First things first, when we talk about your “brand” we’re talking about all the attributes associated with your company:
- Color palette
- Font family
- Photography standards
- …all of the elements of your visual identity that define your business.
These assets are used in the creation of all your content. On your website your logo will appear nearly everywhere imaginable. The primary and secondary colors you choose will appear on white papers, infographics, and if you start making business cards or letterheads they’ll appear there too.
Everything anyone sees that is associated with you needs to be clean, consistent, and have purpose. Branding should be at the forefront of the creation of your new business and something you should think long and hard about when beginning your content marketing efforts.
Visual Branding Builds Trust
Think about the most famous companies with logos you can recognize instantly: Apple, Google, Amazon. These companies have an incredible level of brand loyalty and trust from their users. It’s not just because these are multi-billion dollar companies who can afford immense marketing efforts (although Steve Jobs did spend $100 million marketing the iMac), but because they were smart with their logo choice.
As a small business you likely don’t have millions of dollars to spend on a graphic design firm, but it honestly doesn’t take that much. You really just need to make smart choices. For instance, say you’re a personal injury lawyer fresh out of law school — the kind of clients you’re going to attract likely aren’t going to react well to comic sans font on the about page on your website. Nothing says amateur like poor choices that could have been easily avoided — it’s those kinds of first impressions that can determine the success of your business early on.
You Stand Out From The Rest
If I never saw another law firm logo with scales in it, or, or a small medical practice with a caduceus (the staff entwined with snakes), or a tech startup with anything in their logo that’s sky blue, cerulean blue, or celeste blue, I would be a happy little content marketer. One swift glance across a market and you’ll see that everyone is kind of doing the same thing. There is the belief that the tried and true measure works — and if it works for one company it will work for yours, right? Wrong, you need to find what’s going to set you apart and, ideally, ahead.
It’s not unknown that there’s stiff competition to get on the front page of Google — you’re competing with the literally billions of websites that exist. It’s even stiffer for small businesses and the worst thing you can do for yourself is to be just like all the rest. You want to rise above the mucky-muck and there’s no better way to do that than to have a unique digital presence that says to the consumer, “we’re different, we’re confident, and we’re better for it.”
Branding Manages Perceptions
We touched on this a bit earlier, but it’s important to expand on some of the finer points here; specifically: consistency can influence how people perceive your organization. A professional, consistent brand your consumers can identify becomes accustomed to your company, the way it operates, and its mission over time. If you come out of the gates with poor, under-performing branding it’s hard to change that first perception and gain audience trust.
It’s important to remember that your brand is your attitude. If you don’t take your brand seriously, nobody will. If your branding is sloppy, your customers will think you’re sloppy.
One of the very first things we do when we on-board a client is have a lengthy conversation about their visual brand. Often, new clients want a new website, so the re-branding process involves coming up graphics, layouts, fonts, colors, and the overall aesthetic of their site. This translates to the way their social media channels are developed and their look as well. Everything everyone sees about your company online is a part of your brand so it’s important that every opportunity you have to impress your audience you do it.
DEVELOPING YOUR BRANDING STRATEGY
Need help with the development of your online brand? Contact us so we can go over your options and help come up with the best branding strategy for your business.