In this guest blog, Sam from Gab Design explains the power of branding for your business, what’s involved and how she works with clients to develop their branding.
Logos are out, branding is in!
Have you noticed that the term ‘logo’ is being used less and less? And you’re hearing about ‘branding’ more and more? That’s because branding is about so much more than just a logo.
Branding is your secret weapon in the fight to stand out against the competition; the silent introduction you make to everyone who’s new to your business; the essence of everything you stand for, and everything you’re out to achieve. A lot of pressure, isn’t it?
That’s why it’s so crucial to get it right: but first, you need to understand it.
“Design is the silent ambassador of your business brand”.
This quote from the legendary Paul Rand perfectly sums up the unassuming power that your branding holds. But what exactly is branding?
It’s more than just a colour palette for starters. Your brand should be the combination of your:
When these things are brought together, they tell the story of your business. Or at least they should – if you have the right designer in your corner.
Your brand should make your target audience feel a certain way – the way YOU want them to feel! Whether that’s inspired, comforted, excited, adventurous, curious or even shocked, the essence of your brand ought to evoke real feelings, create deep connections, and build trust.
Your brand is more than just a logo
Your business logo is a very important part of your brand, but it’s not everything. Your brand actually encompasses all that you put out into the world – from the images you use across social media, to the language you employ when speaking to your audience.
Your brand elements should tell a story; one that helps to sell your product or service, and keeps you front of mind. For example, when I think about the Apple brand, I don’t think of their icon; instead my mind conjures up sleek silver images, and thoughts of people smiling as they walk down the street holding their iPhone whilst listening to their airpods, before jumping onto their iPad to work.
This is of course backed by the punchy and emotive music they like to use across their ads – and as I type this on my iMac, with my iPhone and iPad sat next to me, I’m reminded that this is a prime example of the power of branding.
A well-designed brand creates a feeling. It leaves a mark. It makes you want to be involved.
So how do you get there?
Understanding what makes good brand design
If we quickly go back to the wise words of Paul Rand, his reference to design as a “silent ambassador” reminds us that every design choice we make reflects our brand’s identity – from the fonts and colours we use, to the visual elements we present to the world at large. These choices speak volumes about who we are, and what we offer.
I recently worked on brand creation for local photographer Tanya Aldcroft. When Tanya and I first discussed her vision for the brand, she walked me through her inspiration board on Pinterest, and the story of her business. Every step along the journey included nature in some shape or form. Most of her photoshoots were based in fields of flowers, and she had many personal and sentimental connections to nature.
I knew I had to tell the story of Tanya’s brand using strong references to the natural elements that she – and her business – most connected with. I went away and designed every brand element using colours that evoked the idea of nature, fonts that emphasized this connection, and hand-drawn illustrations of plant and flowers. At the heart of this design was a focus on the emotions that Tanya wanted her audience to feel.
And that’s why working with a designer you can trust is so crucial for your brand: only someone who is willing to listen to you and really understand your brand, your journey, and your goals is going to be able to capture your essence through design.
Thankfully, Tanya loved her new brand and couldn’t wait to start using it. When we created new business cards, she was even more excited about the brand evolution because she could see it in action, and track the impact it made.
Side note: This is another thing I LOVE about branding! It makes YOU fall in love with your business again. It can give you the extra edge, cement your professionalism, and afford you the confidence to push your business to the next level.
Consistency is key
Once you’ve got your gorgeous new logo and all of the extras that go along with it, you really need to make sure you stick to it and keep everything consistent. Nothing deters potential customers as quickly as an inconsistent brand – because it won’t look professional, and you’ll struggle to inspire trust.
One of my clients recently told me that her customers said her social media stands out from all the other businesses in her industry, and that they always know it’s her post. This is so important and music to my ears! If your customers are recognizing your brand, then you’re doing something right.
Remaining consistent with the look and feel of your brand gives your clients the chance to build a relationship with your business that’s based on familiarity and trust. By delivering a cohesive brand identity at every touch point on the customer journey, you create a true sense of professionalism that your customers can rely on.
And that’s the power of branding.
If you’re looking for help with your branding, whether you’re starting from scratch or want to use your existing branding to develop more marketing materials, then do contact Sam to discuss your requirements further and get a quote.