Many people think their logo is their brand, but really a brand is so much more than just a logo.
A brand is made up of everything you do to promote your business – from your letterhead to your adverts, your website to your product packaging – and it’s also how you present yourself as a representative of your company – from how you dress to your customer service policies.
Having a logo for your business is a great place to start building your brand and here are a few more things to think about:
Your logo probably uses one or two main colours, but are there more colours that you can use to complement it? It’s useful to have a palette of ‘brand colours’ to enhance your designs.
Do you use one or two fonts all the time, or just use any one you feel like? Using fonts consistently can really help to strengthen your company’s image.
Paper & printing
Paper can make a huge difference to print projects, for example thicker business cards always feel like they’re higher quality than thin ones. Would using recycled paper fit with your brand values?
Similarly, using different print finishes can alter the way people see your company. A spot-varnish or die-cut can add an extra dimension to your print work and really make people want to hang on to your business cards and brochures!
The tone of voice you use in your promotional materials affects how people view your business. Are you fun and chatty, or serious and ultra-professional?
Think about whether your website and adverts should feature photos, illustration, or maybe both. What style of images should you be using, and what subject matter should they feature?
How do you behave when you’re online? Do your profiles and avatars match the style of your website? What kind of links and information will you share?
What does your company stand for and how can you implement your values? Do you avoid working in certain industries, or only use certain suppliers (local or carbon-neutral, for example)?
Your customer service
Customers will judge you on everything from how you answer the phone and how quickly you usually respond to emails to the way you handle complaints. Think about what your behavious should say about you.
How you present yourself
How you dress when you meet clients and go networking is important; some people may judge you on how you present yourself. But try not to go for a style that makes you feel uncomfortable, as people can pick up on your discomfort. If you have a uniform you could wear that, especially if it features your logo as that can help people remember your company.
Also think about what to say about your business and services; try to explain how you help your customers and the benefits you offer rather than listing features. And do try to avoid technical jargon!
If you have a car or van that you use for business, think about whether or not it’s relevant to put your logo and web address on it. It could work as a mobile advert for your business – just think, your next customer could be sitting behind you in that traffic jam!
The key to building a strong and recognisable brand is to be consistent and coherent in all of these aspects of your company’s identity. Doing so will ensure that everything you use to promote your business, from your email signature to your latest ad campaign, will all look like they come from your business.