Your branding does matter
Branding is pretty far-reaching and, if done with care, will impact people far outside the scope of your product or even your business segment. It’s great branding if people talk about it — to be fair, if it looks bad, people will still talk, but that’s not the kind of talk we want.
Keep it clean, exciting, and welcoming and people will seek out your brand. People will lean on your consistency and you’ll begin to build even more trust and loyalty. Good branding can also set you apart from potential competitors or those looking to copy you. Reach more people with a consistent brand image, memorable personality and inspiring vision that fits you and those you want to reach.
Think of your favorite shoes, or your favorite sports team, or even the coffee you grabbed at a drive through this morning. All of those companies or organizations probably have a well-established brand that you could identify without even spending a second to think about it. This usually starts visually, but certainly isn’t limited to that. It could be communicated through an audio jingle, through the way a company handles itself on social media, or by the colors and consistent design choices they make. While sometimes this is just limited to a logo and some guidelines, all of these things, and more, add up to form a brand identity.
Why does this matter to me or my company?
Everyone wants to be recognized and remembered, and in most fields of work, more recognition equals more business. I can share an excellent example of great, long-standing recognition. Where I’m from, all you have to do is say the words “Scarlet and Gray”, not even show those specific colors, and most people will know exactly who and what you’re talking about. It takes a while to get to that level of recognition, but it’s certainly possible. This is what anyone concerned with marketing themselves or their company should be working toward. To make sure that you are easily recognized and remembered.
When your brand is easily recognized and remembered, people will associate you with your product or services. This will lead to more word-of-mouth spread, better brand loyalty if your product is good, and easier marketing overall.
”Scarlet and Gray”
Keeping consistency is key. This is important in building the recognition that I have been talking about. Keeping consistency in imagery, views, style choices, tone, strategy, colors, fonts, and messaging on-brand will help build familiarity and loyalty toward your product or service.
How do we keep consistency in our brand?
A great way is to keep a manual or a set of guidelines, along with all of your brand assets, in one place. Make sure this is readily available to all of your employees, contributors, or partners. Making sure everyone has access will help to ensure that your image is being communicated properly. So, keep a good set of rules handy for everyone and with some gentle policing you should be pretty well set.
“If AWH were a hotel chain”
Maybe you have an established brand, but it’s not grabbing people the way you want. Maybe it’s dated or doesn’t quite fit the market or niche that you’d like. What do we do about that? Look at competitors’ style, ask users or people in your industry for image advice. Get feedback about your existing image or brand. See what you can improve on, then use that info to guide how you update things. Then think about refreshing or overhauling that brand. This can be as simple as some color palate updates, or a change in message. Or it could be as wild as finding a completely new name, logo, everything. Usually a rebrand falls in the middle somewhere depending on the feedback you’ve received. Do people recognize or understand your name? Is your color palate pleasing to look at, and does it look and read nicely on the web? Maybe it’s time to refresh that image.
If you do decide on a rebrand, talk to users, stakeholders, partners on the project or product, your community, and anyone who is willing to provide you with feedback so you can to find out how to hone that brand image and message into something meaningful and memorable.
Here’s an example of how a complete refresh could look. Almost everything is changed, while still keeping a small amount of familiarity to the original.
To wrap this up, I’ll say; evaluate your current brand. If it’s already performing the way you’d like, then awesome! If not, then maybe it’s time to ask around and possibly update it. As long as you’re communicating what you want, to the people you want, and you’re looking good doing it, then you’re set!
-Jensen Laatsch, UX/UI Designer for AWH