Sunday, February 19, 2012

Brand Design, Building Awareness & Loyalty By Miji Hope

One of my favorite aspects of brand building and marketing is the Design Phase. I can't help it! I am completely a mush for the creative side of branding. In this world I am able to guide my clients through a garden of limitless imaginative opportunity that reflects core messaging and/or the fundamentals of their brands at best.

By the time you approach this stage of the brand building process, it’s critical that you've completed the prerequisites so that the design you settle upon is as effective as it can be. Unsure of what those prerequisites may be or how to get started? Check out Proper messaging=Ideal brand positioning.

Now that we are all on the same page, let's begin to design your brand!

A brand design is the visually projected elements of a brand experience. This visual can resonate as graphic logos, website designs, product packaging and more.

When choosing a specific design I advise my clients to keep a few rules or 'check points' in mind... I'll share them with you:

1. Trendy is out Timeless is in... Often times we, as our own BOSS, allow biased likes or dislikes to heavily effect the decisions made within our businesses. Because our businesses don't have the checks and balances as say, a multi-leveled corporation, we have to make that much more of an effort not to fall into our own taste, but that of our ideal client or customer. Creating a scalable brand design that accurately targets and grows with your market is key! Never get caught up into the 'now' of brand design. Remember trends don't last!

**Miji's tidbit: For a while many new Black owned businesses were creating brand designs with the 'Bentley Wings'. Although trendy, for whatever reason, the 'Bentley Wings' were not original and often times had no relevance to the business at hand. One of the many brand design rules that this violated is that of trendy vs. timeless.

2. Simplicity Wins... There's no sense in having a brand design that is so complex and multicolored that it becomes incomprehensible. When designing your brand keep it simple! Now's not the time to incorporate all of your favorite colors and shapes; instead adopt the concept of clean and functional. A good brand design should be able to grow with your company, distinguished, easy to reproduce on marketing collateral and brand materials and be memorable by your core audience.

3. Taglines & Mottos MUST Reflect Messaging... In the Proper messaging = Ideal Positioning stage, we discussed how to arrive at your ideal messaging. More than likely you wouldn't use your entire mission statement within your brand design; however, and taglines or mottos used within the design MUST be birthed and a direct reflection of your core messaging. By doing so, you maintain the consistency of your brand which will in turn result in the potential of increased impressions. The consistency of the core messaging within your design also allows you to avoid projecting conflicting ideas, instead illustrating the key benefits and values of your brand.

Ultimately, a brand design whether in the form of a logo, website or product packaging is a visual representation of everything your company stands for. It’s a very important part to the overall brand building process and should be thoroughly thought out.

After settling on the message you'd like your brand to convey, explore your options of what symbols, color(s) or overall design best matches with it. And most importantly, be certain to remember that the consistency of the visual with your messaging has the power to increase awareness and build brand loyalty.
Learn more about Miji Hope at The Premium World

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