EFFECTIVE & BUDGET-FRIENDLY BRAND DESIGN TIPS FOR ENTREPRENEURS WHO WANT THEIR BRAND TO BE TIMELESS, MINIMAL, AND SOPHISTICATED
This short design series offers style and brand tips for those who, like me, are DIYers but still want to maintain a classy, sophisticated brand.
If the word “brand” is a bit enigmatic, here is one definition, according to brand expert Marty Neumeier in his book “The Brand Gap.”
A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or company. It’s a gut feeling because we’re all emotional, intuitive beings, despite our best efforts to be rational. It’s a person’s gut feeling because in the end the brand is defined by individuals, not by companies, markets, or the so-called general public. Each person creates his or her own version of it…When enough individuals arrive at the same gut feeling, a company can be said to have a brand.
So what is your client’s gut feeling about your business? If your goal is to create a brand (or a gut feeling) that eludes a timeless, sophisticated quality, then this series is for you. I hope you find these tips helpful.
So, let’s get started!
If you are a new business owner, chances are you have next to no budget set aside for professional branding. Even a logo (when not put together in Canva) is a big investment. I totally get it. So I want to share a few tried-and-true design tips that you can implement right now and that won’t cost a penny, but will make your business stand out from the competition in a big way.
Key #1- KEEP IT CONSISTENT
Sounds easy, right? Nope, I think this may actually be the hardest of the tips that I share to implement. It may be free, but it does take some serious work and planning. If you have followed me for a while you may have heard me share about “brand voice,” which is your brand’s unique and defining personality. Ie: a brand’s “voice” can be confident, witty, strong or warm. Or a combination. Your company’s message (from emails to Instagram posts), visual presentation (color palette, photography, textures, patterns), typography and other design elements, should support your brand voice and stay consistent across all platforms. In other words, if someone were to get your flyer in the mail, or see your post pop up on Instagram, they would very easily identify your business without necessarily seeing your logo or business name. That is a strong brand! And it starts with consistency.
Let’s see if you can guess whose ad is represented below:
Did you guess Apple? Perfect! You’re right!
There is no Apple logo in the above ad or any mention of Apple anywhere. So how do you know this is an Apple product??
Here are some tell-tale elements that make up great Apple marketing and branding:
- Minimal and clean design. Nothing excessive. All intentional.
- Colors used. White hardware with smooth edges can be obvious signs it is made by Apple. Also, black typography using clean, minimal sans serif fonts.
- Product naming strategy. Airpods, iPods, iPhone…just the name of the item gives away their company. That is strategy.
- Brand “voice.” (ie: “Wireless. Effortless. Magical.”) This element may be less obvious to the consumer, but their design and marketing team is sending a clear, consistent message about their brand in every ad.
So what is your brand’s voice? What is your brand’s unique, defining personality? What is the “gut feeling” you want individuals to have about your brand? Take a minute to brainstorm 10 words that define your business or personal style (if your business is a strong reflection of you).
How does your current brand match up? Are you staying consistent in how you present your business visually and strategically? To start, look at the current colors, fonts, images, textures, and words you are using for marketing your business. If there is a lack of consistency, or a disconnect, between your current brand and the gut feeling you want individuals to have about your business, try taking some tips from Apple and adjust accordingly.
If you feel overwhelmed trying to figure all of this out, consider booking a strategy session with us. We truly love walking our clients through their brand strategy and seeing their eyes light up when they see how perfectly their vision comes to life, and how easy it is to maintain a consistent brand when given the right tools. It is foundational to building a strong, consistent, and classy brand.
Contact us today for a free consultation, or to book your one-on-one brand strategy session!
In later posts we will delve deeper into brand strategy and development, so check back soon for more keys to styling your classy brand!