A well designed brand identity will have
You can’t just have something that looks good.... Well you can, but it’s probably not going to serve you like you want it to. If your current brand identity or logo feels is dated it could be because it doesn’t accurately reflect your business. Perhaps you saw something that you thought looked cool or looked pretty and thought, “I want that for my brand”. OR maybe your business values and core mission have made a big shift since you first started. Your brand identity needs to do more than just look cool or pretty or whatever adjective fits you.
It needs to:
Reflect your business values and personality - concept
Inform viewers of who you are and what you do - strategy
Attract your ideal/dream customers - purpose
Here are 3 questions to ask yourself if you’re thinking you need a rebrand. These questions will help you determine if you're just attracted to the latest trends or if your ideas are based on the core values of what your business represents. You want your identity to both represent the business AND attract those dream customers. It doesn’t do your business any good to have something pretty that you as the owner like, if it doesn’t resonate with those dream customers.
1. Does this branding represent my business values and personality?
Think about the core values you’ve set for your company. What are those defining values that you run your business by? For example, if you are a financial advisor that specializes in working with new families. You’ve defined your values to be: trust, honesty and family. You want your branding to reflect those values. A juvenile or cartoon-style logo may appeal to families, but does it look professional or worthy of trusting with your life savings? If my client describes the values of trust, honesty & family but keeps requesting a specific font that looks like a kid’s handwriting, that’s not fitting with their values, it might just be something they think looks cool or something they saw another business using.
Also think about your brand personality and the brand words that you’ve chosen to describe your brand. Are you attracted to fonts or colors for your branding because they represent your brand words or is it because you’re seeing it everywhere and it’s the current trend? Doing the groundwork and laying the foundation of your branding by defining your core values and brand words, will serve you so so well as you or your designer creates your full brand identity.
2. Does your branding tell customers who you are and what you do?
If you’re the same financial advisor as before but your branding includes images of beach balls or cars or animals, there will be a disconnect between your brand message and what the viewer sees. These disconnects, or lack of consistency, will undermine the impact of your business. Customers need to know you, then like you, and then trust you before they will give you their money. Any moments of inconsistency will slightly, even subconsciously, lessen their trust in you. Your logo and all of your other brand identity materials should accurately tell the viewer who you are (your business name) and what you do.
3. Does your branding attract your dream/ideal customers?
You want to love and be proud of your business’ branding, but it’s even more important that your brand attracts your dream customers. You know who these people are, and you want more of them to buy your product or hire you for your service, so you need to make sure that is who you are attracting. If you ideal customer is new families, then you need to have a brand that attracts that. You wouldn’t want to use photos of grandma and grandpa on their rocking chairs, you’ll want to incorporate images of young families like those you are trying to attract.
If you approach your brand just from the aspect of “this looks cool”, “this is pretty”, or “this is so on trend”, then you’ll likely end up with a dated brand without a foundation to build upon. When you work with a designer they will use strategy and help guide you to defining your brand values and words by using questionnaires, mood boards, and discussions with you. Developing these components at the beginning are key when it comes to building a solid brand identity. Afterall, your branding is more than just your logo.