When it comes to business, image is almost everything. The iconic companies of the day each have their logo, their brand, their image that is ingrained in the minds of their customers. Just think of the most recognizable brand in the world, McDonalds. What is the first thing that comes to mind? More likely than not, the image in your head is of the golden arches. This is their brand, and it is effective to say the least. Here are some key elements to creating the perfect brand for your company.
The logo is the image that people associate with your brand. The most effective logos are often simple and memorable. Think of Nike, McDonalds, Pepsi, NBC, Coca Cola. These are some of the most recognizable logos in the world, and they are also some of the most profitable companies throughout history. Your logo can make or break the company image, so consider it carefully. Brainstorm with a team and weed out any cliched ideas (such as a lit light bulb for an idea). Form a focus group among your top customers and survey them on what key concepts they associate with your company. Use these concepts to help you design the logo. Make sure to diligently work to design a simple, yet unique and representative logo for your company.
Labels, like logos represent your company. However, labels are more specific to an individual product than to the company as a whole. Your label is often the first and last thing people see of your products. A lot more goes into a logo design than you would think. You need to decide whether you want your label to be in black-and-white, gray-scale, partial color, or full color. And if you use color, what color? And what about label shape and size? You need to select a font as well. What graphics or images do you want on the label? Though labels seem simple to the consumer, they can be quite complicated to create. As with your logo, think your choices over carefully. The most important thing is for your label to be visually appealing and to stand out. If the task of making a label seems to great an undertaking to tackle on your own, consider sites such as Vistaprint to help you through the process.
Branding is not just about the physical location of your company anymore. Sure the McDonalds arches show customers where the nearest store is. Sure the label on your product reminds customers of where they came from. But branding now extends to every form of media as well. It is in print, on television, on radio (or other music players such as Spotify or Pandora), and of course online and in social media. A social media presence is essential in business success today. The sad part is that many companies do not have a social media presence. According to the Harvard Business Review, two thirds of businesses that state they use social media do not have a strategy to their social media usage. This is a great missed opportunity as every day more and more people use some form of social media. Make sure that your branding efforts include a social media component! Be it Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other social networking site, make your brand known everywhere!
These are a few of the major components to successful branding for your business. The right logo, the right labels and a social media presence are of the utmost importance in making your brand memorable and likeable. Keep this in mind as you develop yours and your business will thrive.