The Ultimate Brand Toolkit: Your Brand’s Perfect Recipe
In 2007, a prominent research firm found that people were being exposed to 5,000 brand messages every day.
Every. Single. Day.
Imagine how much more competition the consumer has for their attention nowadays!
Enter you: You’ve created a badass company you’re proud of. You have a solution you want the world to experience. You want the world to know, and you know you need to stand out to make your voice known.
To elevate your voice above the masses, you’ll need a strong brand. A simple yet unmistakable messenger that carries your story above the cacophony of messaging and sticks with the customer as the solution they didn’t know they needed.
A brand with the right ingredients will shine and stand the test of time. Read on for this tried and true recipe.
What’s In A Name
A brilliant company name is the first step in your branding journey. It tells your story. You want it to grow with your company as you evolve. As you’re brainstorming, consider the following:
- Without being wordy, describe what you do. Make each word count.
- Without being generic, make it catchy. Make your story dazzle.
- Without being confusing, be memorable. Make your name stick.
It may help to start with why.
Tell Me WHY
Companies tend to conflate their “why” with their “what.”
“What” is your company’s function.
“Why” is the motivation behind the work you do.
If you zero in on “what” yet can’t articulate “why” you’ll lose yourself along the way, in vision and in voice. Start with why.
Simon Sinek’s timeless read, Start With Why, drives home that we make decisions emotionally, then use logic to back ourselves up. Our why is full of heart and soul; it’s what sells, what makes us want to take action. Our why invites people in, not just as consumers, but as part of the story. Our why is fiercely personal, and something only you can name.
So let’s get it right, so it fits and communicates who you are.
Once you can name your ‘why’ you can create your visual identity. Like the yeast that makes bread rise, your ‘why’ will weave into everything the customer sees: from your logo to your messaging and even your operations.
Your why is like the special sauce inside your branding toolkit – everything should get “drizzled” with it – your logo, patterns, font choices, icons, and backgrounds.
Live Into That Logo
Look. At. You. You’ve identified who you are as a company and what you’re about. You’ve got a name you can share, a story you can tell, and a mission to invite your customers into.
Time for a logo.
Your logo is a foundational visual that symbolizes the work you do. It brings your brand to life, traveling the world singing your praises. It’s the soul of your company; an innovative design that reflects your name, your mission, and your purpose.
No pressure, right?
Don’t overthink it. While you can get creative with hidden symbols and double meanings, when it comes right down to it, a simple and straightforward logo will be better than packing your design with cryptic messages.
Think about iconic companies like Apple – their reputation is for unparalleled innovation, but their logo couldn’t be simpler! The perfect recipe doesn’t throw all the ingredients into the mix – it includes just what is needed and not an ounce more.
Your logo will be a living, breathing entity, emblematic of all you do. It will continue to evolve while staying grounded in the essence you establish.
Need inspiration? Look no further than these 19 examples of simply brilliant logos.
Tell It In Typography
This may surprise you, but trust us, your font is one of your company’s most critical branding elements. Think about it: every form of communication will require consistent typography, whether it’s a newsletter, a landing page, or an ad campaign. You don’t want your brand experience looking like a creepy ransom note filled with random fonts and sizing!
When you choose a font, it will show up everywhere, so do some research to find one that’s right for your company. It’s more important than you may think: specific fonts denote different brand personas and elicit a range of other emotions from customers.
Essentially, the font you choose will give away hints of your personality.
For example, many people view serif fonts (recognizable for their little ‘feet’ or ‘wings’ at the end of each letter) as traditional, formal, and business-like. They evoke trustworthiness and stability. Script fonts, however, look like handwriting and are much softer than serif—this is an excellent font for a company that aims to have human qualities and a warm personality. If your brand is more whimsical and unique, a handwritten or decorative font might better represent your company’s personality.
Consistency is essential in branding. Choose a font that can be used across several platforms, one that can work for everything from advertising to official company correspondence.
Next, your company’s color scheme will reveal volumes. Take time to understand how colors can be powerful indicators of various emotions.
Blue and green are calming, whereas red, orange, and yellow are more dramatic and energetic.
Consider some of the following brand identity questions:
- Tone: Is your brand playful, irreverent, or serious?
- Value: Does your brand appeal to bargain-hunters, or draw a high-end eye?
- Gender: What feminine and masculine qualities does your brand engender?
- Age: Does your brand feel youthful, adolescent, mature, or perhaps sophisticated?
If your brand is playful, youthful, and modern, yellow is an excellent choice because it elicits an upbeat, energetic feeling.
If you’re more of a fierce, energetic, bold company, perhaps red and black are the way to go.
If you’re a luxury brand that appeals to a more sophisticated, older audience, gray will help evoke formality and dependability.
Play with different combinations, and note what feelings arise. Test the impact of your color schemes on your target audience. You’ll find the color scheme that best represents the personality of your company, and be one step closer to the perfect brand recipe!
Keep going! Think icons, image styles, patterns, and backgrounds. This may feel like overkill, but trust us, you’ll be glad you gave this some thought! Because your brand needs to connect with your audience through a diversity of avenues, it’s wise to think through all the ways your brand can live in the world.
Don’t forget collateral templates, including business cards, sell sheets, presentation and proposal templates, vehicle wrap and poster examples, and more. After all, why limit yourself to a place your brand could live and share your story?
Would your company benefit from internal assets as well? Perhaps some designer files, code repository banks, etc. The more contexts you consider for your brand to live and speak, the more equipped you’ll feel to tell your story to a wider audience.
One Guide To Rule Them All
Now it’s time to pull it all together for your team. You’ve made the hard decisions and now have a solid brand identity. You are killing it! Now, preserve that awesome work by creating a brand guide and templates.
A brand guide not only saves your work but helps you maintain consistency across all channels. This will save time, save expenses, and bring more people on board to tell the story more quickly! Plus, inconsistency will cost you – a comprehensive study by Demand Metric found that it can reduce potential revenue by 11%!
A brand guide will establish the rules and different use cases of your brand’s visual elements. You’ll equip your various departments and contractors by doing this: they’ll know how to remain consistent in messaging and operations. You’ll also equip new employees as well, making it easier to train them on your story and brand.
The most useful digital brand guides are thorough: include all your different brand colors and all acceptable combinations of those colors, tone of voice, and logo. Then include examples of “unacceptable use” and also wherever an exception to the rules is permissible. (For inspiration, check out 729’s, Pinterest, Coca-Cola, or Optus).
"Consider your brand guide to be your brand’s bible of consistency."
Trust us, you’ll be glad you invested the time in this resource; it will serve you and your team for years to come!
Develop Your Component Library
The next level after creating your brand guide is to establish your Component Library. A component library communicates to developers how to implement your brand across your digital platforms. Think of all the code behind the expression of your brand in the virtual and webspace. Imagine if developers had to re-think the code for each new platform or outlet – a nightmare!
A component library is key in order to give brands the flexibility to give a consistent look across the board, especially if you’re utilizing multiple digital platforms. This will allow less code customization, which will streamline accessibility, quicker bug fixes, and a more efficient growth process for your brand.
From website components and styles for cards, from form fields to buttons, from text styles to tables, from tabs to accordions, your component library helps bring your brand toolkit to its full expression!
Need An Assist? 729 Solutions Has Your Back!
At this point, you may be thinking that this sounds like a lot of work – and you’d be right! Fear not, you can recruit some help to expedite and navigate the growth process.
Your Very Own Brand Identity Consultant
As part of 729’s branding package, you’ll get your own brand identity consultant who can help manage details of your company’s logo, fonts, colors, and look/feel of your brand. We’ll gain a deep understanding of your company’s missions and values to create a cohesive visual branding strategy across every message you share and every platform you utilize. We’ve perfected this recipe for visual branding, and you can consider us your own personal fairy godmother!
729 will ensure your brand is consistent and recognizable no matter where your logo shows up, whether it’s on a Facebook post, inside your Help Center, or part of a Google Display Network ad.
We’ll develop and reinforce branding guidelines that help you stand out.
Starting with a style board that lays out colors, fonts, icons, and images representing your company, we’ll make sure by the end of the process you recognize yourself in the mirror just as you hoped your brand would emerge.
We’ll create icons, illustrations and build templates for materials such as business cards, presentations, brochures, and more. No matter where your brand needs to venture, we’ll have you equipped.
We’ll do the research for you, finding out how your audience views your brand and helping shed light on your company’s position in your industry. You won’t be sending your brand out there blind.
From social media to print media, 729’s branding package will design and execute your visual branding, whether it’s a logo for the side of a delivery van or a branded pen for your company. There will be no limit to where your brand will travel!
Let 729’s branding experts do the heavy lifting so you can grow your business organically and with integrity.