Company branding is an essential part of modern life. We see it every day as we go to and from work, surrounded by advertising and company businesses, and they always leave an impression. When we see a large, thin, yellow M we know it’s McDonalds. When we see a silver, half eaten apple, we think of the company Apple. Both of these brands, and many more, have taken things we see pretty regularly and attached it to themselves in the public eye.
Developing a company brand for any business, big or small, is nigh essential to establishing a reputation and an image with customers or clients. Something as simple as a large M or a silver apple have become associated with the largest fast food empire and the largest company in the world, respectively. Simply seeing something similar brings these companies to mind in the public consciousness.
Branding also helps to craft a reputation in how that company does business. Companies that primarily work with, or market to children use bright colours and cute/strange fonts, while businesses aiming for a demographic of fellow professionals use short and sweet company logos in subdued tones and font. If you want to cultivate the right target audience for your business, the brand is where it starts.
The first step is establishing who your audience is. Take cues from other businesses in a similar industry as your own. From there, you get a vague idea of what your brand can be. Now you can think about specifics. Make sure your brand is tailored to what you provide – a car dealership might use luxury cars in their branding, or a sports car is they’re aiming for a younger, wilder demographic.
Creating consistency in your brand is also important. Make sure your social media channels represent the tone and attitude of the rest of the company, instead of posting memes and other irrelevant things that don’t matter to your audience.
Some common errors when designing brands:
Don’t Copy the Competition
Many companies, either by accident or on purpose, copy elements of another company’s branding and try to make it their own. It rarely works out well. In the 1980s, Coca Cola reformulated their iconic soft drink after losing market ground to both Pepsi and diet drinks, creating ‘New Coke’. After 17 years, New Coke was discontinued internationally due to lack of consumer interest, due to losing the distinctive taste and design of ‘classic’ Coca Cola to make their drinks more popular with competing brands.
Does It Look Like Your Company?
This is where a lot of companies mess up their branding. We’ve all seen advertisements for companies that seem to aiming at the wrong demographics, due to using the wrong colour sets, fonts or logos that would normally be associated with other brands.
Are Other People Using It Properly?
Make sure people who have to use your company brand for whatever reason don’t use incorrect versions, or deface it, as it will reflect badly on your company if you have trouble controlling your brand.
Company branding is a difficult part of maintaining a company, but the rewards are worth the toil and trouble necessary to crafting a recognisable and reputable brand that is recognised everywhere it goes.