Should I Invest In Branding?

Should You Invest In More Than Just A Logo Design?


One of the most common mistakes people make when approaching a graphic designer for their start up business is deciding that all they require is a logo. Your logo design is one small part of your complete brand identity. When you’re just starting out it’s easy to mistake your logo design for your brand identity, and can be difficult to differentiate between the two. This post will help you decide whether you should invest in a complete brand identity, rather than a standalone logo design.


Your Brand

Your brand is the complete experience your customer gets at every stage of contact with your business. It’s the relationship you as a company has with your clients, and the thoughts and feelings your clients take away from your brand. Your brand is made up of many different things, one mistake is to think your brand is made up of solely visual aspects – this is not true. Your brand is made up of your customers perception of your company – this perception can come from anything – from customer service, to interior design, to delivery experience. Everything your customer experiences within your company will make up your brand. You can read more about the difference between your brand and your branding in this blog post.

 

‘A brand is a result – not a tactic’

Lucas Conley (Fast Company)


Your Branding

If your brand is the result, your branding is one of the tactics you can use to get the result you desire. Branding is a tactic that should be used not only within the visual aspects of your company – but also within the communications and relationships you have with your customer. You can read more about branding as a whole here, but for the sake of this post we are going to be talking about the visual aspects of your branding, or brand identity.


Brand Identity

Your brand identity is a combination of all the visual elements of your brand. This includes your logo, colour palette, typography, web design, packaging design and much more. Having an effective and consistent brand identity can help you to build trust with your customer, appear professional and become instantly recognisable. The ultimate aim here is for your customers to be able to recognise your brand without seeing the name. Think about big brands such as Apple, and Coca-Cola – you instantly recognise their products when you see them, regardless of whether the brand name is apparent. This is due to consistent branding – these brands use specific colour palettes, fonts, styles and designs to become memorable in the minds of consumers.


Your Logo

Of course, one of the starting points within your brand identity is your logo. This is a key part of your identity, one you will use to communicate your brand name, especially when you are just starting up. Your logo should reflect who you are as a brand, it should suit your brand story and appeal to your target market. In short, it is the simplest form of your brand’s identity, although one that should be used within the larger package of your branding.


Do You Need To Invest In More Than Just A Logo?

Although your logo is a key part of your brand identity, this alone will not shape your brand in the mind of your consumers. You could have the perfect logo, and when it is used alongside the wrong colour palette, fonts that don’t work well together and bad web design your customer may still be left with the wrong idea of your brand. A brand that is unaligned, constantly swapping between fonts, colour palettes and styles may give the impression of being messy and unprofessional. However, your new logo will work so much harder, and be a much better investment, when placed alongside a clear visual identity.

Investing in a professional logo design is the first step in moving towards an effective brand identity – bringing all of the other visual aspects of your brand in line will give you the full package – and tell your customers you care about how your brand looks, and ultimately care about their experience with your brand.


Where To Start With Brand Identity?

When working with a graphic designer to establish your brand identity, one of the most useful things you can have is a branding guide. This is an in-depth document for you to regularly refer to, ensuring you stay on-brand within all your future projects and marketing materials. This should include your brand’s colour palettes, specific fonts and when to use them, instructions on how to use your logo – including size and colour guidelines. All of this information will help you to keep your brand looking professional, and giving the right impression to your customers at all times.

Depending on the type of small business you are running depends on the different visual aspects you will want to apply your brand identity to. For example, if you are an independent restaurant start-up you would benefit from ensuring your menu design, website and interiors are aligned with your branding. If you are a clothing e-commerce retailer you would benefit from web design, packaging design and swing tags that reflect your brand’s visual identity. If you’re unsure about how to apply your brand identity to different aspects within your business your graphic designer should be happy to help you figure this out.

As mentioned above, your brand identity can not do all of the work when it comes to your brand reputation – however it can do a lot of the work when it comes to appearing professional, trustworthy and tailored to your target audience.


Ready to get started? I’m a graphic designer based in Birmingham, get in touch today for a free consultation about building your brand identity.

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