Your brand is everything about you, from pricing, to typography to the way your chat function greets each inquiry.
And unless you get it right, you’ll struggle to make a reputation. Here’s a brief guide to creating a brand from the ground up.
How to look reputable: The basics of visual identity
- Make sure that everything that you do is consistent and high quality (logos, typography, photography etc.). In other words, look credible.
- Be visually relevant to your audience … Do you look too young? Too old? Too corporate? Not corporate enough?
- Does your copy have the correct tone of voice? Too serious? Too funny? Is this reflected in your choice of words or images?
- Is your identity relevant to your story? Are you ecologically sound? Is your persona quirky? Are your products better than the competition? Your branding should reflect your story, products and ethos.
- Be memorable. Communicate your passion for your business and give your audience clear ‘reasons to buy’. Give them a rational position wrapped up in an emotional one.
- What are the visual cues for your sector? If you’re a baker you need to come across like a baker, with colors that are relevant to that sector.
- Look at your competitors and strike a balance between being relevant and standing out. Look for what gives you a Unique Selling Proposition.
- Be mindful of your marketplace and take into account global nuances such as type, language, layout and images that may be visually offensive.
- If your brand occupies the physical and virtual worlds, make sure that they are consistent and that logos etc. are of high enough resolution to work across all channels. What are your key brand beacons? They should directly extend your brand across all media.
- Present your products in a thoughtful way. Give them levels of information that allow viewers to understand both the functional and emotional aspects of your brand, products or services.
- Keep things really simple. People just don’t have time. Use enlarged type size to focus on key messages and to ‘draw’ the reader into the story.
- Demonstrate passion for and ownership of your brand, and convey this through words, images, sounds and film. Show your customers the ‘whites of your eyes’.
- Visually demonstrate the levels of your service so far: publish endorsements, reviews and customer comments. Openly accept criticism and respond in a way that others can see.
- Give customers as much detail as they need. Show product photography from all angles. Offer insights about the products or services.
- Don’t hide third-party endorsements. Show industry accreditations using recognizable industry-quality marques.
- Don’t forget theatre. All retail is about creating demand and engagement. Change your ‘shop window’ frequently. Keep your home page fresh, relevant and topical.
NB: Align your online and offline branding
If your brand has a bricks-and-clicks approach to business, with an online and a physical presence, it’s important to make sure both elements are given the same attention to detail.
It can be easy for offline and digital assets to become disjointed, since they are often overseen by different marketing teams.
Remember, your customers don’t care if your shop and your website are looked after by different people – to them, your brand is one entity and failure by any part of it hurts the whole.