Branding Tips for People Who Aren’t Branding Savvy
Let’s face it, we’re not all creatively gifted in ALL areas. I’ll be the first one to put my hands up and say I can’t draw for cookies and I wasn’t never good at art, so I was never going to make it as a graphic designer, nor did I want to be. However, I’ve always had an extremely vivid imagination and an idea of how I want things to look, so our expansion from social media into branding and design was a natural step for me. People admired the way my brand [link to sassy website] looked and asked if I could do the same for them. So I thought it might be time to share my branding tips for people who aren’t branding savvy.
1. Take inspiration but don’t copy
This is the most important overarching philosophy that I stand for when doing anything - not just branding. Inspiration is all around, and most people start looking at branding by creating a mood board or using Pinterest. Taking inspiration is awesome - how would we know what colours, fonts, websites and packaging styles we liked if we didn’t have something to inspire us?
Most people use other people’s work as kindling to ignite their creative fire and expand the inspiration to a finished product that suits them and their brand.
2. Use your own personality as inspiration
Funnily enough I didn’t really take inspiration from other people for my branding. A friend at an agency I worked at suggested that I spend so much time communicating with people on Whatsapp and Messenger during the day that my logo should reflect not only my good communication skills, but the way that my clients communicate with their consumers.
I don’t want to sound like that person but so called ‘millenial pink’ has always been my colour - waaaaay before it was cool. In fact, from a young age I insisted that my bedroom wall should be painted a colour I chose in Homebase called ‘sexy pink’ which gave me the inspiration for Sassy Digital’s Branding and name.
Your branding needs to be true to your values, what your business does and what you personally believe in so without spending too much time trying to work out what these are by whipping out a pen and paper…close your eyes and visualise how you want others to see you and what you want to achieve. What colours do you see? What pictures do you see? Maybe even see what it smells like and what visuals are associated with these scents?
It might sound mad but you have to get creative to get your branding fire ignited.
3. Don’t sweat about getting your logo right the first time
We may not want to admit it, but as entrepreneurs we have a really terrible habit of changing our minds, and having sporadic thoughts. That why I have so many business owners come to us after they’ve had their logo designed and say they want us to help them perfect it or get it 100% right.
Truth is, as business evolves, so does who we are as a business. So what you design now might not be relevant in a few years time. Logos are like hair colour. Once you change it, you want to change it again. But building a strong brand identity means creating something amazing and sticking with it until you’ve built your brand up. Which brings me to my next point…
4. A logo is part of your branding - it is not your brand
Your brand is how your business appeals to the senses. It’s how it looks, feels, smells, sounds, tastes (smell and taste not applicable to all businesses!) Which means your business is not your logo. So spend time building your brand on a sensory experience and then if you tweak or change your logo your identity stays the same it just looks a little different.
5. Consistency is the key to making things look nice
I know a lot of people say this, but using the same filter does really help with making things look nice. And I’m not just talking about an Instagram filter, I’m talking about photographic style, graphic style, and pretty much anything else visual. Keeping everything consistent is the key to making your brand look nice.
Your social media should ooze the vibe of your website (and shop if you have one) and vice versa. Everything should give out the vibe of your business and that is when you know everything will look nice.
One thing we see people doing wrong is not using the correct brand colours and fonts that were (or should have been) developed when they had their branding done!
I can’t speak for other people, but once I had all of my own marketing materials looking the same - somehow the enquiries started flooding in!
6. If you have a vision but you don’t know how to translate it - outsource and ask for help from someone who does!
Asking for help might cost you money to begin with but getting your branding right will help the right customers find you and can help you win business. I’m not trying to toot own horn here, but the amount of people I’ve had come to me saying ‘I’ve been searching high and low for a company to help me with my social media/branding and I haven’t be able to find anyone until I came across your website and loved what you’re doing’
So there you go - good branding is super important but it can be difficult to get your head around if you’re not a visual person. The best thing you can do is not ignore it, but ask for opinions from friends and family, and if you’re really stuck - ask an expert!