2020 Brand Guidance Overview
Building a Better Brand around your business
What is Branding?
According to the Business Dictionary, branding is “The process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers’ mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme. Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers.”
In a survey, 93 percent of buyers said they focus on visual appearance, and close to 85 percent claim color is a primary reason when they make a purchase! – smallbiztrends.com
Brand helps a consumer to choose from a bewildering array of products or services. A brand provides consumers buying decision when feeling confused about the same product from different companies.
Brands communicate the intrinsic quality of product or service and reassure the customer that they have made the right choice.
Brands use distinctive imagery, language associations to encourage customers to identify the brands.
Brands with a consistent visual identity resonate with their customers more effectively and get the added benefit of having to spend significantly less money in the long run on advertising and marketing materials.
Brands with more scattered visual identities, on the other hand, have to spend more and more to get their brand in front of customers as it changes so frequently. – Daniel Herndon
What’s your Brand?
In order to determine who your brand is, you need to ask yourself several questions.
Questions that go beyond industry generalizations, and services or products offered but also questions to determine who you are as a company, and more importantly, who you are as a brand.
The following questions are an excellent place to begin.
- What are your core principles and values?
- What is your mission statement?
- What inspired you to build your business?
- Why do you want to offer your products or services to your target audience?
- What makes you unique?
- What is your internal company culture?
- What is your professional sense of style?
- What are your communication characteristics?
- What do you want to come to mind when someone hears your business name?
- How do you want people to feel when they think of your business?
- How do you want customers to describe you as a company?
Why do I need a Brand Identity Kit?
Your brand is one of the most important things in your company; it is how the world identifies you. While branding isn’t just about your logo, it still plays a key part in helping people easily recall your brand.
You should always be protecting and monitoring the use of your logo and branding elements. It’s when things aren’t unified and consistent that branding efforts can start to fall apart.
– Karlie Mosher vimm.com
What Does My Visual Brand Identity Need?
You might want to create a Brand Usage Guideline and an Identity Kit in a place readily available to any employees that may need it. These can also help if you ever use a marketing agency or designer. All the files in relation to your brand identity will be in this folder.
A Usage Guideline
This guideline should contain all of the basic information about your visual brand identity that can be referred to as a quick reference guide. More in-depth pieces such as a whole branding/identity manual can be created that covers various use cases.
This is a folder located in a central location that contains all of your logo files, font files, and any secondary elements used in your marketing.
McDonald’s usage of energetic hues like red and yellow appeals to youngsters, arouses hunger & promotes a feeling of urgency.
Obviously, Ronald McDonald himself is popular with children, but on the other hand, he’s certain to disturb adults more rapidly.
This encourages quicker customer turnover.
“Interestingly, the only major global brand to use green as its primary color is Starbucks. Using green shows that Starbucks hopes to promote a sense of relaxation in their cafes, inviting customers to come in for a coffee break during a stressful day.” – smallbiztrends.com
Red – Creates a sense of urgency, which is good for clearance sales. Encourages appetite, thus is frequently used by fast-food chains. Physically stimulates the body, raising blood pressure and heart rate, associated with movement, excitement, and passion.
Blue – The preferred color of men. It’s associated with peace, water, tranquility, and reliability. Blue provides a sense of security, curbs appetite, and stimulates productivity. The most common color used by conservative brands looking to promote trust in their products.
Green – Associated with health, tranquility, power, and nature. Used in stores to relax customers and for promoting environmental issues. Green stimulates harmony in your brain and encourages a balance leading to decisiveness.
Purple – Commonly associated with royalty, wisdom, and respect. Stimulates problem-solving as well as creativity. Frequently used to promote beauty and anti-aging products.
Orange & Yellow – Cheerful colors that promote optimism. Yellow can make babies cry, while orange can trigger a sense of caution. Used to create a sense of anxiety that can draw in impulsive buyers and window shoppers.
Black – Associated with authority, power, stability, and strength. Often a symbol of intelligence, but can become overwhelming if used too frequently.
Grey – Symbolizes feelings of practicality, old age, and solidarity. But too much grey can lead to feelings of nothingness and depression.
White – Associated with feelings of purity, cleanliness, and safety. Can be used to project an absence of color or neutrality. White space helps spark creativity since it can be perceived as an unaltered, clean state.
Here is a simple list of items to include while building your brand’s visual identity:
- A simple color palette – This should feature 1-3 primary colors and 2-3 secondary colors (Black and white count).
- A primary logo mark and wordmark.
Make sure to have these in several different high-resolution file formats:
A vector file such as an Illustrator (.AI) or .EPS file.
These types of files allow graphics to be resized at any scale without losing quality. If you have any design-related work sent out, this is the file the vendor will more than likely ask you for.
Transparent – .TIF or .PNG
These types of files allow an image to be saved with a transparent background allowing you to place it on different backgrounds as needed.
(Versions for both print and web)
*Having more than one orientation (horizontal and vertical) is very helpful because your logo will be placed on multiple different platforms.
For instance, a logo version in a square format comes in handy when uploading to Facebook or Twitter as a profile picture.
This ensures that your logo won’t be cut off anywhere and made unrecognizable.
- A secondary logo mark and/or wordmark – This should be designed to be used in place of your primary logo, like on a t-shirt, hat, or pencil.
- Fonts – These can be as simple as Helvetica or they can be custom-built. If you’re looking for ease of use, pick a widely-distributed font that is available on all computers. If you want something more distinct, you can pick a lesser-known font or even build your own.
Keep a text file that has different color profiles for your company colors. The most common form is the hex number, a combination of numbers and letters that a device converts into a color.
Secondary elements you may use consistently while marketing your company could be photos, graphics, patterns, and icons; anything you use to support your brand. Like your logos, make sure to have high-resolution files of them on hand in several different file types.
Consider using texture – This can be a complex pattern or a simple color overlay that you put on top of photography. Make sure the textures you include can be used on everything from printed pieces to your website.
Tips for photography – These don’t need to be in-depth, but give a general idea of what type of photography is “on-brand.”
- Do you want people in your photos?
- Should you see their faces?
- Should pictures be posed or more dynamic?
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