Consistency is a crucial element of designing your unique brand. As you work to deliver messages aligned with your core values, the following seven tips will help you streamline the process of connecting with your customers and establishing a recognizable brand. Here are seven ways to improve your branding and make your business stand out from the crowd.
Color has a profound impact on how people perceive your business because it is an essential character in your brand’s story. When you read a book, you expect the main character to dress and act a certain way. That’s how you recognize her and know how she will respond to the challenges in the plot. In the same way, people identify your company or business by the colors you use on your website and in your marketing materials.
When creating your branding strategy, focus on the following guidelines:
- Choose 5-6 coordinating colors.
- Use the same colors on your website, social media channels, printed marketing materials, business cards, and everywhere else you advertise your business.
Pro Tip: Write down HEX colors for your brand and share them with anyone who helps market your business.
Using more than one font makes the text on your website and marketing materials more interesting for readers. One key to keeping people on your website is scannability: the ease with which a body of text can be read and understood by the target reader at a glance.
If you want to highlight key points in your text, change the font, size, and style (i.e. bold, italics, etc.) and use spacing wisely to guide readers’ eyes to important information. Typically, you will use three fonts: heading, subheading, and paragraph.
What type of photos do you use for your business? Light and airy or dark and dramatic? Think about how you want your target audience to feel when they visit your website or read your marketing materials. There is a fine line between being creative and completely missing the correlation between your product or service and your branding style.
For example, if you visit a website for a yoga studio and find bright photos of American flags and people enjoying a day at the beach, you would likely think you mistyped the web address! When searching for a studio, your brain automatically assumes you will find calm, soothing photos of bamboo, water, and smooth stones that reflect the essence of yoga.
Pro Tip: Review your website and social accounts to confirm that the styling of your photos is compatible between channels and consistent with what people expect from your brand.
An email signature line is an easy element of branding to overlook. Most of our communication happens via email, so take this opportunity to reinforce your brand whenever someone receives a message from you. Use these guidelines for creating an email signature:
- Emphasize your name, title, and contact information.
- Keep the colors simple and consistent with your brand.
- Add your logo.
- Add linked social icons.
- Use space dividers.
- Make your design mobile-friendly.
When you identify your target audience, you can better focus your marketing efforts and dollars on reaching the people most likely to buy your product or do business with you.
Who is your ideal client? What does that person like and dislike? How do you discover what is important to them? What are their values?
After you answer these questions (and others), develop a character sketch of your ideal client. Finally, compare your branding guidelines with the expectations of this fictional character sketch. If they are a match, great! If not, adjust your design to meet the needs of your target audience more fully.
Is your profile picture consistent across all platforms you use for your business? If not, you could be missing out on establishing your recognizable brand! Think about any place you are identified online: the About page on your website, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Snapchat, TikTok, and more. Then consider your print media: business cards, brochures, and flyers. Hire a professional to take a headshot you like and use it everywhere so people come to know and recognize your face.
Take a minute to review the text on your website and compare it to the “voice” you use on social media and in your email communication. Consistency helps shape both the look and feel as well as the tone and manner of your messaging. Your online and offline experience helps customers identify your company and brand when they see your content.
Quality, consistent messaging helps link your brand with specific values or promises in the customer’s mind. When you improve your branding, you create these links, and your customers are more likely to consider your brand dependable or trustworthy.
Build a Better Brand
Clear branding stops confusion in its tracks! People like to know what to expect and what the outcome will be. If they feel like your brand is constantly changing, they will assume they cannot trust your business. Do your research, commit to discovering your target audience, and use these seven simple ways to improve your branding and build the confidence of your ideal clients.