These three tips will set you up for sure fire design success!
It can be tempting to make your ads – be they print or digital – as bright and eye-catching as possible by using bold colors and crazy fonts. But take a moment to consider the most iconic brands and how they use color: Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Apple, Nike. They use simplicity and consistent colors surrounding a simple design, to make their point and communicate their message. The human eye is drawn to white space and by surrounding a simple, striking image or brand with a clear color or two, you can capture people’s attention. Resist the temptation to overwhelm your audience with colors, Instead focus on attracting them with its careful use. You may also want to run your color choices through a color palette to ensure they are complementary. Such clean, smart, and eye-pleasing design naturally gives your audience a positive sense of your company and your culture.
Message Through Design
Just as clean, consistent color can convey that a company is full of organized, intelligent, and serious people, a well-designed logo can also give customers a sense of your values and your product or service. Spend some time brainstorming a great logo and brand name representation, then bring your ideas to a graphic designer to see if he/she can help refine your concept. This process will likely take a few weeks and you’ll go through many iterations. This is definitely something worth bringing to an expert to help you refine and perfect.
Emotion in the Tagline
Many companies master the importance of color and strong design, but forget to perfect the tagline. A tagline is a great place to tap into the power of human emotion and convey a defining quality of your company, your personnel, and your ethos. Consider how McDonald’s built the value of their tagline “I’m lovin’ it.” Not only does it focus on a positive emotion, they turned a customer testimonial – a powerful tool in its own right – into a tagline. So be creative and bold, with your own.
Remember, too, that it is okay to periodically revisit all of these design elements, even if you are an established business. Launching your new look, logo, tagline, or color scheme is a powerful marketing tool, and one that people respond to with enthusiasm. You don’t want to rebrand every year, but it is fine to update your look every 7-10 years. In fact, investing in improved design for your business is a subtle way of showing your customers that you care to stay up-to-date, are aware of what is going on around you, and you’re focused on them. It’s a win-win, so take advantage of it!
Building a successful brand requires a coordinated effort. The goal is to secure a positive and lasting place in the minds of your target audience. “Brand consistency” is an important tool in these situations. This term refers to maintaining a uniform image and identity throughout your company and products. The consistency helps to keep your brand vivid and recognizable. The result of brand consistency is a cohesive and unified marketing front that gets real results. Here are 5 important aspects of branding consistency:
1. Consolidate your image and message.
Design a single logo that will translate well on a light or dark background. Pick a font that is unique and very legible. Write a catchy phrase that not only encompasses your brand mission, but is also concise, ambitious and difficult to forget. The product created in this step will determine the public perception of your brand so make sure your visuals and phrasing accurately represent your values.
2. Invest in branded communication tools.
An easy way to solidify your brand is to use a single source for your printed materials, especially your stationary package (custom letterhead, envelopes and business cards) and marketing materials (postcards, flyers, brochures, posters). Selecting a single printer for your entire organization will help ensure that your materials are printed using the correct ink and stock each time. Branded daily communication tools keep your concept fresh for customers as they receive your correspondence.
3. Develop a branded social media presence.
There is no doubt that social media has forever changed the way we handle business. Social media has the power to make or break many modern companies. Establish your brand presence online to give your business a voice and a clear position in the online chatter about your company. Make sure you jump into social media soon enough to acquire a user name that reflects your brand and make sure your logo is flexible enough to be noteworthy in the square shape that is used for most social media postings.
4. Power your branded documents using web-to-print document sourcing.
By working with your printing company to create online templates and pre-defined print specifications within a web-to-print portal, you can ensure that your documents always meet your brand standards. Eliminate the opportunity for renegade employees to change your logo color or typeset your company name in their favorite font by giving them the opportunity to easily order their printed materials through an online corporate print shop where they can edit the information you want them to be able to change, but cannot change the document features that have been established by the marketing department, such as colors, fonts, headlines, and images. By using a web-to-print storefront, you can be confident that employees are using the correct logo and style guide selections, ensuring that your brand remains consistent with all employee publications and communications.
5. Build up branded “infrastructure.”
Items like car wraps, window clings, floor decals, and large format banners take your brand beyond day-to-day communication. They establish a physical presence for your brand within your local community or even within your own building. This helps to create a positive brand experience for your employees and customers.
The business world is constantly changing and evolving. Companies run through marketing campaigns, public relations, and product expansion to stay relevant. Unfortunately those efforts are not always enough to keep up. Long-standing companies may have to come to terms with the fact that their brand is out-of-date. Rebranding allows a company to overhaul their public image and hopefully jump right back into healthy competition with other modern businesses. Rebranding can involve a logo redesign, philosophy changes, redirecting marketing efforts, and much more. You may be surprised to see what some of your favorite brands have evolved from. Here are a few examples of successful rebrands:
If you need to rebrand your company, use these 5 essential questions to help you through the process:
1. What prompted the need to alter the brand?
Answering this question will help pinpoint problems in the current branding strategy. This will also help you to make sure you’re not fixing something that isn’t broken. Rebranding comes with a fair share of risks so it’s not a practice to be used without cause.
2. Am I marketing to the same audience as before?
Your philosophy, location, and clientele may change over time. Take the time to assess if you’re aiming your efforts towards the areas where it will matter.
3. What do I want the new brand image to say about my business?
Your brand image should be the visual embodiment of your company philosophy. Research and study reactions to the new image to ensure the message will be clearly conveyed to the public.
4. What do I hope to accomplish with the new marketing direction?
Are you trying to refine/mature your business image or go in a completely new direction? Are you trying to increase sales in your current market or appeal to new demographics? Having specific goals for the new brand will help you to measure the success of your rebranding.
5. Can the new brand image stand the test of time?
Rebranding is a difficult process. You have to find the right imagery, statements, and marketing angle. You are also at the mercy of the consumers’ opinion. All these risks dictate that you should avoid rebranding often. Make sure your new brand image will last for years to come. Don’t use designs based on trends. Use style elements that have prevailed through time. Simple designs tend to have more staying power as well.
Just be careful about how your new image will be perceived by the public. Pepsi’s recent logo redesign is a great example of this concept: