You’re setting up a shiny new business, and need to launch your brand. What are the biggest things you need to know to help you succeed?
By Emma Venables at Emma jayne creative
1. Are you unique?
First thing’s first, is your name unique? Before you invest any money into developing your brand, you need to do a few checks and make sure the name you’ve chosen hasn’t already been taken – that could be a costly mistake further down the line, when you have to go ahead and redesign everything, from your logo through to all your stationery and signage! Not to mention any legal fees from disgruntled businesses.
Companies house is a great place to check to see if the name is already registered, and of course, Google is your friend – remember to check this out, particularly in the local area. It’s best to avoid any future confusion for your customers, so if there’s someone local with a very similar name and they are in the same industry, it’s probably best to rethink. You want to stand out from the crowd, not to give your competitors half of your web traffic by accident!
Speaking of competitors, now is also a great time to get researching yours. What are they doing online? What is working for them currently? Not only will this help you to position yourself within the market, it will also help you to be aware so that you don’t come up with anything too similar to your competition.
2. Who is your target audience?
Do you know who your product or service will be aimed at? Who is going to buy your goods? Note, it’s not good enough here to simply say EVERYONE! If you try and appeal to everyone, you will most definitely appeal to no one at all.
Who are your super fans? If you’re not sure, start gathering some data. Do you have any past purchases you can look at? How about checking google analytics? (if you already have a webpage, but are rebranding, this may be the case). Social media insights pages are also a great place to look to get a window into the type of people who are looking at your page. Who is visiting your page? What else do they like? You can use free survey sites such as survey monkey to actually ask your target audience too. Find out their likes and dislikes. What they do for a living. Where do they live. What do they like to read. The more information you have, the more you can make sure your brand appeals directly to them.
3. Work out your brand personality.
Your brand is way more than just a logo. It’s the whole personality of your business and the way you come across in every single touchpoint your customers have with you. So what’s your brand personality? Are you a daring, contemporary brand? A bit edgy perhaps? Or maybe you are a family friendly business, warm and approachable – not too corporate. Maybe corporate is the feel you’re actually after, with a competent, reliable image?
It’s worth thinking about this in a bit of depth, as it will translate across into how you present your brand, particularly in the fonts you choose. For example, have you ever seen a solicitors use Comic Sans? Exactly. Font choice is everything.
Serif fonts are the way to go if you want to come across as more traditional, respectable and formal; San serifs are what to use if you want to appear more modern, open and clean. A script font will create the impression of elegance, while there are a whole plethora of modern display and hand written fonts which can give a more playful or funky edge.
4. How do you want your audience to feel about your brand?
Just as we’ve seen with fonts, colour can play just as big a part in changing the way we feel about a brand. It’s really important to know how you want your audience to feel about your brand, as most purchases are based on emotion.
It’s no mistake that many of the big power brands use red in their messaging. It creates the feeling of immediacy, excitement. Action. It’s a bold and energetic colour. Whereas blue is equally as popular, creating the feeling of security, trust and authority.
So how do you want your customers to feel? If you want to come across as fun and cheerful, perhaps the brighter end of the spectrum is the way to go: oranges and yellows can denote optimism, cheerfulness, positivity and fun. Green promotes nurturing and growth, whilst purple is a sign of luxury, wealth and sophistication. A lot of high end companies use black in their marketing, and that’s no accident. It represents prestige, power and elegance, and is often used with high value items.
5. Make sure you have all the right tools.
So, you’ve decided on your messaging and how you want to come across. Now it’s time to create your branding, colours and logo, using all of the knowledge and starting points we have gained so far. This is where you can have a designer experiment with different concepts for you – it’s worth investing in someone to help you here if it’s not your forte, as a professional brand will attract clients to you. If your logo looks unfinished, or unprofessional, it might put some people off from contacting you.
Once you’ve got a concept you’re happy with, there’s a few things to check off and make sure you do. You need to test that your new logo will work at very small sizes. The simpler the better, when it comes to logo design, and legibility is key! Think of how simple and clear the Nike and Apple logos are. Also, will the logo work in just black and white? This is often a good test as to whether the design is simple enough as well.
Finally, once your new logo is ready, it’s super important to get hold of the correct files. Lots of cheap logo designers will only supply you with a PNG or JPG file, which is no good for printing at large sizes and will pixelate horribly. It’s best to ask upfront whether they will supply you with EPS Vector files. These files can be scaled to any size without pixelating or looking blurry – ever! Hooray.
As a bonus, it’s also a good idea to get some kind of brand guidelines document too, which will detail your final colour references and font choices. This will ensure you can use these in the future, across everything you do to keep your brand looking super consistent and appealing to those ideal target customers.
So there you are, five building blocks to absolutely nail that new brand!
Written by Emma Venables