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.
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.
From the bright yellow of a New York taxi to the famous red Coca-Cola can, colors are a huge part of what makes a brand recognizable. They are not only what your clients and customers come to associate you with, but they also have an impact on how they feel when they interact with your business.
Your chosen color scheme will play an important part in your various marketing assets, from your website and logo design to future merchandise and employee uniforms. Consistent branding colors will give your company a unified look and make you recognizable no matter where your business goes. But how do you go about choosing these all-important colors?
Consider Color Psychology
The first thing to consider is how you want your customers to think and feel when they first come into contact with your business, whether that’s seeing a storefront or landing on your website. These colors need to be in harmony with the way your business acts and interacts with clients.
For example, if you’re a same-day delivery company, using soft pastel green and purple for your colors will create a disconnect as these are colors we associate with calmness and serenity. However, if you choose a bright, bold color like yellow, orange, red, or even a bright shade of green, your colors will evoke a feeling of excitement and the sense that things are happening quickly.
It’s these subtle differences that can make all the difference in a customer deciding “this is a company I want to work with” and one that “doesn’t feel right.”
How should I choose my brand colors?
Think about your brand’s personality. Are you presenting a cheery, lighthearted brand? Or something more sophisticated and minimalistic? Perhaps you want to create something unique and stand out from the crowd? The colors you choose will provoke specific emotions within your audience, so knowing how you want to be seen by customers is vital.
Think about your values. Some of your brand’s values can be conveyed through your brand’s colors. For example, if you’re a company that focuses on sustainability, you may find green to be a central part of your brand’s colors because you’re a “green” company.
Think about your customer. If your primary customer is parents of young children under four, you’ll likely want to use primary colors and other bright, exciting colors in your branding. However, if you took those same colors over to a luxury hair salon, you’d likely scare off a large portion of your client base! Match the colors not only with the feel of your brand but also with the customer profile of your ideal customer.
Be aware of the competition. You don’t need to fit in with the other brands in your industry, especially if you’re planning to disrupt it. However, you should be aware of their brand colors so you don’t choose the same shade as them for your primary brand color.
Work with an Expert
It’s okay to choose a few colors you think will work well when you’re first starting your business – in those early weeks and months, we’re often just trying to get everything set up and ready to serve our customers. However, as soon as you’re able to, work with a professional designer. Branding and design is a bit like hair styling – sure, you can cut your hair yourself, but it won’t look anywhere near as good as if a professional had done it. What’s worse, is while you can grow out a bad haircut, you can’t outgrow bad branding! It actively turns off your clients and can seriously hinder your growth, so make sure you get a professional in to get your branding down as soon as you have the budget to do so.
If you’re looking to brand or rebrand your business, Pixel Parfait is here to help. We can help you with every aspect of your visual branding, from your website design to your social media graphics. If you’d like to learn more, you can book your free brand consultation or click here to learn more.
Whether you are starting a new business or your current business needs a face lift, the logo is the first step to branding your business. But what makes a good logo? How can you give your designer all of the info he/she needs to design a GREAT logo for you? We have the answers in this short guide to creating an awesome logo.
First, a logo should be simple. Milton Glaser, the graphic designer known for the “ I love New York” logo, said when speaking with the design blog Design Informer,” You want to move the viewer in a perception so that when they first look at [the logo]…they get the idea, because that act between seeing and understanding is critical “. In other words, its all about simplicity! Keep the design simple and clean.
Second, Be unique. You want your logo to be memorable and easily associated with your brand. Don’t try to copy exactly what someone else is doing. Stay away from “over-used” graphics such as, arrows, books and globes. Also, try thinking outside the box, for example, Starbucks logo isn’t a coffee cup and the Apple logo isn’t a computer.
Third, your logo should be Flexible. The most important flexibility your logo should have related to changes in size. Make sure your logo reads well small as well as extremely large. The more versatile your logo is, the more recognizable it will be. One way to make sure the logo will look great at all sizes is to keep it simple and limit it to 1-2 colors.
And finally, make it appropriate! Before starting any new branding project, start by setting your goals. What do you want your logo to portray? What “feel” do you want your business to have? What are some of the places that you will want to use your new logo? What colors go with your brand and will follow the general brand “feel” that you have established? And finally, sometimes it helps to find logos or fonts that you like. This gives your designer an idea of what style you prefer and what will follow the brand directive.
Logos are extremely important to any business. The final price of advice that I can give you is to do your research and let your designer handle it. Once your designer has had a chance to speak with you and look over your research they should have a pretty good idea of what you are looking for.
Before you continue, please know that what you read below is just a humorous guide to talking with your designer; or rather, how NOT to talk with your designer. As a designer for many years, trust me, I have heard all of these things from good, kind hearted clients. We know, it can be hard to communicate your needs to a designer. Plus, we complicate things with our special jargon and computer programs you have never heard of. Here are just a few things that will help your designer out on your next project.
#1: Don’t ever say “Ill know what I want when I see it”
Could you possibly give me any less information? As a designer, I have been working on my mind reading skills. BUT, that doesn’t always result in my best work. Instead of being vague, try giving the designer an example of something you like, OR write out your goals for the finished product. This will help your design know what you are looking for.
#2: Don’t say: “We haven’t finished writing the text yet, but we need a proof now!”
Text, or “copy” as us designers would say, is EVERYTHING! A design should be built around the most important content. In-other words, it’s hard to design around nothing. This also tells the designer that you aren’t organized yet… Not a good sign. Next time, get the copy as close to perfect as possible before calling in the designer. Every designer expects changes and edits, but having a close-to-final-draft of the copy will help them get a solid design started.
#3: Don’t say: “Can you put that into Word so I can edit it?”
There is a reason designers don’t use Word. Designers use special computer programs that allow us to have more control over the design elements and create printer friendly files. If you want a DIY option there are many free design programs that will give you more control, Just don’t expect a designer to be able to fix your files once you are finished.
#4: NEVER EVER, EVER say: “Can you use this image I found online?”
Why can’t we use web images? There are a few reasons that this won’t work. 1. For images to be found in a google search they must be owned by someone. without the proper permission to use those images you are essentially stealing from the original owner. 2. Web images are low quality (for faster loading online) and will not print well in your final design. 3. It’s so easy to have quality images! At Pixel Parfait all stock images are included in your design fee. We will even let you browse through our stock image library if you wish. You can also get great stock images from any of these sites….visit https://designschool.canva.com/blog/free-stock-photos/
#5: Don’t be vague and say: “Can you make it POP?”
Again, see #1. Statements like this are so vague and unfortunately most designer haven’t mastered mind reading yet. Other descriptions like, “edgy”, “modern”, “pretty”, or “fancy” are equally as hard to understand what you are looking for. Instead, find examples of designs that you like and show your designer examples of what you are looking for.
#6: Avoid saying: ”Can you just use our logo and photos from our website?”
#7: If you want your designer to remain sane, don’t say: “ Can we go back to your original design (17 proofs ago)?”
After you explain what you need, let your design do their thing! This is what we are good at! Asking for 20 proof options, or changing your mind half way through only adds time (read: MONEY) to your project, and limits the designer’s creative abilities. Don’t waste your designer’s time with countless experiments when the original design is what you were looking for. JUST DON’T DO IT!
#8: Seriously, don’t ever say: “I started this in Paint, can you finish it for me?”
Paint, text editor, and other programs that come on your standard PC or MAC can be great for some things. Graphic design is not one of those things. We have expensive programs for a reason! Its best to let your designer use their professional tools from the beginning – I promise you will be much happier with the final product.
#9: Just don’t do it! Never say: “ I can’t pay for your work, but you will get TONS on exposure!”
Imagine this: You are a home builder. A potential client comes to your office and asks you to build a beautiful new home for him. After you talk about the details and come up with the initial plans, the client turns to you and says “I can’t pay you, but I’ll tell everyone that YOU build my house”. What do you do? If you are thinking, “I would punch the guy in the face”, I would understand. Asking for free work is insulting to any professional. We have pride in our work and value our time. Now, there may be an exception to this rule for Non-Profits and Charity Events…. But don’t assume that a design will work for free. Exposure doesn’t put food on the table….and most designers like to eat.
#10: And finally, avoid saying: “ Just make it beautiful!”
Well DUH! BE SPECIFIC PEOPLE!!!!
Well there you have it! The Moral of the story is: Be specific, value your designer and their work, and don’t expect us to read your mind! As a designer I know that most people have said at least one of these things to a designer, and its OK, we’re used to it! =D
Hello, I’m Sarah Haynes and I create beautiful pixels! I currently work from my Prescott home doing all types of design, online marketing and photography. I can't imagine a better job!!
I have lived in Prescott, Arizona for over 20 years and I absolutely love it here. My favorite activities (outside of work) are hiking, swimming and spending time with my wonderful husband and daughters!
Please feel free to contact me anytime with your design jobs! I would be happy to discuss the right plan for your business.