Hello! How’s 2011 going for you so far? Mine’s been lovely. I’ve had the opportunity to work with lots of amazing entrepreneurs to design strategic and stylish brands that attract their ideal clients.
And, I’ve implemented one of my New Year’s Resolutions – to have computer-free Sundays each and every Sunday. I don’t open my laptop. I don’t check email on my phone. I am allowed to play games on my iPad, though. It’s brought some balance and relaxation back into my routine.
Speaking of New Year’s – I’m really looking forward to the Chinese New Year on February 3rd – it’s going to be the year of the rabbit! Rabbits are one of my favorite animals – I used to have a bonded pair named Mister and Misses. I have a feeling that 2011 is about to get even better!
7 Rules For Designing A Strong, Substantial and Successful Brand
If you want a brand that goes beyond being “just pretty” into having some real substance and strength so that it can be successful for your business, just follow these 7 rules:
It’s strategic. You’re not only designing a brand because it’s fun, right? And you’re not designing it just because everyone else has one and you want to be “one of the cool kids”. You’re designing a brand because of how a brand can help your business reach the goals you’ve set and make your vision a reality. The way to do that is by laying out the details of your business strategy and brand strategy before you design your brand, so that you know that you’re designing the very best brand for your business.
It’s meaningful. Your brand has a tremendous power to communicate with your ideal clients. It can show them what your business is all about. Each element and detail of your design has the opportunity to speak volumes about your business. And you want to take full advantage of that opportunity. Discover what your business is all about, and then pack your designs full of as much visual meaning as you can. Then, your ideal clients will see what you’re all about – instantly.
It helps your business grow. When your business is fantastically branded, that brand will help your business get bigger. A strong brand will help you extend your reach, pump up your visibility, raise your credibility, draw in more clients, and boost your bottom line. This also means that your brand is built for growth – as your business grows, you’ll have to design more materials to support that growth. You’ll need your brand to be flexible and to keep up with what you have planned.
It’s backed up. Your brand is a powerful asset for your company, and recreating it would take time and money – and the new files are often not exactly the same. Not having a backup can set your future projects off-schedule. This element is absolutely essential in your brand strategy. Your designer needs to keep backup copies of your brand – during development and after your brand has launched. Also, you need to have all of your final files, as original, high-resolution files in an editable state. Even if you’re sticking with your same designer, you should have copies of all of your own files… just in case. I even advise an on-site and off-site copy for double insurance.
It’s impeccably put together. This means that the details of your designs have been thoroughly worked out. The files are prepared exactly for their specific use. That means that print files are print-ready and have all of the necessary crop marks and bleeds. That web files are created with the right color space and that your code is well written. The alignment of your design elements is neat. Your designer has examined your logo extremely close-up to make sure everything is perfect. Be sure that every detail of your design has been considered and perfected so that your designs are as strong as possible.
It repeats itself. Successful brands repeat their own elements, over and over again, in a consistent way. This repetition brings success because it gives your brand that, “hey, I’ve seen you before!” feeling. It makes your company memorable. It anchors your business in your clients’ minds. Consistent repetition makes your brand and your business seem bigger, more competent and trustworthy. And, having representation and consistency among all of your brand elements and marketing materials makes a stronger impression, and allows all of your brand elements to reinforce each other.
It charms your ideal clients. Your brand can go a long way towards forming a bond with your ideal clients. It can show them that you’re on the same page that they are – that you really understand what they want, need, like and desire. It makes them feel like you’re on the same page that they are. Like you can really help them. And like you’re the right person for them. It can make a connection with them and inspire feelings of goodwill – right from the start.
If your brand has all of these qualities, it will help you create an enormously successful business. You’ll be able to help more people and make a difference.
Is It Your Time?
Erin Ferree is a brand strategist and designer. She works with small businesses to create brands with substance and style that fit their businesses perfectly.
She’s designed brands for hundreds of small business all over the world. Her brands help her clients attract their ideal clients, outshine their competition and make them unforgettable. She also works with small business owners to develop complete clarity about their brand positioning and to develop total brand clarity. Her award-winning design work and her writing on design have been published in many books and periodicals.