If you run a business, it’s more than likely that you’ll have a logo.
One that you put on all your marketing materials, your company uniforms and your website. Yet, things might not working for you quite as well as you’d like. If you line all your printed materials up next to each other – do they look like a set? No? Then chances are you need to ask yourself this question…
“I have a logo – is that my brand?”
Well, the short answer is – it’s certainly part of it! It goes without saying that getting the logo right should be the very first thing you do when you embark upon a new brand, but what good is a shiny new marque if there’s nothing supporting it? Your brand is built up of many elements – like bricks in a wall. The more bricks you place sturdily and consistently – the stronger your brand will be.
So let’s take a look at this wall, brick by brick.
1. Company Colours
These are the two or three core tones found in your logo. Did you know that Mattel copyrighted a specific shade of pink, exclusively for Barbie? Her rosy hue is integral to the Barbie brand – that’s why you’ll see it on every single Barbie product out there. The same goes for your colours – make sure they’re on everything you put out into the world and more to the point, don’t dilute them! If you throw in a host of other colours randomly each time you create new marketing materials, you’re going to confuse your customer. Keep it simple, striking and consistent.
2. Tone of Voice
This one is so often overlooked by businesses, but if you spend the time getting it right, it’s what can set you apart from the rest. The tone of voice you use is what gives your company personality, makes you seem approachable to your customers and gives them confidence that you’re the one who can do the job right.
A great example is Innocent smoothies. They’ve chosen a tone of voice that is quirky, jovial and a little cheeky. They use words like ‘yummy’ and ‘squishy’. The language they use is simple and little rough around the edges – when they opened a restaurant they referred to it as their ‘Caff’. Now, imagine if John Lewis started labelling their bistros as ‘caffs’. We’d be confused, right? That’s because it doesn’t fit in with the John Lewis tone of voice. Chances are both venues serve similar dishes (both pride themselves on organic ingredients and good quality food) but how they present themselves is totally different.
So, whenever you write anything for your brand – think about the tone of voice you’re using. Does it fit in with the image you want for your brand? Are you being formal when you should be casual and breezy? Conversely, are you coming across as too flippant when you should be serious?
Don’t forget that this also translates to the spoken word. Videos, social media, public appearances – everywhere you communicate. Even how you answer the phone!
3. Your Typeface
Chances are, along with your logo, the designer who created your logo will have chosen a font for you. One that will immediately conjure up an image of your brand, even if your logo isn’t present. This is why it’s crucial we don’t dilute its essence by adding too many other fonts around it. Whilst it may be tempting to dive head first into the selection box of fonts our word processors present us with – stick to the fonts within your brand. You’ll be surprised at how ‘on brand’ things will look as soon as you start using it everywhere!
4. Your Values
Last, but most definitely not least, come your values. This is the one part of brands that a lot of people overlook – and it’s to their detriment. I’ve written about this before and, I confess, I am liable to harp on about it when you meet me face to face but trust me they’re important! Your values are the few key words that sum up exactly what sets your business apart from your competitors, why you serve your target market better than anyone else. Are you obsessive over details? Do you use the finest ingredients? The sunniest disposition out there? These are your values. If you’ve never thought about it before, now’s the time to sit down and really work out what makes your business tick.
Build your wall with these key features and you’ve got the core elements of what makes up a great brand.
So, always remember – it’s not just about the logo!
If your brand needs a little TLC or even a major overhaul, why not drop me a line and we’ll have a chat about how we can add ‘that little something different’ to your business…