The short answer is: Yes. It’s so important even if you consider your company or organization small. People frequently think “I’ll just pick a name download a logo and off I go” but there is so much more to it than just that. Here are a few simple things to have in mind in order to begin to set up your brand identity effectively so that you can enter the market with a clear message and a professional edge.
- Pick a strong name: It can be tempting in the heat of a fun idea to think, “We want be different and quirky and the best way to do that is to spell our company name all bonkers!” Don’t do this. Keep it simple & memorable. Spell it with a twist if you must, but not completely off-the-wall. You want people to be able to find you online and on social media, remember. Make sure your company name can be pronounced and try to avoid hyphens. Make sure it’s a versatile name that you can build on. When you’re thinking of names, think about how it might fit into a logo design as well as how it will resonate with your target audience. Let it settle for a couple of days before registering that all important .com or .ie (if you’re in Ireland) web address.
- Think logo: Too many times I have visited a client business where they think that the interior design will solve all their issues. Well, often it won’t and it doesn’t. It’s long-established that your logo is the one of the first impressions you make on potential new customers. So, I usually start outside the front door or on social media when I’m researching you. It is worth every penny to invest in a great designer to help you represent your business to your prospective customers. Generic web-sourced logos are a no-go. If your logo can be seen as generic, then so can you. Similarly, a stock website does not know who your ideal customer is and is unable to advise you on how to appeal to them. I always make out a cost-per-wear sort of scenario for clients, like with curtains. A good pair of curtains look so much better. They have better staying power and will last the test of time. The same goes for a logo. It’s an incredibly important visual representation of everything that you and your business stand for.
- Strong clear type: OK, this can really rub a bad designer up the wrong way but what is with choosing fonts that you can’t read? The result is putting sign over your door that you can’t read, printing a business card, that you can’t read and eventually investing in and designing a website, that you can’t read. You get the picture, ditch the “friend who has Photoshop” post-haste. Get yourself a designer that will steer away from the finicky free fonts and represent your business in a clear, forward-thinking and versatile manner. A good designer can work wonders with text and graphics and will advise you far more effectively. Friends and design shouldn’t mix – Photoshop is for Photographers, anyway.
- A great tagline: This is not absolutely essential to every company but it can be very helpful in reinforcing your visual identity, clarifying what service you provide or the pride you take in your work. It can imply the level on which you want your product perceived. For example, BMW - The Ultimate driving machine or L’ Oreal – Because you're worth it (Yeah, we know L'Oreal, we know). We're all aware of the famous ones, so it is worth considering. But my final piece of advice on this is that if a good tagline comes to you, great, just don’t force it.
All of these elements are important to your business and will enable you to build a brand guideline that you and employees can follow. The most important thing is consistency. Don’t let your message get lost in translation when it comes to advertising and PR. Stay true to your brand and vision and go for it! Give us a call for a consultation and we can work with you to develop a great visual identity for your business or brand.
Photo via Pinterest. Legendarily well-named Irish company Lino Ritchie. Though we've never worked with them, hats off for a great business name!