What is branding and why is it so important ?

I can’t count how many times I get inquiries and requests to create logos or redo logos in my entire career. Since I have to say over and over why I don’t design or recommend designing just logos for your business even if you’re just starting out, well, especially if you’re starting out. I’m writing this post to give you the full picture of your brand, why it’s important and why just a logo won’t cut it.

When “brand” comes up almost anywhere, so many different things come to mind for different people. For people who think branding has to do with big billboards to the large number of us who still think brand equals logo. While most people are not entirely wrong, the truth is, your brand really is just how people feel and think about your business. It’s what your client says to her best friend about your business when you’re not there. Your branding is what you do to influence clients and potential clients’ perceptions about your business. Your branding allows you to leverage what makes you different to help you stand out.

You’d be able to tell your favourite pizzeria apart from not just their logo. Their logo is not embedded on their pizza or the kind of music they play, or the colors they choose or how they write their stuff. You could see something that has nothing to do with their logo and still say “this feels like something so and so company would do” because they have a good brand. You’d chose them over most pizza shops and they’re the first to come to mind when you crave some good pizza. That’s the goal of branding. To help your business stand out from the competition by leveraging the things that make you different and be on the top of your clients’ minds when they think about the service you render.

Business or a brand?

My answer is obvious. Brand. Your brand is not just a list of services and a shop with a logo or some robotic marketing tactic and rehearsed sales pitches. Your brand has life. It has a purpose, a story, a vibe, a vision, a direction, it strikes connection, it can build loyalty, it has a personality, and guess what? That’s what people want. Especially in these times where connection and care seem to be traded for #instafame and making money at all costs. Your brand isn’t just your logo, it’s the kind of colors you choose, the things your business believes in and supports, the way you say things on your website, the way you treat your clients, the look of your business card, the way your shop/website looks, your client process and every other contact/interaction your clients have with your business. This is an avenue for them to connect with you, like you and trust you. The goal of the brand is not just to make a sale but to strike connections, build recognition and loyalty. When this is achieved, you needn’t worry about the money, there’ll be plenty!

Your Branding is not just your logo.

Your logo is just a part of your visual branding. Your logo won’t singlehandedly help you build recognition and loyalty. It’s not enough to make you stand out in your market, it’s not enough to drive in sales or magically transform your business into a brand. Your logo is only as powerful as what brand you create behind it. Your logo should sum up all that is your brand. Your logo is meant to be the main visual representation of your brand, if there’s no force behind it, it’ll just be another design or another business names typewritten, no connection and not much of an effect on your clients.

A strong brand is built by combining it’s visual and non – visual elements.

Contrary to popular belief, a brand is not all you see. The non – visual aspects of your brand determine whether or not your brand stands a chance of being successful. Your non-visual branding is made up of your

  1. Your brand purpose
  2. Your brand story
  3. Your brand message and tone
  4. Your brand goals
  5. Your brand values
  6. Your brand audience/ target market
  7. Clarity on your products and services

Then there is the visual part of your brand, the part of your brand that is seen by everyone. It includes 

Your Logo:

Your logo is the is the visual mark of your brand. I use mark here to mean “ symbol made as an indication or record of something.” Since in most cases, it’s the first time people engage with your brand, it’s important to have your logo as simple, memorable, intentional, timeless, relevant as possible and to have it able to align with your brand vision, mission, audience as well as portray what value you bring.

Your Brand Colors:

You don’t just choose colors because you like them, you choose colors that first help you send your message properly to your audience, and then, of course, you should like your visual brand. You want to make sure you understand the psychology of your brand colors before putting them out and associating them with you. Colors and their shades can set a mood, invoke an emotion, inspire people to take action, create a perception and literally boost or kill your brand. With very little research you can find what your brand colors represent.

Your Fonts:                                                                                                         

Your fonts also, should be chosen with intention. The look and feel they have help send your message across. They are very powerful tools and should be used in moderation. I usually recommend that 2-3 fonts max are used for your visual brand. Use the third font sparingly so your text is easier on the eyes of whoever is reading.

Your Website:

Your website is one of the most important elements of your brand. It’s where you get to put together most of the elements of your brand and tell your full story, attract people with your personality and sell your offer while building trust and your community.

Your Social Media:

  If you’re in this business for the long game, your social media can’t be about you posting about your new wine collection and then you disappear till you want to show us a video of you contouring your face. Your social media game must be born from strategy and it must be a channel to create a connection with your audience, show them you’re the best person for them and then convert your followers to repeat fan customers; what is known as the know-like-trust factor.

 Your collaterals

Why should you invest in a professional brand design from the start?

1.It helps build a connection and spark recognition and loyalty around your business.

2. It sets you apart from your competition. 

3. It makes you look professional and trustworthy.

4.It helps you get clear on your business direction.

5. It helps you attract the right kind of people for your business.

6.It helps you tell you story

Interested in working with me?

Curious about how I do my branding for clients?

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