Who are you? Do your customers know? Do You know?
A brand is the foundation of any business. It is an idea come to life, full of color, lines, and memory. A brand is the easily identifiable mark or message of a company, to be carried and lifted above all else. It is how your customers find you and perceive you. It is how you are refereed to and how you are remembered as. If the user experience is forgotten, the brand’s logo or name or visual identity is usually remembered strongly.
So what does your branding say?
Have you ever been to a store or had a client whose branding was all over the place? The logo on the sign didn’t match anything. The name of the business was different on their cards. The info on the receipt had something else listed. What did you think of this company? Are they even in business any longer?
If a company’s own brand identity is hazy, it is usually a sign that their business practices are as well. Companies should be proud of their names, addresses, websites, signs, and cards. They should want to share them with the world, bringing more new customers in and keeping top-of-mind for existing customers to recommend them to friends and family. A unified brand message helps showcase professionalism and gives new and existing customers confidence in the quality of service they will receive for years to come.
A unique, custom logo acts as the face of your brand. It should be used in all your correspondences, wherever your business is working, and every time your business is being presented to the public. A good logo must be memorable, hint at the offerings of the business, and be easily identifiable both when it is large on a sign and when it is small on a business card.
A company's website should feature the branding of a company, through use of uniform logo, font style, font colors, button colors, and even general layout. All too often, businesses will use templated websites that contain generic brand design that doesn't match their own. They plug in a logo and assume all is fine, but when you use generic branding of a template, it weakens your overall brand experience in the eyes of the customer.
If your company attends trade shows, gives out door prizes, or even orders branded pens, it is essential to keep the branding consistant. Each item should include a logo, the name, simplified contact information, and mirror the brand's signature colors and thematic designs. A pen that reads Milford Dental is not as impactful as a pen that includes a logo, the "Where Smiles Shine" tag line, and the website link.
A good sign can bring in people off the streets, while a bad sign can send potential customers off to a competitor. To create a good sign, you have to take into account the aesthetics of the building, the message you want to portray, and add a touch of the energy of the establishment. For example, a wood paneled sign would signify a warmer, homey atmosphere. While a Neon sign would be either hipster or cool and bold. Both may contain the same logo and information, but the design will attract the clientele that would appreciate the company's atmosphere.
Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn all have their own lingo and personality, but this doesn't mean that you should overwrite your branding to accomidate their quirks. For example, when possible, your company's name, website, and social media names should be identical when possible, or at least easily linked. For example, if "ABC Rental" isn't available on Facebook, try to add the industry or location to the branding to create @ABCRentalConnecticut or @ABCRentalCars to keep in line with the brand.
To many, Business Cards are a sign of true professionalism. For some, they are a generic piece of paper with contact information. We like to think of them as a hands-on connection between a potential customer and your business. A good business card should stand out, contain all your branding, include phone, address, contact info, social media handles, and a logo. A poor design with all this information will looked cluttered, but we at Adam House know how to make the content visually stimulating and easy to read.