Designing a brand goes far deeper than just inventing a catchy and visually appealing logo.
Think about McDonald’s, the first thing that comes to mind is their famous logo: two yellow arches and the slogan “I’m Lovin’ It.” Then you think about the burgers and how you enjoy going out with your friends to get a burger and just spend time together with them.
Now think about Coca-Cola, the color red and the famous shaped bottle pops into the mind, while you are enjoying a Coca-Cola with your friends at a dinner, or with your relatives at a family reunion, after all, 94% of the world’s population recognizes the Coca-Cola logo.
Brands are the image and value of a person or company. Brands should communicate what a company is all about, while at the same time being able to connect emotionally with people. 1,000 U.S. consumers were surveyed by the Customer Thermometer and concluded that 64% of women and 68% of men had felt an emotional connection with a brand.
And you might ask yourself, how can I design a brand that becomes famous and recognized massively? A brand such as Nike, for example.
Here are 5 crucial tips to take into consideration when designing your brand in 2020:
1. Define What Your Brand is About
Defining your brand should be the first step in your strategy.
At first, you might not have a clear or instant idea of how you would like your brand to look like. That is fine.
A handy tip to start giving shape to your brand is to give it a meaning. Ask yourself, what is my brand about? What matters to me? Who are my target consumers? What do I want to communicate to others with my brand? What my target consumers might be looking for?
By answering these questions, you will start to have a better idea of where you want your brand to lean towards and to get ideas of how your brand could look like.
For example, my brand is about natural skin products. I want people to be able to find natural skin products that will help them enhance their skin’s health and beauty. I plan on targeting teenagers and young adults, and I want them to know they can get healthier while looking pretty.
My brand could look like a green leaf covering a girl’s face.
Bonus tip: Do not despair, try as many variations that come to your mind as possible, and most importantly, write everything down, you never know when you might want to return to that idea you had.
2. Know Your Audience
A brand can communicate a completely different message to one group of people than to another.
After doing your brainstorm sessions, think about which audience, or type of people, you want your brand to target to and to connect with, after all, according to Startup Business Box, “94% of people said they’d be highly likely to recommend a brand they were emotionally engaged with.”
Having a clear idea of what your target audience is, it is easier to know which type of details this audience might like, and it will be easier to strategize how to connect emotionally with them. For example, you create emotional connections by designing a brand that evokes childhood nostalgia in consumers or by using a specific color or combination of colors (we will talk more about this later on).
For example, Apple’s apple does not communicate, connect, or mean the same to younger people than to older people. For teenagers, it means style, freedom, status. For an older person, it might mean just an expensive cellphone brand.
Being able to create a brand that targets explicitly one demographic type of audience gives you the advantage of focusing your efforts more adequately.
3. Consult with the Experts
Nowadays, it is easier than ever to find people that are experts in brand designs. It can be as easy as going into a social media app and typing “logo designers.”
Branding design experts will definitely give you more insights, ideas, suggestions, and guidance than what you alone could accomplish. They are up-to-date with current brand design trends, either going for minimalist brand design (which is currently increasing in popularity when it comes to brand designs and other different types of designs), or a particular color pallet.
Speaking about color, color can communicate many things in itself, and brand experts know how to work around them, just as stated by Forbes, “Color improves brand recognition by up to 80%.”
Furthermore, color has psychological effects on each and every one of us. For example, colors yellow, orange, and red make people feel hungry. Why do you think McDonald’s chose the colors they did for their brand? Green and brown are related to nature, and therefore natural products or healthy food. The color blue gives a sensation of calm, and the color purple triggers our creativity.
And here’s a little bonus for you, did you know that 1 out of 3 of the world’s top 100 brands includes the color blue in their logos? I bet you that brand design experts know.
Colors are so important in a brand, for they have such a significant impact in the mind of consumers that having another person, or team, working hand in hand as allies with your ideas and purpose to design your brand will always be advantageous. All of their knowledge and experience can be at your hands.
4. Inspire Yourself from Others
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Take a look at what other brands, similar to your brand idea, look like and what they are doing good and how they are doing it so well.
Taking inspiration from brands that have already made it is fair and smart. Find a couple of brands that are related to your idea of a brand and try to figure out what they communicate, why did you get that message from it? Which details stood out first? Does it make you feel emotionally attracted to it? Why? How do they do it?
In light of this, if possible, try to connect and relate your brand with other brands by sharing and promoting positive values. As said by Shama Hyder, Founder and CEO of Marketing Zen, “Your personal brand is strengthened or weakened by your connection to other brands.”
For example, if you are planning on selling running gear, you can relate your brand’s values and/or message to Nike’s values of a healthy lifestyle, of always being capable of surpassing your own levels and becoming better, and of inspiration for others. Workaround the messages and values that other brands related to yours communicate and try to create a connection in the mind of consumers.
Be careful, though. Never copy, nor steal, another brand. This is a big mistake, for it might make your brand look like a fraud.
5. Be Yourself
Finally and foremost, be yourself. As simple as that, remember to be yourself.
Your brand should have details that connect with the way you are, the way you think, the way you communicate.
The most popular brands are the ones that make you feel understood. By printing your own self into your brand design, you will be able to connect with all those people that, like you, care for what you care about. Label Insight once shared that “94% of customers are likely to show loyalty to a brand that offers complete transparency.”
Additionally, make sure always to keep all your brand design, values, message, and brand emotions in line with each other. People respect and value the most brands that are able to have consistency in all matters relating to it. As stated in Demand Metrics, “Consistently presented brands are 3.5 times more likely to enjoy excellent brand visibility than those with an inconsistent brand presentation.”
Think about your brand as another person, it is easier to create a long-lasting relationship with a person that is always transparent with you, and that is true to its values, being consistent in what it says and does. And on the contrary, it is harder to create a good relationship with a person that communicates something but does not act accordingly to what it preaches.
Each and every one of us is unique, special, and unrepeatable. Printing your own self into your brand assures that you are delivering a unique experience to consumers, which is highly valued and positively received by most people out there, for as Contently remarks, “61% of people are more likely to buy from companies that deliver unique content”, and it also helps your brand to differentiate and stand out from the rest.
In conclusion, designing a brand is more than just a flashy couple of lines here and colors there. To create a striking brand, you should aim for what it is going to communicate and how people will connect emotionally with it. Take your time, write down all your ideas, seek help from others, and let that brand take shape.