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Key ingredients for creating a strong, visual brand

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Key ingredients for creating a strong, visual brand

Branding your business is one of the most important and logical steps in the process of building a company. Here, you have a golden opportunity to establish an original and captivating personality that positions your business strongly within your target market.

Below are six key ingredients that any strong, visual brand will need in the recipe for success.

A defined target audience

dart on darts board

Defining your target markets should always be the first step covered before creating your brand. It’s crucial that you invest a great amount of time in analyzing your products/services and competitors in order to be able to establish a clear idea of the demographics you should be targeting.

It’s important to cover all bases when defining your target audiences, not just customer-focused but also including internal groups such as employees, the people who you want to be the face of your brand. Being as specific as possible with your target audiences will help to build your brand image and initial marketing campaign, which will communicate directly to them, and address their current needs.

It can be easy to overlook the importance of your target audience, but without it you risk casting the net too wide, and your marketing efforts will be lost in trying to reach too many different people at once. If there’s a group of people out there that share the same needs or characteristics, and your product/service would be of interest to them, use it to your advantage.

A clear brand message

nike trainers

To create a strong brand, you need a strong message behind it. It’s essential that you know exactly what you want your brand to say - not literally of course, but through the connotations your choice of colours and imagery will give. For example, if the messaging for your company revolved around you offering environmentally friendly services, you’d choose shades of green as your main brand colours, while incorporating graphics of things such as leaves and trees into your logo.

A brand message should be something simple that can be put across to people through something as simple as the branding. If you work in the funeral industry, you’d need darker, muted colours to give off a respectful look, while those trying to appeal to the children market will want bright colours and a “fun” style.

It’s important to think about it from the other side - what will potential customers think about your business from what they first see? Is that what you want them to think? If not, you need to find a way to get the message across in as effective and concise a way as possible.

A memorable slogan

illy live happilly coffee cup

When you hear the word ‘slogan’, you might first think of some cheesy one-liners from old cleaning product TV adverts. Even in modern business, having a slogan can work on a number of levels.

With regards to the cheesy type of slogan mentioned, these are effective because of the huge advertising budgets of the companies who use them. We hear and see the tag line over and over again on the radio, on the TV, in newspapers and so on, meaning it’s something you’d find difficult to forget about.

But you don’t need to be a big corporation like McDonalds (“I’m lovin’ it”) to utilise slogans in your branding. It’s a good idea for even the smallest of companies to use a slogan, just a different type. Rather than hamming it up with something that doesn’t have much meaning, a simple line about the service you provide can prove to be very effective. When someone lands on your website, or sees an advert about you, a little piece of text that sums up your offering and company can help them to decide how relevant it is for what they want, and will become something they associate with your brand.

A strong logo

starbucks coffee cup holder

A logo is a combination of visual imagery and plain text to tell people the name of the business, primarily, but also to symbolically represent the business’ vision and aims. While creating a strong brand is an all-encompassing process, a logo is very much one of the key assets that can give businesses the edge.

Do plenty of research first to conclude what types of logos your competitors have. This will help you gain inspiration of course, but more importantly, it will stop you from bordering on plagiarism.

A strong logo design is one that is equally as effective across a variety of media platforms. You should be able to use a logo within both digital and printed media with equal results. Simplicity is key. Simplicity is a huge factor in this. A clear logo is much more likely to resonate with your audience.

Hiring a professional isn’t the worst idea if you are struggling to nail a logo you can be proud of. Back in September we invited a range of branding agencies from across the United Kingdom to share their ingredients for a strong logo, you can read their valuable input here. Alternatively, web-based tools like Canva have plenty of minimal and simplistic logo templates that you can utilise if you want to fly solo.

The right people (hire people who believe in your brand)

employee high 5

Cultivating an attractive brand is great, but you’re only ever as good as the employees who are delivering upon the brand message and company ethos you express.

If you have established a set of clear brand values and character traits, you’ve got to hire people who naturally echo this. At the same time, continually communicate with your staff and help them to understand why the values are so important to the success of the company. It’s all well and good delivering a strong brand centered around amazing customer service, but if the faces that represent the brand are stone faced and rude - the customer will not return!

What’s more, bad customer service will often lead to negative customer reviews. In the age of social media public criticism can go viral incredibly quickly. This is entirely detrimental to the brand image you are trying to cultivate, so it’s absolutely vital to make your brand values crystal clear to your staff. That way, you’ll be generating positive reviews that reinforce your brand.

A consistent marketing campaign

coca cola logo printed chairs

Consistency is the key to successful branding. Major brands build their reputation on their consistent marketing and digital PR campaigns, and they are successful because of it.

The main aim here is to ensure that your marketing message is delivered in the same way across all platforms and in each aspect of your business. If you’re trying to convey a fun, light-hearted message then this should be apparent across all of your social media, website, retail location, employees, even down to the product packaging.

The last thing you want to do is give customers mixed signals. Customers trust brands that are predictable and recognisable. This is easily achieved with a consistent marketing strategy that communicates a clear message. However, this isn’t to say that you can’t change. Just build your brand to a point where you can allow it to expand and evolve, first.

We hope you’ve found this article to be of use when it comes to your branding.

Here at Outstanding Branding we understand the concepts and strategies that put your branding, logo and promotional material into practice through branded merchandise. Get in touch.

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