Consistency is key! The “Rule of Seven” states that an individual needs to see or hear something a total of seven times before it becomes memorable. Viewed items could include elements associated with a brand such as images, symbols, colors, text, and more. All elements that help your brand be recognizable. Think about it…if you saw a name or a design that was associated with one product or service, but that name was spelled differently every time or the design kept changing, would you recognize it if you were to come across it multiple times?
Now, imagine seeing these changes in a world that moves as rapidly as ours. You may possibly notice small similarities in the brands elements, but it will likely take longer for you to grasp the concept of what that particular business is trying to convey. Business leaders should not only work on building the foundational blocks of their organization, but building their brand elements!
Regularly, the Bekôz team focuses on providing strategies that help organizations achieve the results associated with specific goals. We usually start by establishing a foundational marketing base that caters to the organization’s S.M.A.R.T. Goals. From there, a strategy can be born. However, before you jump into developing brand elements there has to be a solid ground to build on. It’s almost like building a house! Your Marketing Strategy is your foundation, and the brand elements are the windows.
So, let’s start building with the following in mind:
- Once your business plan or marketing strategy is developed, you should focus on establishing a brand strategy with guidelines your staff or volunteers will be able to follow. Many times, organizations have various individuals messaging on behalf of the company.
- A brand strategy will help clarify messaging and assets and provide consistency across departments as content is released. Branding guidelines should include key features around graphic brand elements, a color palette, as well as typography and imagery requirements.
When you think of brand elements what comes to mind? Some often consider only graphics. Everyone discusses a noticeable logo or recognizable symbols that will stand out. While these elements are indeed important, there are other areas that need to be included when considering a brand’s personality. Not only consider the logo’s look and feel but general rules of usage such as instances regarding a dark and light background, size and space when placed next to other elements. Should the logo be tilted, placed in a different color, etc.?
Along with this consider the brand’s voice. What is your organization conveying across social media channels, blogs, eblasts and other types of content? The brand voice is in the tone of language used and key messaging. Does it sound insightful, reliable, informative, or relatable? Take for example a brand that would like to be known as reliable. Within their messaging, an organization may take on characteristics such as ensuring they follow through, own up to any issues or mistakes, and go beyond their expectations. They have to be sure in their content they do not overpromise or oversell. They may also consider using words such as dependable, responsible, secure, safe, solid, steady, trustworthy, steadfast, and more terminology that infers devotion to customers. Simply select how you would like your brand to sound and consider symbols, a logo, and words that fall in line with the image you want to depict.
Did you know there is psychology behind colors and how they can lend themselves to promoting various feelings? This is why you may recognize many banks (Bank of America, PNC, Citibank, Capital One, SunTrust, and more) utilizing the color blue which ignites feelings of stability, reliability, and trust. Or consider the color red which encourages appetite, hence brands such as Burger King, Wendy’s, KFC, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, and others. Without slogans or symbols, colors can convey so much. So, consider wisely when selecting yours. Take a moment to contemplate what the colors of your organization represent.
Typography and Imagery
Typography focuses on fonts and can help visually communicate a message. Just like the brand voice, typography can express a brand’s tone. It can be just as significant and impactful as your brand’s logo or symbol. It can provide balance to images it is surrounded with and can add to the tone, similar to how the color palette can provide feelings about the brand. In any case, your typography should be easily legible and visually appealing.
Imagery should have certain characteristics as well. Are there specific filters your team should use regularly? Should the images focus on people, landscaping, or architecture? Should they be shown in black and white or with vivid colors? Will pictures be seen up close or will they be shown using a wide-angle or zoomed-out? All of these items can draw up various thoughts and emotions in different ways. Consider what you want others to think of or feel first when viewing items that are connected to your brand.
Focusing on these three important areas alone will help your organization put the pieces in place to build successful brand elements. You will be in position to share your brand with others and ultimately improve brand perception and awareness. Yes, it may seem like a lot, but we can help get you started! It may take some time to think through, but we have to admit, this is one of the more fun processes of developing your business’s foundation. Remember, if any guidance is needed, the Bekôz Team is always here to help.