Before we start, check out my Media page to see a new type animation video that I recently completed as well as an interactive online brochure. Imagine the possibilities for your own business and brand!
I hope that you enjoyed reading about ePubs last week as well as all of the options and opportunities that you have to share your knowledge and promote your business with them. I also hope that you found some inspiration in the color tips and photos that were in
that post. Color and finding a look and feel that is relevant to your particular business is so important. Therefore, as you look at what I post each week in these areas, see what stands out to you in terms of designing the look of your brand. You never know when you will find just the right color or design element!
This week, I’ll continue to build on what I consider to be three main components to your brand’s design:
- Brand Insight– Why do we spend so much time on brand development and design?
- Color– What are its meanings and how can it apply to you?
- Creative Inspiration– a little creative inspiration to feed your business’ brand development.
I have chosen these three areas because it’s important to know, first, who you are when you are building your brand identity, whether it is for you personally or for your business. Knowing who you are feeds your passions which it turn feeds your purpose and what you do in life. It’s a crucial first step and part of what I do is consult with clients to help them reach this clarity, should they need it. Having this insight sets us up for designing a brand for you or your business that will be successful in the long term. It really works, I’ve seen it firsthand.
I started to explore this with you last week with the initial 5 Questions. These are your core questions. Keep going back to them as you grow with your business and get clear on your vision and direction and as you explore the world of Brand Design with me and begin to establish your brand identity.
To give you some more food for thought, according to the American Marketing Association;
- Changing consumer needs, emerging technologies and competition are making it more difficult than ever to create a brand that is meaningfully differentiated in the mind of the consumer
- Undifferentiated brands are proven to underperform financially.
- The traditional marketing methods too often fail to deliver either strong growth or the necessary ROI.
Creating differentiation in the face of these challenges takes planning and expertise. My hope is that what I write through this blog will help you in your own brand development efforts by giving you extra insight from the perspective of a business marketer and designer who has built several brand identities and has seen the results that a well planned and structured identity can bring.
I can tell you from experience that I did this quite often when I was building Pure Designs’ identity. It took a while for me to circle down to the center of what my business is and what direction I wanted to take. I figured out, after months of frustration and scrapping ideas and sketches, that I needed to really take a hard look at ME and, in gaining clarity on my own identity, I figured out what my business was going to be, who I was going to serve (my target) and how I was going to differentiate myself (my promise). If you find yourself frustrated and hitting roadblocks in the process of brand development, go back to these five questions and re-assess. In the long run, it saves time. Trust me. Just in case you need a refresher, here are the five core questions again:
- Who Are You?
- What Do You Do?
- Who is Your Target Market?
- How Are You Different?
- What is Your Promise?
Also, if you’d like to hear more about these five questions and learn more about how to successfully navigate the process of drilling down to the core of your business’ purpose and brand, leave a comment here on my blog or send me a note via the contact form on my website. There is so much more that I can share here and I will happily do so if it will help you.
For the Color and Inspiration sections, since what I specialize in is Brand Design, the visual aspects of your brand are, of course, a central focus here so that you develop and establish an image for yourself or your business that authentically represents you, who you are and what you do along with what value you bring. Review the color tips and insights that I post along with the artistic inspiration and see if anything connects with you.
Brand Insight: The difference between “Brand” and “Branding.”
As a further foundation for the establishment of your unique brand, it’s important to know some basic terminology. I’d like to start with establishing the difference between Brand and Branding. They are different and, knowing what they are exactly is more ammunition that you can bring to building your own. So, Brand–this is the actual product set that makes up the look and feel of your business. It’s your logo, business cards, collateral pieces, web design, typography… you get the idea. What’s more, your Brand is also the experience that your clients and customers have when they interact with you and your business- the “feel” part. What feelings do they have when they think about your business? What are their interactions like? What is your reputation out there? What are the perceptions that you are creating?
According to the American Marketing Association, a Brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.
Branding, on the other hand, is the action that you take in strategizing you brand. So, if your brand is the logo, the website, the newsletter design, the copywriting, etc., then your branding is that work that you put into building these pieces and using them. It’s the execution part.
Why have a brand and why put all this effort into it?
Simple, so that you are remembered. So that your business establishes credibility and stands out from the crowd. People are bombarded all day long with information, messages and choices. Research shows that people need to be exposed to a message at least seven times before they take action and buy from you (The Rule of 7). I actually think that number has creeped up to about twelve.This is based on research about the capacity of our memories. Think about it- that’s a lot of message sending on your part. However, when you have a solid brand presence that runs through all of the pieces of your business, you increase the reach of your messages exponentially.
Color Tip: Breaking Down PURPLE
Color brings out emotions in people. Perceptions form and embed themselves in people’s minds. Certain assumptions are made based on color without the viewer even reading the copy of the ad or looking for a photo of the product. In short, color has power. This is why we must be mindful of it as we proceed with establishing brand designs. Phrases come to my mind like “The Golden Arches,” – Below I am breaking down the color purple as well as showing you some examples of its use in branding.
Purple, typically, in western culture, the color purple symbolizes wealth and royalty. Other meanings are wisdom, spirituality, eccentricity and luxury. With rich undertones, purple is often associated with deep feeling. One might use it in a logo for a high-end perfume. Purple played a big role in a book cover I designed for Shakespeare’s Hamlet. However, be careful of cultural differences in a color’s perception. In Thailand, for example, purple symbolizes mourning and is worn by widows. Part of my research is in determining where you will launch your business so that I can consider the cultures of various areas and what their cultural norms are. In today’s global society, color selection can be a huge challenge.
This week, a photo of a cloud-filled sunset and some a vector that I’ve worked with. Take a look, soak them in and see how they affect you. Do they bring up memories? Do you relate to one over the other?
Creative Inspiration will bring you closer to identifying you and what you want your brand to be. Think deeply and explore; it’s a fun journey that can help you to discover things you never knew existed.
Thank you everyone!
Have a great weekend,
- Brand Development, Color Insight, Inspiration and eBooks: This Post Has It All! (jenniferbeatty.wordpress.com)
- What Every CEO Can Learn From Best Buy’s (Continued) Branding Mistakes (fastcompany.com)