How many times have you changed your branding since you first founded your business? Most small businesses go through a few different iterations in quick succession as they find their feet and tailor their offering to their ideal customers.
If this describes your business, there’s no shame in that, but you’ve established yourself in the market it’s time to think about creating a brand that will ensure the test of time. When you look at the big, long-standing brands such as Coca-Cola, Nike, or Kellogg’s, you’ll be able to see that though there have been updates to their logo, marketing, and branding over the years, the essential feel of their branding remains.
So how do you create a timeless brand? Here are 5 tips you need to implement:
5 Tips for Timeless Design
- Make sure your design has a strong foundation. It’s almost impossible to create a timeless design if you don’t have a foundation you want to stick with. If you look at the progression of long-standing brands and how they’ve changed over the years, you’ll notice that each change was only a small step away from the last version of their brand. Make sure you know what colours resonate with your audience or what type of font does. If you aren’t sure, work with a branding professional to create a brand identity for your business you can work with for decades to come, only updating as styles come in and out of fashion.
- Avoid mimicking other brands. It’s common for new businesses to look to others for inspiration for their branding, but once you’re established you need to create a unique identity that doesn’t emulate another brand. Think about Tiffany’s “1837 blue” or Burberry’s “nova check” – even if another company used it, you’d think of them. It’s essential to find a visual element that is exclusive to your company so you can lean on it for decades to come.
- Keep it simple. If you look at the design elements long-standing brands have kept throughout each iteration of their brand, it’s usually a simple element. Think about Nike’s tick, the McDonald’s arches, or Google’s simple colored logo. These are all elements that can be tweaked to suit the style of the time but can stay consistent for the lifetime of your brand.
- Consider how it will be used. How your logo and design will be used should also be considered when creating your design, as it needs to be versatile. It may need to be used on clothing, printed items, an app, or any other number of places, depending on your industry. Make sure you have a version of your logo that looks just as good on a favicon as it does on a billboard.
- Keep your color palette simple. Your brand colors should generally be limited to 2-3 colors, plus black and white. There are some exceptions, but even those exceptions keep it limited to 4 (Google and eBay, for example). Your website may have some other colors to accent links and things like that, but your branding and marketing should stick to your main palette as much as possible.
Crafting a design you can use year after year is not a small task and one that is often overwhelming. If you don’t have a background in design, it’s usually best to enlist the help of a design professional to help you research your options and choose a design that meets all the criteria above. If you need help with any aspect of design, whether it be your brand identity or a design for your next marketing campaign, we’re here to help. To find out more about how we can help, click here.
When we think of a brand we immediately think of their corresponding brand colors. Whether it’s the golden arches of McDonald’s or the blue bird of Twitter, color schemes are a huge part of branding and their importance shouldn’t be underestimated.
As a small business, it can be easy to get carried away with the logistics, numbers, and customer service involved in running your business, but branding is an essential part of making a business that lasts and grows – why? Read on to find out.
Why is it so important to have a recognizable brand colors?
- It makes you instantly recognizable: With a memorable color scheme, your audience immediately recognizes you as color is closely linked to memory and recognition. Whether we realize it or not, color is often much easier to recall than a brand’s name. Have you ever seen a brand with the same colors as one you are more familiar with and thought of that other brand? That’s the power of brand colors.
- Brand colors make your logo look more professional. In logo design, the general rule is that no more than three colours should be used. This rule often comes with another rule that these colors are split 60-30-10 percent. Any more colors than this and a logo can come across as messy and too busy. Think of the most famous brands: Google, Apple, PepsiCo, Starbucks, and Shell Oil. They’re all very different companies, but they all have one thing in common: their logos use three colors or less.
- Invoke a certain feeling in potential customers. Colors affect your customers’ perception of your brand. Each color represents a different set of traits and values, and these color choices can affect how your customers perceive you. The exciting red of the Coca-Cola logo, the cheery yellow of Lay’s chips, and the reliable, trustworthy blue Ford logo have solidified this unconscious perception in consumers’ minds. You can find out more about color psychology here.
- Helps you create brand consistency. A specific logo helps a brand stay consistent. It makes it easier for you as a brand to maintain the same tone, color scheme, and “voice” when reaching out to your customers. If a brand starts off chirpy with brightly-colored branding and suddenly shifts to formal wording and muted colors, consumers are likely to disengage or feel that something is “off” about your brand, or even be mistrustful of it.
- Align yourself with your target market. Remember that the colors you use aren’t all about the feelings you want to evoke, it also helps your target market align themselves with you. For example, if you are an eco-friendly brand, a green logo will help people looking for eco-friendly products notice your product on the shelf. Similarly, if you are a masculine brand, then using pink or pastel colors will likely make your ideal customers overlook you.
When it comes to selecting the right color palette for your brand, it’s all about context. It’s about creating a feeling and a mood through an image that you’re happy to associate with your company. While there are no clear-cut guidelines for choosing your brand’s colors, there are ways to make your branding choices easier. A little research into color psychology and a boost from a great graphic design team can help.
If you’re looking for a team to help you find your brand colors and create other elements of your brand so you can start establishing your business in your community (whether that be online or off), we’re here to help. Learn more about our graphic design services here.
In a largely digital world, social media has become more important than ever, and it’s one of the best ways to reach your customers and a global audience for little-to-no financial investment. Over 3 billion people globally now use social media at least once a month, but while we may browse social media daily, building a presence for our businesses can feel like a monumental undertaking. So, is it worth it?
Well, yes. There are numerous benefits, one of which is brand awareness. Here are 4 ways social media can help you boost brand awareness:
1. You Can Stay in Your Customer’s Mind
The biggest benefit of social media when it comes to brand awareness is that it allows you to maintain brand awareness at all times – it doesn’t matter where your customer is in the world, nor what time they’re using social media, they can come across your posts. This means you can increase your brand awareness with every post.
2. Engage with Your Audience
Nothing increases brand awareness and loyalty like positive, engaging interactions between brands and customers. You can answer questions, show your sense of humor, and develop a relationship for the future. Don’t forget that your followers on social media platforms also represent a goldmine of information – take advantage of polls and this interaction to get ideas from your customers and gain a greater understanding of what you can do to become their go-to for what you offer.
3. You can promote your other content
It’s likely you run a blog, podcast, or video channel on your website or related platforms to increase your authority and find new customers, and you can share this content with your followers on social media. This is a great way to encourage social sharing (see below), get more traffic to your content, and start to develop a dedicated audience who are waiting for your next article, podcast, or video. Don’t forget to ask them to subscribe to your content either through a newsletter sign up or by subscribing through another platform.
4. Social shares and viral content
If you create sharable content, your content will have a virility that can be incredibly impactful for brand awareness. The further your content reaches, the better your brand awareness. The key here is to create sharable content that is likely to be shared throughout the community you want to reach – viral content that reaches everyone is great, but a lot of eyes will see it who aren’t likely to become customers.
There’s one big hurdle to reaping the benefits of brand awareness through social media, and that’s consistency. If you’ve ever tried to stay consistent on social media as a small business, especially if you’re not a natural sharer on these platforms, you’ll know how hard it can be. If you aren’t sure how to put together a social media strategy or what to post to reap these benefits, your best next step is to outsource it.
If you’re ready to have your social media taken care of so you can get on with the things you enjoy doing in your business, we’re here to help. Find out more about our social media services here.
The world has changed drastically in the last 30 years – we no longer rely on storefronts and catalogs to make potential customers aware of our businesses, we now rely on the internet. Another interesting change since we’ve moved online is the number of businesses who simply use their social media profiles to run their businesses, solely or in tandem with a selling platform. But, is this the right move? And if you do start a business this way, do you ever need a website?
Do I need a website for my business?
You can run a business via social media alone, but if you fail to get a website up and running, you’re making a huge mistake. Here are 5 reasons why you need a website:
- It increases your authority. This is the big one – and it’s that if you have no website, some of your potential customers simply aren’t going to trust you, especially if you operate online. It’s one thing being a local store with a storefront, but it’s quite another operating online with no online “home”. When you fail to have a website, you fail to establish yourself as a trustworthy entity. Your customers need to be able to go online and find out information about you on your own online home, not through social media.
- It increases your ability to be found. SEO (search engine optimization) is the way to ensure you keep bringing new traffic (AKA new customers) to your business. SEO is the way you get found by people during searches, and Google will nearly always put a real website before social media profiles unless you’re searching for a specific business. For example, if you search for “contractors in Prescott”, you’ll see all the websites with the most authority come up, which are directory sites and then individual contractors. A social media profile doesn’t show up until page 3, by which point your customer has already seen a ton of links to other contractors, including in the map pack, which is essential for local businesses.
- It gives you more security. Imagine you’re doing roaring business – you’ve become the business in your area or industry for what you offer. You perhaps step on too many toes, and someone decides that they want to take your business down a peg by hacking into your social media accounts. This is much easier to do than it is to hack into a website, and even just a short time with access to your social media accounts could seriously disrupt and harm your business. A website is much more secure, you can backup your content, and you’ve always got somewhere to update your customers should Facebook or Instagram be subject to an attack themselves.
- You can carefully design the customer journey. Say you solely operate your business through your Instagram account. How do your customers find out how to work with you? Can they find out about all the services you offer without browsing through a ton of different posts or sending you a message? When you have your own website, your designer can work with you to carefully design the customer journey. They’ll identify potential entry points and help you streamline the content so it guides your potential customers through what they need to know to work with you and how to buy from you.
Should I design my own website or hire a professional?
Your website is your digital storefront, so it needs to look the part. When someone lands on your website, it needs to wow them and convince them to stick around, not scare them away. You need to remember that a professional designer will think about your website and design it for the people landing on it – they’ll design it to convert your customers, not just to please you. We all have our personal preferences, but wouldn’t you prefer to have a website that actually converts visitors to one that has all the bells and whistles?
You also need to remember that designing a beautiful website often takes weeks – weeks you should be putting into growing brand awareness and making sure you can deliver an incredible customer experience. If you have the means, partner with a website designer who can bring your brand to life online.
If you’re looking for that partner, you’re in the right place. Pixel Parfait has been designing stunning and effective WordPress (the leading website platform) websites for years and has many happy customers to prove it. If you’d like to view our portfolio of past projects or learn more about working with us to create your home online, click here. We’d love to help you create a website with impact.