Have you ever had one of those friends that never change their appearance and then one day you run into them at the shop and they have completely changed their hair colour? “Hey” you splutter, “I really like your hair…its…so…different,” meanwhile on the inside you are screaming to yourself “what on earth was she thinking!” What has gone wrong here? Well your friend has changed part of her brand, which is causing you some type of sensory confusion.
Your business brand is exactly like your physical appearance; it is what consumers identify with before anything else. When customers look for you in a phone book, online directory or even enter your business they connect with your brand first and foremost. So today’s daily dose is all about causing sensory confusion to your customers when it comes to your brand.
When you first open your business you might get a logo or custom styled font for your business name, in marketing speak this is what we call your brand identity. Over time your loyal customers will remember your brand and put their trust in it.
Now as time goes on you may get a little over always using this logo or design and decide to get a little creative in the design department e.g. using that good old Vista Print template. Whilst these creations might be affordable and convenient for your business they could also be causing some confusion with your consumers. So before you create your next sign, flyer or business card here are some simple tips to ensure your brand identity stays intact.
Create a Brand Design Guide
Sounds complex but it really isn’t. It simply is a guide for you to follow every time you need to design a promotional piece for your business, this will ensure consistency with your brand. All you need to do is lay it out on a Word Document and include:
- Main/Heading Font type
- Sub-heading Font type
- Paragraph Font type
- Brand colours
- Any other design specifications
Now, if you are employing the services of a graphic designer to design a logo for your business I would ask them to include a design guide as part of your brand package right from the start.
Create a series of document templates that you use in your business regularly these will ensure you are keeping your brand in tow but also make sure you are efficiently creating documents. Some template designs that might come in handy are:
- A4 letter with branded business footer
- A4 letter with branded business header
- Quote/Invoice template
- Cover Page Design for formal documents
- Email signatures
Keep you DIY promotional work simple
Over the years I have seen many businesses bombard their business location or online promotional medium (e.g.website & social) with copious amounts of mixed design elements. This strategy can send mixed messages to your consumers and even confuse your staff! So have a look around your business and assess whether your brand and promotional material might be a little off key. If you think it is, start by removing excess signage or posters and replacing them with freshly designed material that is better aligned to your brand identity. Simplify you website and online strategy by using your 3 Design Guide fonts and preferably in your brand colours.
If you really are over your brand it may be time for a refresh. Now if you are going to rebrand make sure you are not that friend who surprises everyone with that awkward new hair do, instead rock the whole new getup with great new hair, dress and heels! Launching a new brand in one go will give it more impact, rather than drip-feeding it to your customers over time.
If you think your business deserves a marketing makeover, why not enter my December giveaway to win a tailored mini-marketing plan written by me. I will be announcing the winner on Friday 8th December 2017 (open to all Australian small businesses and non-profit organisations).