The Basics of Branding
On International Women’s Day, we’re supporting other women-owned businesses by highlighting a guest blog post from Blüm Agency, owned and run by a fellow female entrepreneur and agency owner, Alexa Brachvogel.
Alexa Brachvogel is the founder of Blüm Agency, a digital marketing agency that specializes in website design, SEO, paid media and branding. Alexa started Blüm Agency to help small and medium-sized businesses bloom, with the goal of providing opportunity for women in creative professions to work remotely and get paid fairly. Today, Alexa will be writing about branding, and how brand consistency allows your voice to flow across all channels. Translation: how to use logos, fonts, colors, and words in a way that supports who you are as a brand. (Examples included!)
First, some definitions. Your “brand” is your reason for being in business. It’s what you do, plus why what you do matters. For Blüm Agency, our brand stands for supporting small and local businesses with digital marketing strategy and data-based design. We also believe in providing flexibility and fair pay to our network of designers, illustrators, photographers, and videographers. To convey our brand to potential clients, we use consistent wording, copy, images, colors, and logos throughout all of our channels.
This brings us to definition number two, “channels.” Channels are the different platforms and ways you convey your brand to potential clients. Channels represent the mix of places you put out branded information, including social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn), email newsletters, business cards, flyers, brochures, and your website and blog. Your channels are the most important places to host branded content, because they’re what your potential customers see first when they interface with your brand. Note: you can get a detailed breakdown of which channels work best for your brand with Google Analytics, in the Acquisition tab. Reach out to us with questions on Google Analytics!
Now for some examples.
Copy and Fonts
When you describe your company (what you do, your mission and vision, the value you provide), you have to use consistent language so that potential customers are clear on what you provide and how you provide it. Use the same words and phrases related to each product and service. Integrate your tagline into your messaging on social posts, in email copy, on your website… Everywhere! This doesn’t mean that every Instagram post has to be the same, but since your customers are all busy and competitors are using similar techniques, it doesn’t hurt to post periodic reminders about your brand’s mission and vision, as well as products and services that make your brand different from competitors. Your copy should be accompanied by consistent use of fonts for brand consistency and because people love patterns (we’ll get into this later!).
There may also be certain types of images that connect with your branding. For example, Blüm Agency’s tagline is “Helping Brands Bloom.” In order to reinforce this brand messaging, we use imagery of plants on our website and social media feeds to symbolize brands blooming and growing.
Colors and Patterns
Having a recognizable color scheme can set you apart from competitors. Stay consistent with your color choices on all of your channels, from social media through content on your website, so that potential customers know they’re in the right place and can recognize your brand at a glance. From a psychological perspective, people are primed to react positively to patterns because they symbolize stability and are often found when there’s abundance in nature. Using visual patterns on your social media accounts and digital assets taps into those positive, unconscious associations to create more brand loyalty and set you apart from competitors.
Logos and Elements
Logos and elements work similarly to colors in that you want your logo to be highly recognizable across all channels. This type of brand recognition comes from potential customers seeing your logo on all touch points. Translation: add your logo to collateral on social media, emails, your website, and assets like printed flyers or apparel. While you may have a few variations of your logo, all variations should use similar elements and fonts so that potential customers recognize the look and feel and can therefore associate each with your brand.
Branding means having a consistent voice and look across your channels. Copy and fonts, images, colors and patterns, and logos and elements create consistent branding across all of your channels. When these tools work together, you create powerful branding that inspires loyalty and attracts your target audience.
Blüm Agency just launched their ABC Workshop Series for small businesses and local entrepreneurs, to make the basics of digital marketing practical and accessible. Learn more about upcoming events, and reach out with questions at www.blumagency.com.
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