Build Your brand & Attract Your Dream Clients – time to say ‘goodbye’ to boring logos and ‘hello’ to beautiful inspirational branding.

In this first blog post I want to discuss what branding is, and throughout the following posts series I will aim to show you how great branding can attract your dream clients, how companies build strong brands and how you can do it too.

I am going to start with explaining why branding is so important and why branding isn’t just what you see in a logo.

Appearing on your company stationery, advertisements, business cards, office signage, website and social media networks, your logo should accurately sum up the style and character of your business – but it isn’t everything. A logo, although crucial to a brand isn’t a whole brand.

“Your brand is not your logo, thinking this limits your business potential”

For example, let’s look at a famous German car brand, a classic car brand that evokes a lot of reaction. Perhaps it evokes the idea of safety, speed, and great German engineering or perhaps you’re reminded about the quote ‘if you think you’ve had an unproductive day, at least you aren’t the person who fits the indicators’ – either way, you’ve formed these opinions about a brand beyond just the logo.

“Products are created in factories; brands are created in the mind” – Waltor Landor

You’ve formed these ideas from external factors – by what you’ve seen, how the company is seen within your circles and (the only part a business can control) what the company has sent out into the world. You cannot get all of that from just the logo design, you get these ideas from the company’s brand. Let’s brake the elements of that brand down.

Along with reputation and products a company’s brand is other physical things such as colours, type choices, patterns and photography, and how these are used in marketing to create an easily recognizable cohesive look. These physical elements are usually combined in a style guide or branding guide by a designer. We will talk about how this works later in the series.

These individual elements are researched and decided by a designer with help from the company’s owners. This becomes the visual expression of that company and evokes an emotional response, so it’s really important. It’s the combination of all these elements that attracts the dream clients.

You can’t be all things to all people and you wouldn’t want to. You need to control what you output to your customers and hopefully control what customers think with help from this cohesive look.

For example, you can tell the difference between a holiday tavern and a five-star hotel by their logo and branding. But imagine, if you re-designed cheap travel taverns marketing literature to look like the expensive hotel, it gives completely the wrong message to clients. You’d be shocked if you thought you’d be checking into somewhere like the Ritz but found yourself in a Holiday Inn, but both have their roles and therefore look like what you would expect.

Large companies have perfected this and spend millions on their branding to attract the right customers, however it is just as important for small businesses and can be done cost effectively with the correct type of research.

This can be done by you so easily. The secret is to think about your personality and about what you want to communicate to the world, and how this will flow across all elements of your business.

You need to look like the industry you’re in. If you are a florist don’t brand yourself to look like an estate agent and vice versa. Of course you can be unique but make it easy for your customers, don’t confuse them.

You need to make sure that what you create for your company feels just right, and your clients know exactly what to expect.

So let’s try a little experiment. Your homework from this blog is to have a really good look at the brands you love and create a mood board of inspiration that you can use going forward to either brief a designer, or for your own designs. Inspiration can be everywhere; you just need to find it!

Perhaps you could start a Pinterest board or cut things out of a magazine. I often keep articles from magazines that I love and find inspirational, especially if a designer has nailed the brief and its quick and easy to see exactly what the company does.

With each element that you’ve pinned really analyze what appeals to you and how you could incorporate this into your own unique branding.

The more you can find and refine what you love the easier it will be for you to create your own perfect company branding.

Eventually you’ll see the clearer picture and how your brand can develop from all of this amazing inspiration. If you’re re-branding keep the parts of your existing brand and logo that you love and see that as a starting point to expand into new ideas and designs.

Next time we will talk about your logo and how to create your new design.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this introduction blog and found it useful. If so I’d love it if you’d like it or share it with someone else who might find it helpful.

If you have any questions about branding post them below and I will be happy to answer them.

So, I will see you next time for more about building your brand and attracting your dream clients.