Put your Best Face Forward and let your Visual Style Shine.
The visual identity that is created for your brand is the face of your company. It is the visual language that attracts your ideal customer to you. Is your brand loud or quiet and reserved? Is is it a “City Girl” or “Country Boy”? Does it currently look discombobulated and have an identity crisis?
The visuals created to give your brand it’s identity include:
- Your Logo
- Your Brand’s Color Pallette that is carried through all of your Online and Print Marketing
- The Typography (Font Style) used for your Branding, Website and Print Materials
- A Business Card That Stands Out
- Printed and Online Stationery (this includes your signature lines in your emails)
- Your Website designed to attract your ideal customer. A site as UNIQUE as you.
- Company Newsletter (or eZines) sent through email or printed and sent through the mail
- The Brochures or Advertisements used to market your company
- Your Product Packaging
The visual expression of your company takes into account the creation of all of these and gives your brand Visual Personality and Style.
When creating your visual identity, keep your ideal customer in your forethoughts; after all, it is the customer you are trying to attract and build a long-term relationship with.
This does not mean however, that your brand cannot have your personality in it. Ultimately however, if the visual face that is created to represent your brand does not align with what your brand represents or, the written and verbal communication used to support your brand, it will show that you have an identity crisis and repel customers instead of attract them.
Below are 7 “Quick Tips” for creating a “Stand Out Brand”
1. Free Is Not Always Good
Just like the old saying, you get what you pay for. This too is true when creating your brand’s platform. Avoid using stock templates for your website and marketing materials as these are typically branded with the company it was created for and does not make your brand look credible. Instead, work with a designer or choose a custom template that is within your budget and can be customized with your branding.
2. Clip-Art Is Not Pop-Art
When creating your marketing materials, avoid using in-program clip-art. To achieve a polished look, choose a stock illustration or a photograph that expresses the perfect message. Always avoid using images downloaded in a Google Search. These images are copyrighted to the company who owns them and not licensed to you unless purchased. Additionally, these images will be too low of a resolution for print.
3. Picture Perfect
Having a custom photo shoot for your marketing is always a first choice. However, if a photo shoot is not within your budget, use stock photography. There are several stock companies to choose from including Getty, iStockPhoto, Thinkstock, Shutterstock, Adobe Stock and more.
To get the most bang for your buck when selecting an image, choose one that may have several elements you can use throughout your marketing pieces. When making your purchase, purchase the correct image size for the job. For print, you will need a size of 300 dpi or greater and for web you will need a size of 72 dpi. When purchasing your image, if you are going to use the image for both print and on-line, purchase the 300 dpi or greater version, as images can be sized down but not up.
4. What The Font
Fonts matter. Always avoid using the font Comic Sans or any similar childlike font in your marketing piece if your clients are not elementary school children. Instead, use fonts that best represent your brand and are easy to read.
5. Align and Conquer
Align your messaging and look and feel of your branding throughout all of your brand platforms both online and off-line. This gives your company a consistent presence in the eyes of your clients, potential clients and brand partners. Take the time to evaluate where you are and where you want your brand to go and make a plan to achieve your goal.
6. Email Address Success
Use only email addresses that are branded to your businesses website address. Avoid using Free or almost free email addresses (ie – Hotmail, AOL, Gmail, MSN, Comcast or any other related email extensions that are not at YourCompany.com), as this makes you look like your business isn’t a “real business”. You do not need to have a working website to set yourself up with a branded email. Purchase a domain name with an email service.
7. Domain Name – Years Matter
When purchasing your domain name, lock it up for five years or more. Doing this will considerably help your search engine rankings. Google loves this!
Now that you have learned these tips
Put your best face forward and let your brand’s visual style shine.