We have discussed branding in this blog before, but have never walked through the process of building a new brand. Recently, we had the pleasure of taking on a client with a new business, and thought it would be interesting to get more in depth about building a brand from the ground up.
Starting a new business is an exciting and busy time. The tendency to go for flashy, attention grabbing branding can be huge. It is also easy to become overwhelmed with the process and not give it the attention it needs. Knowing this, there are some questions you must ask yourself before getting started… the answers to these questions will be your guide during the process of developing and establishing your brand.
What is your brand selling?
This seems like a simple question, but it is a bit more involved than you might think. Our client, Draft Taps, installs tap line systems and provides cleaning and maintenance for systems. Seems pretty straight forward, right? Well, not exactly. When building a brand, you are not only selling a product or service, you are telling people who/what you are. Your brand will represent your product and your reputation. It is what will get you noticed and what will be passed along by word-of-mouth. Your brand is your business, so it goes much deeper than your product.
What you are actually selling is the image you want portrayed and the reputation you want built. Draft Taps will be working directly with pubs and bars. Draft systems make it possible for these businesses to serve beer and cider. It’s important for Draft Taps to appeal to potential clients it would like to serve, and to do that the brand must communicate the fact that this business knows about the product it provides, and the type of clientele which will use it.
So how can a new business convey this information to potential clientele? It all starts with first knowing what you want to say about your business. Draft Taps needs their brand to say, “We know about beers, ciders, and the systems required for you to serve them.” Pubs and bars are establishments steeped in tradition, so in order to appeal to them; the brand must also speak to this. Knowing these things make the next step, which is designing a logo, much easier.
Your logo is the face of your brand
Your logo is the physical representation of your business and all that you want the world to know about it. The design should be memorable, but for the right reasons. And most importantly, it needs to say exactly what you want it to. The process is one a good designer should help you with, and is one you should take your time on.
Once you have the deeper logo questions answered you must
consider things like color, font choice, imagery, and orientation. Our design
team has a few tips on this:
- Keep things clean and simple. Viewers should be able to tell what your logo is/says at a glance. You don’t want too much going on with the design because it is often seen as overwhelming and unprofessional.
- Be careful with color. Your logo really shouldn’t have more than three colors (back to that keeping things simple thing). The colors need to work in harmony, and be easy to look at. You want to draw attention for the right reasons and a garish color scheme isn’t one of them.
- Use fonts wisely. Avoid decorative or elaborate fonts; they are difficult to read. Take your designers advice about fonts to avoid… they do a lot to set the tone and you really don’t want a logo that isn’t saying what you need it to.
- Use original artwork. Clip art looks cheap and unoriginal (not a great message about your business). Using photos or art you don’t own is a sure way to sink yourself before you even begin swimming (it is stealing and is illegal). And we cannot stress this enough… keep it simple.
- If you want a professional logo, hire a professional to design it.
Making your brand say what you mean
Because the Draft Taps logo needs to be something that honors the traditions of the types of businesses it is marketing to, as well as speaking to the client’s knowledge of the industry, the client wanted something a bit old-fashioned that brings beer and cider to mind.
This was achieved by creating a logo that mimics an
old-school beer label. By utilizing a classic shield shape, a bold serif font,
and a color palette customarily associated with historic pubs and bars, we were
able to give our client the logo they desired.
When viewing this logo one sees an image that speaks to tradition and speaks to Draft Tap’s industry knowledge and experience with confidence. In other words, it achieves everything it needs to for the brand Draft Taps is creating.
Making your new logo work for your brand
You have established the face of your brand and now it is time to put it to work. This logo and all the elements used in it are going to work together to create what is called brand consistency. This is the most important part of building your new brand. You must now make sure every aspect of your business is recognizable. Think of it as your reputation’s uniform.
For Draft Taps, and for most of our branding clients, the next step is making business cards. As you can see here, our design team was able to build on the message of the client’s logo by creating a business card that expands on that. It tells a story about Draft Taps. The logo is placed over a background image of an aged, dark wood table. This makes you feel as if you are in a historic pub meeting over a cold one. The color scheme carries over to the right side of the card where all needed information is given using the same font, along with a less dramatic complementary font. The card says, “This person is from Draft Taps, and they know their stuff!”
Branding beyond the business card
Draft Tap’s website will feature the logo and continue with the theme, as will the company’s social media accounts. All letterhead, envelopes, uniforms, paperwork, and merchandise will incorporate the logo and color scheme as well. And all advertising done will represent the brand in the same way.
This is how you build and maintain a new brand. When a bar owner sees an employee walk in, they will know exactly where the person is from and immediately feel the trust they have in the Draft Taps brand. When employees are seen out in public they are advertising for the business by representing the brand.
Branding is a good sign
Another place we use logos to help build strong brands is in signage. You want that logo on your place of business so people know how to find you. This is even true for businesses that may not have a physical location for customers to patronize. Draft Taps is one such business so we designed vehicle magnets for them to use on their service vans.
Again, you can see that by utilizing all the same design elements put in play with the logo and business card, we have successfully given our client a way for customers and potential customers alike to recognize company vehicles, and for employees to advertise as they are out in the field.
Are you building a new brand for your business?
Let LunaGraphica help you with that! Our design team has the know-how and experience to create consistently powerful branding for your business. Contact us to discuss branding and request and estimate today!