Understanding your brand- a graphic designers perspective
Branding is an inescapable facet of modern life. Everything around you, from the clothes you wear to the water you drink, has some form of branding attached to it. Brand identities are important because they help us differentiate products/services and better choose ones that most effectively cater to our needs. It’s for this reason that an effective branding strategy is critical.
You are reliant on the success of your brand. When your brand suffers, you and your business suffer as well. As a graphic designer and branding specialist, I work with businesses to ensure that this doesn’t happen.
You can have the best product in the world, but if the branding just isn’t right, you might as well be trying to run a marathon with a concrete slab chained to your back. The following is a short introduction into understanding your brand, from the perspective of an expert.
Often times when working with business owners, the decision maker has a very clear idea of what they personally like. What colours they want, the typography, etc. Sometimes this works out, other times, not so much. My job as a branding specialist is to understand your target market, and cater my designs accordingly.
To give you an example, let’s say you’re starting a financial planning business targeting young couples and newlyweds. Now let’s say that your favourite colour is red. You may well want to make red the primary colour in your business’s colour palette. You justify it with with the romantic connotations and your personal feelings towards the colour. A good graphic designer, however, will strongly advise that you not do that.
In the finance sector red is synonymous with debt and loss. What this means is that instead of expressing ideas of love and romance, you’ll instead be subconsciously stating that what you’re actually running is an incinerator for their hard earned cash.
Understanding the target market
Often the most successful businesses aren’t those that start out as passion projects, but are instead targeted to fill a gap in the market. You probably aren’t the target market for your business. If you run a line of children’s toys, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be creating marketing collateral that you, a fully grown adult, will necessarily be receptive to. Branding needs to be geared towards what the target market responds to, because at the end of the day it doesn’t matter if you hate bright colours and high contrast imagery, your target market (kids) love them.
Understanding your business, and how it should be perceived by your target audience is crucial.
As a designer, I have a responsibility to flag anything that I think could hurt the brand and business, or that which is not in-line with the visual identity.
If you make a mistake with the direction of your branding, it can be fixed; brands are meant to evolve over time. Additionally, rebranding should be an exciting experience! Have some fun with it! You might find that by the end of it you’ve learnt things about your business (and its industry) that you never knew or realised before. All of this information will help you to make better decisions in the future, and make your business far more profitable.