You need a brand to attract and impress the right audiences, just putting your fabulous business name on isn’t enough for people to recognise you.
Okay then you’d probably say something that logo, colours and font, but hey… they’re still not enough to let people really see you, sell to the right people and draw their loyalty.
Let me explain the 7 elements you need to represent your brand identity in the best way possible.
A logo is just like the face of your business, imagine how your business dresses up and stands in front of your prospect clients.
It is a crucial visual component, cannot be over casual or randomly pick a font and say “Hi! This is XYZ”. In that way, your ideal client hardly will treat you as a professional, and I don’t want that to happen to you.
Your business means so much to you and this is serious. The logo always carries your brand message and core value, communicates with your ideal client and lets them agree with what you say.
You will have one logo that is used the most often in your brand identity, that is your primary or main logo.
I’m putting mine one as example here…
If you have limited time and/or budget, you might want to skip the 2nd thing and jump to the next section, that’s all good.
But if you want your main logo to be well presented in any social platform, make it truly flexible all the time. Here I mean create a variation of the logo.
2. Secondary Logo/Logo Variation
A great logo needs to be versatile that can solve problems due to sizes or places, or to vary your look (why not). We have logo variation or other references as a responsive logo: Be it horizontal, vertical/stacked, icon/submark, wordmark and one-colour/reversed out.
A well-rounded brand identity comprises at least one main logo and two variations of that logo, secondary/alternative/submark.
Every business is unique. A company has the logo variation help to fit different business needs, styles and values. A one-size-fit-all logo is a no-no; it doesn’t help your business grow.
The logo needs to be responsive so that it can appear on various media like websites, business cards, email, print labels, stationery, tags, web ads and sponsorship.
3. Colour Palette
Next, a perfect brand colour palette will reflect your brand personality; it helps generate an emotional relationship with your client and hold a place in their memories. Your logo itself can’t tell the entire business story, but colours can be like a shortcut straight to your client’s heart.
The right combination of colours on a web banner, on a website, on a social post can instantly bring a brand in mind. With enough exposure, colours become a part of the brand, and you want to use your brand colours consistently and strengthen brand awareness as a whole.
4 to 6 colours are enough to apply in any situation while maintaining consistency and instantly recognisable for your client. You are welcome to go for more than 6 colours when your brand personality needs it to be.
Be sure to pick one or two main colours for your brand and incorporate with other secondary/supporting colours. It’s nothing complicated, make it simple and appropriate.
And don’t forget the colours are categorised into CMYK, RGB and Hex codes, these probably sound strange to you, okay let me keep it simple. CMYK is for printing use (business card, brochure, stationery, etc) and RGB/Hex codes for web uses (website, web ads, social media, etc)
Brand fonts, typography or font system, they are all the same but just different terms, same with your colour palette where it will create emotion and connection that you want it to.
They have to fit with your business type, brand personality and style. Whether your content or message is up online or in print, a good font system can engage with the audience while the bad one can turn them off.
The font not only applies in your business name as a logo, but it’s also a communication tool in your marketing materials/collateral. Thousands of words without a proper arrangement is very boring and no benefit to the audiences, it drives them away.
We use brand fonts in a hierarchy order; it means there is a minimum of two fonts, max of three, use on the title, body copy, taglines and CTA message/button (call-to-action). Each font delivers a different message with its different strength and weakness.
5. Photo or Graphic Elements
Often than anything else, we as a human are highly attracted by an image than other elements. We love visuals so much and easily get resonated with. Hence, images are vital to elevate your message and content.
There are truly so many beautiful photos out there available to use, like stock photos. But take note that, we don’t want to confuse our audience with the bad chosen image. So set the right tone and aesthetics will help in increasing the trust of audiences and make them stop scrolling by.
You have the logo, colour palette, fonts and photos ready, that is awesome! Next, you going to tell people you have these excellent services for them, am I right?
Don’t be just showing up in that way, and I want you to be well prepared, brand collateral or marketing materials are your tactical support to create the communication effectively.
Various brand collaterals serve different purposes. You have to choose the right collaterals to generate sales, engage with people and make your business well-known.
Some ideas for you if you are offering online service-based services: Social media profile & banner images, email newsletter & email signature, website, web ads banners, ebooks, e-course, etc.
7. Brand Guideline
A brand guideline, style guide or brand manual is a useful document that defines your brand visuals and how to use them in your collaterals. It outlines the logo variations, design standard, the good & lousy logo placement examples, colours info, font details and the correct usage of your brand collateral.
This valuable tool is for anyone in your company, either the designers or outside vendors to understand how to communicate with your audiences with brand visuals consistently.
To get your brand to be to recognise and hold a place in one’s heart, consistency is the key. That’s why the style guide is a must-have and important for all sizes of businesses. It ensures everyone is using your brand visuals in a consistent and correct manner.
So there you go, brand identity is your secret sauce to stand out among your competitors, and these are the 7 things that I believe every brand must-have.
That is not the ending yet, you can always create more necessary brand visuals and collateral according to your business nature and as the business grows.
I hope you have fun developing your brand identity that celebrates your client’s loyalty, and remember to make it purposeful + truly who you are with consistence.