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:
- 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.