When you hear the name of a brand, most people immediately think of the logo, advert or other visual asset that is associated with it; whether that is McDonald’s golden ‘m’, Twitter’s bird or Apple’s… well, apple. To grab the attention of your audience, your brand must be eye-catching, relevant and be representative of the core values and messages behind your business – and extends far beyond just the logo.
The term ‘brand’ originates from the mark that was put onto livestock as a way of identifying the animal’s owner. While the definition of a brand has significantly developed over time, the concept remains the same; it is a way of identifying the people, values and messages behind a business and the design of a brand is a vital asset.
But how can a B2B business ensure that every aspect of its brand resonates with its target audience and plays its role in creating a successful business?
Here are my three top tips for designing an impactful brand:
1) Be consistent – Consistency is essential for any brand looking to develop long-lasting relationships with its customers and prospects and presenting a coherent image is just the start. The branding of a business gives the prospect or client a reflection of the service they will expect to receive. If a brand is clear, professional and consistent, it will create a positive expectation and increase the likelihood of a prospect engaging with your business. The opposite effect will take place if that same prospect is exposed to a mismatch of imagery and messaging. An effective brand is one that presents itself consistently across all platforms, be that its website, social media pages or other marketing and promotional resources, combining to represent the proposition and value that the business delivers.
2) Trigger an emotion – For a brand to stand out from the crowd it must trigger a positive emotion from its audience and there are several ways in which this can be achieved. While it may not be something that we as consumers consciously think about, colours, shapes and textures play a huge role in the way we think about a brand. When designing a brand, it is fundamental that the psychology behind the design is considered, in combination with the business story, in order to initiate the desired reaction.
3) Keep it simple – The most successful brands are those that have a clear mission and focus all their efforts on achieving that goal. As a result, the design of the brand creates the link relationship between the customer and the business, developing associations with the value that it delivers through its products and/or services. The most impactful brands are those which don’t try hard to explain what it is that they offer and how they create value for its stakeholders. A perfect example of this is Intel, who are known to consumers throughout the world as its ‘sound’ and logo are universally known
While the design aspect of a brand must grab the attention of your target audience, this pales into insignificance if the messages in the content that’s shared don’t match up, tell a story and in the end, sell what the business is selling. It’s not the logo that will ultimately result in sales and brand loyalty. Taking tech giant, Apple as an example, the Apple logo is not the reason you’re reading this blog on your iPhone or MacBook. You’ve been sold a story and it’s the people, the purpose, the messaging and the value that Apple collectively creates, that made you part with your hard-earned cash.