It’s easy to get lost in the crowd. You’re a small business owner who must compete with the big guys. You’re fighting for attention, and sometimes it feels like there’s no way to stand out from the pack.
Let me tell you something: I’ve been in your shoes before. And now that I’ve learned how to build a memorable brand, my clients recognize me—and they keep coming back for more! Here’s what worked for me:
Recognize Yourself (Define Your Identity)
If you’re a business owner or entrepreneur, it’s essential that you clearly define your brand. You need to know what makes your business unique and your company’s strengths. This can be hard to do, but it’s essential to building a memorable brand. To build a brand, you need to define who you are and what your purpose is. If you don’t know that, it’s hard to create a consistent marketing identity.
The first step in creating a memorable brand is recognizing yourself—defining your identity. What do you stand for? What makes you unique? Are there other people out there who share your values and beliefs?
Create Mission and Vision Statements For Your Brand (Be Clear About Your Purpose)
When you know who you are as an organization, it’s time to create mission and vision statements for your brand. This help defines what you stand for as a business and why people should choose your services over those of competitors. These statements might include: “Our purpose is to provide excellent customer service” or “We will always treat our customers with respect.” These statements must reflect your organization’s values and are easily recognizable by customers so they can identify with them. These are important because they clarify your purpose and help you stay on track when things get busy. They also help guide decisions about how to market yourself and what kind of content to create.
Know Your Audience (Design A Consistent Marketing Identity)
There’s a difference between what your audience needs and wanting versus what you are trying to drive through with your brand.
These three top questions must have answers before you proceed to help the masses
- Who are they? This includes nationality, occupations, hobbies, and interests. This is as important as knowing their age, gender, and nationality.
- Where are they going to see your logo? It can be an ad banner, website, billboard, or someone else’s T-Shirt. You have to try and figure out and consider any situation possible.
- Will they understand your message? Every association possible needs to be thought of that comes to mind when and where they see your logo. It’s a good idea to interview objective opinions on this step. All outside opinions and critical comments should be listened to and taken into consideration in this step.
Once you’ve identified who your audience is, it’s important to design a consistent marketing identity for them so they can easily recognize who you are when they see your products or services advertised. You want clients to recognize your brand as soon as they see it! This means having consistent messaging across all channels, from social media profiles to email newsletters, from blog articles to business cards (and everything in between).
Knowing Your Visual Basics
Basing your decisions on research results and a deep understanding of your brand, a few choices must now be made.
Many business owners pick their favorite colors. They’re inconsistent and don’t reflect what their brand’s personality is and what products and services they offer. Business owners also go for those that are inconsistent and are inconsistent and are scattered causing trouble for the long-term of the business and making themselves look like everyone else. Colors are the first element people remember about a brand.
Here’s an easy guide to finding the color emotion that fits your brand.
Orange and Yellow represent optimism, clarity, and a warm fuzzy feeling. So brands like IMDB, Harley Davidson, Ferrari, and Subway use yellow combined with another color that offsets or compliments the other.
Blue transmits trust, dependability, and strength companies like HP, Lowe’s, and Vimeo use this color.
Oberlo Goes into some in-depth details about color physiology here: color-psychology-color-meanings
below you will see Oberlo’s Color Emotion Guide which helps translate the meanings of the colors with the logos and you begin to see how large companies utilize colors to get across to their audiences subconsciously.
It is imperative to consider certain color combinations online can be tricky to read and view. This can hurt your traffic and hinder your brand’s web traffic. Google makes it almost impossible to rank with unhelpful content including your logo. Using a simple trick such as a dark background accompanied by a light font or vice versa is a good rule of thumb when designing for contrast.
A common occurrence to find is scrolling through social media and coming to a post with unreadable text in your feed, or seeing a logo and still trying to figure out what it said or what it means. Selecting a font that does not translate across all your platforms makes it hard for an audience to remember who you are, what you have to offer, or where they saw you before. Creating a connection with your audience and becoming memorable just by using a font specifically designed around the elements of your brand.
Different Font Types and what makes them different.
Serif: Fonts with different decorative finishes are often used in newspapers, banks, and traditional institutions.
Sans Serif: Sans translates to without, Sans Serif means plain font in which there are no ornaments at the ends of each font.
ScriptType: Script fonts have a more natural flow of their shape and come off as handwritten.
Decorative: Highly ornate fonts used in movie posters, video games, and ads. More than likely you use a decorative font in your logo. Decorative fonts are unreadable if you used them in text for your website, social media, or blogging.
Ideas for font combos can be found at www.fontpair.co and fonts.com
A great font or font combination is an easy way to set your entire brand’s tone and create a lasting impression in people’s minds.
The absolute hardest part of branding is designing a logo that communicates your intentions and meaning. Your logo is often the first contact between your customer and you. A horrible logo prevents you from making a lasting impression with potential clients, and you miss opportunities because people can’t place who you are and what your product is in their minds.
Take into account the different spaces where you could use your logo and how it interacts with other elements. Examples are your website, your business stationery, and your products. Be mindful of you’re using these variables across your various platforms, using the same version of your logo on every platform helps your followers recognize you anywhere. A great logo that leaves a great impression, stays fresh in your clients, followers, and potential customers’ minds making it easier for them to return to you the next time they need something.
Here are a few tips that will help you choose the right font and color combination for your logo.
- Research Your Competitors: The goal is not to imitate their logos but to carefully analyze them. By doing this you can determine if their solution is smart and learn from their experience and try to determine what decisions they made to get their logo and color combo.
- Keep It Simple: A clean font will let you reproduce your brand across various platforms, products, and all the different sizes that you will need to place it on.
- Readability: Your logotype should be legible within a few seconds of the reader’s site.
The versatility of your logo
- A logo design should always be in vector format. Adobe Illustrator is the design community standard, yes there are other programs out there but Adobe has been around long enough to take the lead spot. Photoshop is not the best choice since it can not create vectors. You want your logo to be scalable and vector format is the only way to accomplish this without pixelating and losing quality.
- Specify logotype colors in CMYK or Pantone color codes to make sure that your colors will reproduce correctly when printing your logo.
- Your logo would be able to be reproduced in a single color and be recognized. If you can take your logo and reproduce it in (black & White) and can still send the message of your brand across then you have a solid logo.
Common design mistakes to avoid
Using too many fonts and colors: The top companies will stick to using one font and one maybe two colors max. This is for good reason, the more fonts that are used, the messier the logo becomes. The use of two fonts is acceptable if it is different for the company name or the slogan.
Trendy Fonts: Most if not all trends are very short-lived. What is popular today and this week will probably be outdated and seem ridiculous tomorrow.
Copying others: Imitating someone else’s logo is not flattery when branding is involved and is a very lazy way to solve your creative problem. Your logo is a reflection of you and your business. If your logo resembles someone else’s logo, especially very popular businesses such as Harley Davidson your business in turn fails to be unique and loses credibility in the customer’s eyes.