I’ve recently decided to rebrand my business. By myself. Alone. Without an art degree. Or PhotoShop. *Insert horrified look here* I swear I’m not crazy. I’ll be honest, I have some experience in branding and art but mostly I’ve just done a TON of research and self-teaching. Lucky for you, I’m going to tell you all the juicy, important stuff that I’ve learned so you don’t have to rummage around the internet for three months to figure it all out.
I have an updated vision for the future and I want AMaureen Studios to reflect that. Since I am currently going through the process, I wanted to share my experience and insights with you! Chances are, if you’re reading this blog, you either own a business or plan to work on the creative side of one in the future. You might not necessarily be the one creating the brand but branding is incorporated throughout each business and you will eventually encounter it.
What is branding?
Branding refers to a set of visual and emotional concepts that come together to create an image or personality in order to represent an entity. LOLWUT? Okay, so that was a really wordy and abstract definition but you know what branding is. At least in the most basic sense of the term. Think of your favorite company. What’s the first thing that comes to mind? I can almost guarantee it was their logo. It takes less than a full second for a person to recognize a logo, even if only part of the logo image is actually shown. That’s one of the reasons why so many companies are willing to pay for product placement. There is a lot more to a brand than just a logo, though. A brand consists of a cohesive and consistent set of rules that outline what is acceptable for use and what isn’t. These rules can be about anything from acceptable color use to website format. There are far more elements to each brand than consumers realize on a conscious level.
Who needs branding?
I know that this is starting to sound like a lot more work and a lot less logo-design-fun than you were hoping for but if you’re serious about a business, branding is crucial. I hear you over there, “Okay but I don’t reeeaalllly need to do any branding because I’m not a big corporation. Heck, I don’t even have a physical store front!” WRONG. Anyone who does any kind of networking can benefit from branding. I’ve even heard professors saying that you need to brand yourself before you start applying for jobs. If you deal a lot in first impressions, then branding will likely benefit you, too.
Why you should be branding yourself and your business.
In marketing and advertising, there is something known as the Self-Image Congruence Theory. The theory states that when there is a high degree of congruity between a person’s self-image and a product’s image, they are more likely to purchase or using that product. This theory applies to more than just products, though. As a business, you want to project an image that your target market relates to. They want to use your business because it mimics their lifestyle, values, and beliefs. Your business/products/blog/etc. portray an image that your consumers identify with and feel is trustworthy.
A few benefits of branding:
- Quickly and easily recognizable
- Improves credibility and trust
- If you’re branded correctly, your first impression will be the right one
- Not only can branding attract more clients/consumers/followers but it can attract the RIGHT clients/consumers/followers who will want to engage with your brand.
How to brand effectively.
Here’s that sucky part about branding: you can’t just slap together a logo and call yourself a brand. I mean you could but it won’t really count. In order to brand effectively you need to consider all aspects of the business and incorporate everything into a neat and tidy package. Here are some of the major steps in branding:
- Brand Identity – A business plan for your brand.
- Mood Board – A visual representation, often a collage, of desired brand characteristics. A draft of sorts, used for inspiration.
- Brand Board – An organized, visual representation of the brand. Often includes a color palette, typography, textures and patterns, logo, submarks, and other elements used within the brand.
- Brand Marketing Guide – A book (yes, a book) that shows the details of the brand board along with rules and guidelines on how to use each element appropriately in a variety of settings.
Stick around over the next two weeks because I’ll be going more in depth in order to help you learn how to DIY branding!
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