— Brand identity
Workplace Brand Identity
Many people mistake brand identity as just being a company’s logo – so we’re going to set the record straight! Brand identity is the collective elements that make up a brand, and this includes the logo colours, the colour palette used throughout the website, the overall design of the site, the font, the strapline, and the shapes. Basically, it’s everything that forms the visual aspects that represents your business, and what your website traffic can see.
Audio 8.37 Minutes
Brand Identity is not just online
It’s important however, to understand that “online” is not the only place where your brand identity resides. It also lives on your business cards, roller banners, invoices, emails, and it forms the basis of the interior design of your physical workspace. Employees of any company need to be able to buy into the ethos of the brand, so be sure to have this in mind when thinking about the look and feel of the office environment. At best, it can be motivational and inspirational for staff, a place where people feel they belong and are willing to do their best every day. Working hard and playing hard become the mantra for your brand.
Google is a classic example of how their brand identity is reflected in their offices. You may have heard that they use segways to travel through the office; the new £1.2 billion London office has a huge sloping roof garden which provides a 270 degree view of the city; an indoor sports hall capable of catering to many different sports; day care facilities for children; and their logo and corporate colours can be seen in very room. Everywhere you look helps you to immerse yourself in Google’s world.
Do you see how we mentioned not just a logo, but all the components that bring it all together? Google often plays around with their logo to include historical events and people of importance, and this helps to exude both a playful and informative side, which forms part of their overall brand identity. And if you think about it, most of us go online to enjoy gaming, as well as to learn, so this approach reflects the brand extremely well.
How Do You Establish A Brand Identity?
The choice of colours can have a huge impact on whether your brand is perceived as friendly, corporate, or even untrustworthy or unprofessional! Imagine having a mix of garishly bright colours that contradict each other – what would your perception be? Chances are that it might offend your eyes so much that you’d feel like you have to leave the website!
When creating a brand identity, we always get a gauge from our clients in terms of the colours they might want, in order to generate a colour palette from their initial preferences. This ensures that the colours complement each other throughout the site. It’s important to stick to these guidelines once created, because it can help to define the structure of the website; for example, you can colour code each of your product or service offerings in order that website visitors understand more easily which section of the site they are looking at. Think about when you visit a hospital – you often see coloured lines on the floor, and following any of these lines mean that you reach a specific destination. It’s ideal for building a good User Experience throughout the website.
Why Is Brand Identity Important?
Colours and shapes set the tone as to how you would like to be perceived. Imagine a colour combination of black and yellow – what does this remind you of? A wasp, possibly? And is a wasp friendly or otherwise? This is the sort of interpretation people could make in their minds, and be a deciding factor in whether or not they want to buy from your company.
Once you understand your colour schemes and shapes, it’s important to note exactly what they are. For example, red isn’t just red – there are many different shades. This can be said for all colours, so to make things easier, ask your web designer for the colour code, which font (or fonts) have been used, and the font size. If ever you’re then doing some creative work of your own, or at some point passing work to different agencies, they will be guaranteed to use the correct versions of all your branding collateral. Documenting this and keeping it in a safe place, giving access to only the relevant people, will ensure that this happens.
Know What To Avoid
You also need to include do’s and don’ts within your brand guidelines. Direct copying from competitors’ websites is a huge “no”, as not only will you look like a cheap imitation of them, Google may also recognise any plagiarism and score your website negatively in the search results.
Would you recognise the Nike or Apple logo from a distance, immediately? Or if it the logos were fairly small in size? Yes, you probably would. Logos that are simple are more likely to be recognised – you don’t even need the company name sitting alongside it to figure out who they are.
People connect with brands nowadays more than ever before, so a brand that inspires and engages, can lead to customer loyalty and word of mouth promotion. Ultimately, this is what you’re aiming for as it is the cheapest and most effective form of marketing!
Does your company provide professional services, or is it one where you can afford to be more conversational in your written content? Understanding your tone of voice, level of authority required, or friendliness, is a key part of your brand identity, and should be applied across all of your marketing channels.
Have you ever reviewed a few email marketing companies to find out which has the best features, only to think that many of them seem to have used the same template?! From a user experience perspective this might be good, but if no-one truly stands out then how are you meant to make a decision? By all means use some of the visual elements you like the most from your competitors, but as inspiration as to how you can differentiate yourself from them. You’re much more likely to stick in their mind when they look to make a decision. You also need to create a value proposition – why should a customer choose you over your competitors? What problems does your company solve in a way that others do not? Your proposition should require someone to spend no less than 5 seconds to understand what it is you do differently, and better.
We’ve got a great example of differentiation…. A year or so ago we spoke to a business owner who offers a service of picture framing. His website 8 years old, and despite his business being a very visual one in terms of his output, none of his quality work was showcased properly. All the images were small thumbnails – and clicking on them did nothing to enlarge them, therefore the intricacy of some of his work was lost. In addition, there were no buttons to help you navigate through the site, which put a weighty reliance on the main menu navigation to help find what you needed.
We consulted with him and said that he needs a website refresh, in order to promote his quality of work, and to encourage phone calls. He replied “well, that’s what all my competitors websites look like, so it must be fine”.
Then does this not provide the best opportunity for you to stand out head and shoulders above the rest?
We’ll be honest with you – picture framing may not be seeing the huge demand it once did, but it still doesn’t mean that you can’t upgrade your website to incorporate modern day functionality, and a good user experience on mobile phones. After all, in this industry, people want confidence that their most important and nostalgic photos are in good hands, and they may need to call to ask this type of question.
Another key part to establishing a positive brand identity is to monitor it. Reviews that are left unanswered can harm a brand’s reputation, even if they’re good ones. What better opportunity than to delight your customers, or simply those that are interacting with you, by replying to a message, if not just a note of thanks? It shows that you care and are responsive.
As a standalone, your logo is the face of your business, and it’s what people will interact with most. Website experience and social media interaction, among other things, will always be secondary, but people wouldn’t even reach those stages without a logo that doesn’t foster trust.
Be more than just a logo.
Here at Growthlytics we factor all these elements into consideration when reviewing and developing a brand identity. Let us know what you’re struggling with, and we’ll plan the most appropriate course of action for your business, to get your brand seen, respected and trusted. Contact us now at firstname.lastname@example.org
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