In itself, having a logo is not the same thing as having a brand for a company. Although the logo is an important part, a brand is something much greater than just an icon. It includes the colours, the style, and the personality of the company. The aim of a good brand; to differentiate your company from others in the same marketplace and to represent qualities which your target market will find innately appealing. All other things being equal, a well branded company is much more likely to succeed in winning customers that a businesses with a weak or confused brand.
Here is a simple example to illustrate the point. Take two identical pairs of shorts with an identical price and put them in the same shop. Now if you add the Nike logo to one of them, you will find sales of the Nike pair will far outstrip the other. This is not just because of the logo, it is for what the logo represents to the buyer (higher quality, better engineering, better materials), and what the buyer believes the logo will represent to others when the shorts are worn (that s/he is wealthier, more professional, trendier etc.)
Creating a brand is not just for large companies, it is also vital for smaller businesses – especially if they are operating in a crowded marketplace. By becoming recognisable to customers and reinforcing positive values, the chances of winning new business and attracting repeat custom is greatly increased.
Creating a new brand for small & medium sized companies.
Many new businesses ask us to help them create a brand. It often starts with a logo design, but then takes the key logo qualities and expands them to a distinctive look, feel and tone of voice which ties together all the promotional material. Although every branding project is slightly different depending on the individual demands of the customer, here are the typical elements of a branding project.
The logo design will be the absolute cornerstone of a brand. It will determine the shapes, colours and characteristics which will then be expanded across all the company’s promotional material. All our logo design packages start with the creation of a strong design brief. By understanding as much as we can about the business and the target customers, we can ensure that the concepts we create will be suitable for the way the company needs to engage with its audience.
However, although we can advise, it is always our client who chooses the logo concept from our selection of ideas which they would like to take forward in development. While it is very important that the brand will appeal to target customers, it also has to be a logo design which the client themselves likes, believes in and is proud to use to represent themselves.
The business stationery is often the first opportunity we have to expand the chosen logo into a wider design which will come to characterise the overall brand. The company letterheads, compliment slips and business cards do not allow much space or potential for text, but they all start as plain white sheets so allow plenty of space for the colours and shapes which will come to represent the brand. In terms of style, it is often the stationery which forms the bridge between the logo design and the broader design of brochures, flyers and other promotional material.
The stationery is also the time to think about a ‘tag line’ – a short and simple statement which tells potential customers instantly about what you do. The choice of words in describing your business can be as important as any element of the design in forming a brand.
Now that the logo and colour schemes are largely determined, it is time to start selling the brand and the business to potential customers. In engaging new clients and establishing a brand, the choice of marketing material to use can be just as important as the message and design itself. If the brand is intended to be young, funky and fresh – then the choice of traditional A5 flyers might not be right for the brand. Likewise, if you need to convey values of trust, stability and tradition then choosing unusual marketing approaches can do more harm than good.
Alongside the choice of format, the design, the message and the tone of the text for your marketing material will all ultimately contribute to the brand. On each piece of marketing, it is important to consider all of these elements together as part of a greater whole. They should all be working together to create a strong message and an effective piece of marketing. Remember that a great brand is not all about strict rules on what should and shouldn’t be done. It is about a spirit and recognition which holds everything together.
Add Design can assist you in all aspects of developing an effective company brand. From professional logo design, to business stationery design, flyers and leaflets and business brochures and catalogues, we offer a full range of cost effective graphic design services.