Alright, so you've just invested a good amount of time, money, and effort into working with a brand designer to bring your dream business to life. Everything should just fall into place now, right?!
Below are a few key things to consider to ensure that you're getting the most mileage out of your new branding.
Something that kills me (and any other brand strategist worth their salt) to see is when a client shells out a decent chunk of change for a custom brand strategy + website and then provides “I shot this blurry photo on my iPhone in poor lighting” photography and “I forgot to run spell check and brain dumped everything I know about my brand with no clear aim” copy.
Seriously—your brand strategy + identity is so important, but if your copy + photography doesn’t match the quality, the whole thing will likely flop. And we don’t want that!
It’s understandable why this often happens. The brand strategy + identity design typically comes a bit earlier in the process than copy or photography, so business owners spend their entire budget on the branding + website and then leave little to be able to hire experts that can help deliver amazing copy and photography. To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, expect to spend about 15-25% of your entire branding + website budget on copy and photography.
This is something that I see holding brands back time and time again. By knowing this ahead of time, you’ll be miles ahead and well-prepared to make a splash with your launch.
Not sticking to your brand’s fonts is probably the most common offender when it comes to cheapening your brand—FAST.
Not only do you want to stick to the fonts outlined in your brand guidelines, you want to be sure that you’re using them in the proper case, letter spacing, size etc.
For example, in all of our projects we provide a thorough outline of how all your different headings should look like. It looks something like this:
To further emphasize what you should NOT do with your typography, we also include examples of what not to do with your fonts like this:
To sum it all up: you just spend a good amount of time, energy, and money into a strategy-backed, beautiful brand—why throw this all away by not sticking to your brand guidelines?
This sounds a bit dramatic, but simply sticking to your guidelines (particularly your fonts) is the magic ingredient when it comes to building a cohesive brand that builds customer loyalty.
Launching a new advertising campaign? Take a look at your brand voice guidelines. Making a new hire? Reference your brand values. Deciding on which product to launch next? Re-read your audience problems overview.
Get the point? In order to make sure that your brand is acting in a consistent way and making progress towards your goals, you need to make sure that any and all actions in your business are aligned.
This is the point of your brand strategy document—it acts as your north star as your business grows and evolves. Don't just chuck it in a random folder on your computer and forget about it!
Nothing makes me cringe more than when brands are haphazardly throwing up posts to their feeds that are blurry, tacky, or not in their brand fonts.
It's better to post less frequent yet high-quality content than posting just for the sake of it.
A tip I like to let my clients know is that if you're part of an event (say, a maker's market or upcoming speaker panel), DON'T post the event's graphic straight to your feed on Insta and mess up the hard work you've put into consistency. It'll stick out like a sore thumb! Instead, create your own branded graphic and use the carousel feature to put the event graphic behind it so that your feed stays cohesive and branded.
Understand that your brand is way more than just the visuals. The way that you speak to your audience has a massive impact on whether or not they'll form an emotional connection with your brand.
Because of this, you want to make sure that your brand voice is oozing with personality and makes sense for the kind of image you're trying to portray. As an example, are you a high-end brand that's selling cool, sleek, Italian-inspired sunglasses? It may be in your best interests to steer clear from using a billion exclamation points and HEY, GIRL! type statements.
If you're hiring a copywriter or social media manager to help with things such as email newsletters or captions, make sure they take a close read through your brand strategy document so that they're well-acquainted with the personality and voice of your brand.
Your brand's values are so much more than just a page in your strategy guidebook that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy about your brand.
There are 3 ways that they come to life in your business' day-to-day:
Are you making your values loud and clear in the voice that your brand uses and the content that you put out into the world?
Are all of your brand's vendors, suppliers, and clients well-aligned with the change you'd like to see in the world?
Do you talk the talk or walk the walk? AKA, do your day-to-day business activities actually embody your core values?
Did this help you envision what it's like to take ownership of a successful, sustainably growing brand? Interested in working together to take your business to the next level? Get in touch to inquire about a project today.