Imagine the “Just Do It” slogan without the swoosh. Or even the Nike name without the little check mark-looking icon. It just isn’t the same. They go together like peanut butter and jelly. Lock and key. Batman and Robin. OK, maybe not that last one because they’re both equally cool and important. The point is that whether you’re branding or rebranding, you need visual elements that sync with that branding and represent your business the way you want. A branding and marketing agency can make that happen. Or, if you’re going it alone, here’s how you can sync your branding and marketing efforts.
Tips for Synchronizing Your Branding and Marketing Efforts
1. Consider Your Goals
What do you want to achieve with your business? How do you want to set yourself apart in the market? Clear business goals give you a solid foundation to build your brand upon—aesthetically and editorially. You need a clearly-defined idea of why your business exists before you can take the next steps with marketing tactics.
2. Know Your Audience
Your business exists to help someone with a problem—to eliminate a pain point by offering solutions. To resonate with your audience, you must understand who they are and what they want from you. Once you identify your target demographic and ensure market demand, you can tailor your branding to this buyer persona. You have to know who your audience is to understand what brand components will speak your message to them. An SEO audit can help you narrow down your target audience.
3. Develop Your Brand, Conceptually
This sounds like a big step, but stick with us here. The next step is to develop the conceptual components of your brand. These include:
- Brand voice – The personality your brand uses in communication. What you want your brand to “sound like” to other people.
- Brand promise – What customers can consistently expect from your brand.
- Brand values – What your brand stands for.
- Brand targeting – Who your brand serves. Your ideal audience.
- Brand positioning – What your brand does for your audience that your competitors don’t. What makes your brand unique?
You want to effectively develop your brand concept before you start graphic design. Otherwise, you don’t have the basic information you need to build visuals. Strong messaging gives you something to hang your creative hat on.
4. Remember Your Story
People love a story. Narrative helps them make sense of the world and understand their role in it. In marketing, storytelling helps potential customers understand and embrace what your brand could do for them—how it would improve their life. A branding and marketing agency like Charm School will know how to bring your brand story to life and connect with customers.
What’s the story of your brand? What’s the bigger purpose or values you identified when conceptualizing? How does it solve your customers’ problems? Don’t forget to define your brand’s story—understand the why—so you can continue capturing it in visuals. Speaking of which…
5. Think About Visuals
Once you’ve developed your brand concept and even defined what you want customers’ brand experience to be, it’s time to think about what the concept looks like visually. At this point, you want to start incorporating sketches and maybe even a mood board to truly capture your brand’s look.
The visual components of your brand include:
- Consistent graphics or visual elements
These are just some of the things you’ll need. The specifics depend on you and your business. You’ll want to document your brand’s visual identity in a brand style guide. If you change anything along the way, be sure and update this guide. It will be your source of truth from this point on. Even in a future rebrand, you will likely keep essential elements documented here.
6. Start Designing
Now that you have the foundation, it’s time to start design work. Brainstorm and consider what elements you need. Start with the most fundamental items, like your logo. Then move on to developing things like packaging, signage, marketing graphics, and even your website.
7. Be Consistent
With any brand design decisions you make, be sure to be consistent. What if Nike had the “Just Do It” slogan and a happy face logo? That doesn’t fit at all! The tone is totally off. All of the components of your brand should have the same tone, feel, and message. In other words, they should all fit into the same brand identity. If you get out of line, that element will feel wonky and disjointed to your audience, even if they can’t put their finger on exactly why.
8. Mirror Perceptions
What do you want people to think, do, or feel when they hear your brand’s messages or see the visuals? Make sure the slogans, logos, colors, etc., create the perceptions you want them to have.
Not sure if you’ve hit the mark? Test some of your brand’s components by showing them to people in your target audience. Do their responses mirror the perceptions you want them to have? If not, you may want to adjust. Listen to your audience. Don’t be protective of your creative ideas. Your audience has to buy in for your business to succeed.
9. Focus on Marketing
It’s so tempting to decide on a business name, slogan, logo, fonts, and colors, then stop. After all, you have a lot of work to do. Why not top when the basic components are done?
What if your initial ideas don’t work for marketing purposes? For example, do you have versions of that logo for social media platforms? Do they work in those sizes? How does your slogan look as a cover art graphic? How will your brand messaging translate on a website or in print? Don’t just make brand identity choices, design a logo, and stop. Carry your decisions through for some basic marketing components you know you must have and make sure they work.
10. Get Help from a Branding and Marketing Agency like Charm School!
Developing a full brand package can be challenging work. It requires a lot of time and expertise. That’s why many business owners are willing to pay for branding.
A branding and marketing agency like Charm School Marketing can help you with all of your graphic design and branding needs. We do everything from helping you with a creative name for your business to developing taglines and designing logos and marketing materials. Contact us today to get started.