Branding for Business
What first comes to your mind when you see this image?
Who doesn’t like such?
One thing you need to know is that Coca-Cola and all the big names you hear of today all began small. So there’s nothing bad in been a small or medium scale business owner. The only problem is refusing to grow big and expand. There’s a growth process for every business, how long it takes depends fully on you, the business owner. Every big thing today started small.
The Nigerian economy is largely sustained by small and medium scale businesses and accounts for about 84.02% of the Nigeria total labor force and a GDP in nominal terms of about 48.47% according to Abbakin.
These figures can be topped up knowing that Nigeria has about 38 million SMEs with less than 10% leveraging the power of the internet to grow their businesses.
Coca-Cola as mentioned earlier is a big name today and it’s in fact the second most used name after Jesus Christ. They are on a current move to topping the list.
Founded by John Perberton in 1886, Coca-Cola sold only 4 bottles and recorded a very poor sell until Asa Giggs Candler took over the company and used his marketing tactics to dominate the world’s soft drink market with Coca-Cola in the 20th century making it not just another soft drink, but the number one soft drink , a position that has not been overtaken till today.
You can’t agree any less with me that marketing is key!
No matter how good your product may be, it may have to rotate within your family members, friends and well-wishers until you are ready to target your audience.
Don’t get too existed about your ideas until you’ve figured out how to get it to your target audience because the truth is that it’s all about them.
This post takes you through how to make a first impression as a business owner and how to sustain an impression.
Let’s take a critical look at how these one time small businesses mentioned earlier has turned to an empire and has dominated the niche where they are found.
One problem with SMEs is that they don’t dream big of their businesses. They’ve refused to see their business beyond them.
Branding is one way to keep your business or your product unique. In this part of the world, it is permissible to call it Packaging.
Before talking about starting up a business, take out time to discuss your brand: your business logo design, your business card, your brand color, your website and every other thing to keep your business distinct.
Fluctuating between brands endangers your business identity. Companies like Apple, Samsung, Coca-Cola, have maintained their brands over the years and here are some tips that will guide you in creating and maintaining your own.
- Keep it Simple: Some business owners would want to create very complex designs like Football Club logos as a sign of distinction and creativity. But what do you think about these logo:
These are logos of leading companies in their niche. A common attribute is that all have a simple but unique design.
Ironically, simple but creative logos permeates the business world more and always prove to be the best icons for standing the test of time. The truth is that high graphic designs come out every minute and the simple ones are considered too simple to use, but with a little twick to that “simple design”, ingenuity is born.
- Make it Self-Inspired and “Own able”: Don’t try to join the cliché of designers that are common. Every few years or so, some new designs come along in logo design and you find many jumping into that band-wagon.
A good example is this design that has been used over and over again
Use a design that is self-inspired and that is “ownable” like this logo owned by Evernote.
It’s simply an elephant head. There’s nothing special about an elephant head. The creativity is in the curled truck on the elephant truck and the page-like fold in his ears.
Don’t be in a hurry to get this done. You can fill a textbook with lots and lots of simple self-inspired designs and choose one to use.
- Let it talk about your business: Logos have a way of saying more of what you do to your target audience. Take a look at this logos
At closer look, you will see the eyes of a lion on the wings of the bird.
The Pencil is a tool for graphics that forms the design of the tent
The logo speaks clearly of couch and nothing more.
A common feature with them all is that they seem to address what their business is all about at a glance. This is an intelligent way to market your business on first impression.
- Pay attention to colors: Color is a very importance consideration in designing a logo because it carries meanings and communicates ideas. Colors can pull or repel a potential customer.
A good color for your logo should be versatile and should function well in grayscale. The logos shown below illustrates it best:
- Passive and Active logos: An interesting facet of logo design is the concept of instilling motion or a sense of activity into the logo. It sometimes gives a logo the boost it needs both from the visual and conceptual standpoint.
The image of the marine in Yamato doesn’t depict the fish merely lying still, instead it’s leaping in a victorious pose.
Also, the Rough House logo instills a sense of motion describing “rough house”.
- What does your logo mean: Every good logo has a story behind it.
The FedEx logo has a “not so obvious” arrow (don’t see it right? Look carefully). This logo indicates moving forward and making deliveries.
The good mark in Nike’s logo is an indication of approval and excellent quality.
Now the question. What does your logo stand for? Did you just design anything just to have a logo? Let’s modify your logo and give it a story.
COLOR AND FONT
In branding, a very important consideration, if not most important is color. The choice of color(s) speaks deeply of businesses and must be consistent because it is the first impression that will be created on your audience and may be the only impression if it’s not carefully selected.
You can subconsciously guide your audience to where you want them to go using colors. An understanding of color psychology and design principle can be a way of choosing the right color pallets for your business.
You can horn on what you want your colors to represent using color psychology and create a unique set of emotional connections to your brands.
To get started with the color pallet and get the most of it, be clear on what you want to portray. What’s your business all about? Who are your target audience and where are they? What attracts your audience and what offs them?
Here’s an overview of colors and the emotions it can create.
- Red: This is a color for grabbing attention, representing danger, passion and love. It’s perceived to be more masculine than feminine. Red is believed to stimulate hunger which means that it’s a good bet for fast food and restaurant branding.
- Orange: A youthful and positive color, orange is a fine blend of the properties of red and yellow. It serves to grab attention but is less aggressive than red. It depicts general wellness and healing and can be used for branding businesses in the health and make-up industries.
- Yellow: Is a color of joy, happiness, sunshine, positivism and sometimes caution. It’s a playful and attention grabbing color that can be used in brands that depicts light hearted fun like crèche, nursery school, game reserves and tourism.
- Green: Is a fitness, well-being, health and restoration color. Green is ideal for natural products and apt for branding businesses like health center, pharmaceutical stores and gymnastic centers because of its strong affinity with nature.
- Blue: Is a color that represents stability, reliance and trust. It can also be used to depict calmness and serenity but it’s a bad color for branding food related products because it’s believed to be an appetite suppressant. Blue is most suitable for branding businesses that require a great deal of trust like thrift companies, insurance companies, banking institutions etc.
- Purple: Is often associated with royalty, luxury and sophistication. Hues of purple are rear in nature and it’s believed to make the color sacred. It can also symbolize power, wealth and creativity and apt for branding hospitality like hotels, travels and tourism.
It’s understandable that your business may feature more than one color because of your services but the proportionality of colors used should relate to the services provided.
You can get a color hex here and save it on a note pad as your color identity for branding your business and to avoid inconsistency in color.
Your font’s style and color on the other hand should also be carefully selected and maintained throughout.
In choosing a font size, you need to consider the readability and scalability of the letters. You don’t want to choose a style that is beautiful but difficult to grasp on one sight.
Font styles like BrushScript MT, Bernard MT Condensed, Chiller should be avoided. The font size should aid readability of the style and shouldn’t be too small or too big to discourage readers.
The need for branding of a business can never be over emphasized because of its role in promoting a business.
The times and seasons are changing because of advancement of knowlege and learning and so your business must change with it. What used to work some 10 years ago in the area of branding might be quiet allien to the business world 10 years after.
In my next post, I will be talking about business cards and websites as a tool in business branding.