. Many people tend to buy with their hearts, not their heads, so you need to appeal to these customers’ emotions.
Your business is about creating that emotional connection between you, your business and your customer through every single design decision you make.
What is Brand Style?
Brand styling means that you use texture, colour, pattern, font and illustration to typify your brand. It should express a very specific message. Colour is very important, but illustrations or mascots help to showcase personality, too.
It needs to be authentic. Anything that is at odds with what the brand states is going to jar with your customer, and create a disconnect. Ensure that everything you say and do is consistent.
What Does Brand Style Include?
Brand style includes the following
- A colour palette that expresses your values
- A logo that is distinctive and recognisable
- A number of typefaces for character
- A few illustrations for stimulating curiosity and interest
- A mascot that operates as your business’s talking face
- Patterns for adding depth
You may not need all of the above, but it’s certainly worth thinking about more than just a logo.
Know Your Brand
You need to know exactly where you stand in the market. Also, know your target audience, mission statement, vision, brand personality and core values.
Mission and Vision
You’ll need to create a mission statement, which is why your company exists. Your vision statement will be where you want your company to go in the future.
Describe your customers—their likes and dislikes, demographics, and hopes and wishes in life. Detail what types of problems they typically have. You’ll need to tap into market research for this.
Furthermore, list why they need your company, how you will meet their needs and desires and solve their problems.
Write down a few adjectives which describe your company’s personality. Is it formal and elegant? Quirky and trendy? Modern and chic? Bohemian? These adjectives will describe how your customers will encounter your brand and interact with it.
This will help with both design and writing.
It also helps if you write down a few adjectives that describe what your company is NOT. Knowing what NOT to choose will help steer the company in the correct direction continually.
Personality is best expressed through colour, and in this sense, colour personalities are vital. There are seasonal expressions of colour:
- Spring, which is youthful and vibrant, and contains soft and warm colours
- Summer, which is more muted and cooler, with a little elegance thrown in
- August is more energetic, with warm, intense, earthy colours predominating
- Winter is extreme, with bold, dramatic colours prominent, or understated ones highlighted
Choose one of the seasons to express what you’re about. Stick to that season, because it will create coherency.
Write down some guiding principles that will help drive your decisions and actions in the right direction. Make them memorable and clearly visible to all on the team, even through illustration.
How to Start Creating a Brand Style
Now that you know the basics of what brand style is, how do you start creating it?
Use a Vision Board
Start with your team. Using the mission and values, help them start by finding pictures online that express the brand to them. Put them up on a board for everyone to see. You needn’t worry about copyright, because you’re not going to use these exact pictures.
Within those pictures, identify what you do and don’t like, for example the font in one, but not the colour in the other.
Look at Brands you Like and Identify With
Use brands that you love to obtain inspiration. There is no need to copy, because your company isn’t going to be similar—it needs to stand out.
Based on what’s already in the market, identify features that will set you apart.
Brand styling is all about getting customers to relate to you through the senses, and buying from you because of it. Look at more than just colour and logo to express your company’s personality and style.
Be a brand that others don’t just like—but love.