Using the branding elements we established during the redesign of the Paper Shower web site we have just created a print ad which will run in a West coast outdoorsy type magazine.
The print ad is another piece of the marketing strategy for this innovative body wipe product which included comprehensive SEO, Google Ads and Amazon Ads.
Here is another project which showcases the consistent use of image branding elements as I talked about in my post Brand Image Tips for Small business Owners.
I started working with Restore North Shore, a Chicago remodeling company, a few years back …creating a set of basic brand image elements for them … logo, color palette, type face selection. These element were then integrated into a website and more recently I have created Lawn signs, Car Magnets and t-shirts, working from the elements I originally established.
And here are the branding elements all working together, delivering a strong and consistent look for this small Chicago business.
If you would like help building a branded image for your small business we are happy to help, learn more about our branding services or contact us today
I talked yesterday about the elements of Brand Image and how building a style guide can help ensure your brand image elements are used in a consistent way thus ensure a strong brand image.
Well here is a great example of using brand image elements consistently, in this piece of work I completed recently for MAC. The look and feel of this product sheet fits in beautifully with the rest of their promotional pieces, website, business card etc. by using a predetermined color palette, typeface typesetting, layout and logo treatment.
Collection of other graphic design pieces produced for MAC
Developing a killer brand image is not something reserved for big corporations such as Pepsi or Apple. A professional and memorable brand image is just as achievable by a small business, here are a few tips to get you on your way.
Define your brand image elements
A carefully crafted collection of brand assets will create an impression with your customers as to your products and services and in essence give them a “gut feeling” about your company. They should evoke something positive, unique and instant. A brand image is not built from a single element like a logo but a collection of elements including;
- Color palette – with primary, secondary and tertiary colors,
- Type faces
- Type setting
- Tag Line
even things like
- Scents – ever noticed a distinct scent when you enter a store such as Holister or even IKEA?
- Texture- think about the texture of bags used in packaging
- Sound – recognize this
- Decor – In a bricks and mortar business does your decor enhance why your are trying to convey with the reset of your brand assets?
- Writing Voice
Creating your brand asset collection is no small feat and is generally the result of extensive research into the market you want to serve and the type of image you want to portray and the experience you want your clients to have.
Create a Branding Style Guide
Once you have established you brand assets it is really useful to create a style guide to optimize the use of your branding elements. For example
- Logo usage – minimum size, orientation, optimum white space border, use in black and white, position
- Colors – color combinations, definition of colors in terms of pantone, RGB, CMYK and hex e.g ( #000000)
- Type Face- Font choices, sizes, colors and line spacing
- Imagery- styling of imagery- think borders, angles, image filters etc.
Used your brand elements consistently
Your brand image will be most powerful when you use your brand elements consistently, ensuring your clients receive the same experience no matter how they interact with you.
Here are some of the places where you need to ensure it is used consistently
- Web site
- Social media profiles such as Facebook and Twitter
- Business card
- Email signature
- Powerpoint presentations
- Sales collateral such as brochures/flyers
- sales tags
This list could go on and on but once you start down the road of applying your brand assets to your business tools it becomes easier to use your brand assets than not. Need help? Check out our Branding Services.
The New Year often give pause to thought on how you are conducting your business. Are you making the most of your opportunities, using your time efficiently, attracting the right sort of clients? It is a time for reviewing and updating and I have a number of things I will be updating over the next few weeks for my own business.
On the agenda today was my email signature and as much of my business communication is done via email, it is an important little snippet at the bottom of every email I send. It essentially acts as an electronic business card.
What are the elements of a good email signature?
- Your name
- Email address
- Telephone number
- Fax Number
- A very brief statement on what you do and offer
- Link to company web site
- Links to social media profiles such as Twitter and Facebook
- Keeping the signature short and sweet
In my signature I also have my logo and also the word “Thanks” so I don’t have to type it out every time. The signature can also be edited on a per email basis, so if I need to have a more formal finish I can easily delete “Thanks” and replace with something more appropriate. The same goes for adding my surname.
Here is how it looks.
Setting up an email signature in Outlook is easy and there are great instruction on how to do so here.
© 2012 Chicago Web Designer
You write to be read … correct? Here are a few simple tips to reach as many readers as possible.
Make it easy for readers to subscribe to your blog feed (RSS). This will ensure they see new posts promptly and don’t have to visit your blog to read them. Offer your visitors subscription options, e.g. via a reader or by email.
Set up your feed so that your Twitter account automatically tweets a link to your new blog post. This is easily done using Google’s Feedburner . To optimize the effectiveness of this make sure this is not the only use of your Twitter profile!
Configure your Facebook Fan page so your blog posts are automatically posted there. There are various ways to do this either using the Facebook Notes function or an app like Social RSS or networked Blogs. It is amazing how many additional readers you will get via this approach.
LinkedIn is another great social network which can be automatically setup to display your blog posts. Log in to your account and select > edit profile, scroll down to applications and click > add an application. You will be presented with various apps, if you have a WordPress blog select the WordPress, all other blog select Blog Link.
Syndicate your RSS where ever you can
There are many sites which allow you to syndicate your blog content e.g Technorati, Blog Catalog and even Amazon has opened it’s door for you to syndicate your blog to the Kindle.
©: 2011 Chicago Web Designer
I am working on a couple of branding projects at the moment, one is creating everything from scratch ( see the start here) and the other is a brand consistency project.
Is your brand image consistent? Do your customers have the same experience however they interact with you. From visiting your web site, to paging through a brochure or even receiving and invoice, all these interactions offer an opportunity to convey your unique message. Lack of consistency creates confusion and sends conflicting messages to your clients.
For example your web site projects an air of professionalism and trust through design, a well thought out color palette, fonts, imagery and excellent copy. Does that image carry through to your brochures, folders, flyers or whatever other marketing pieces you use, or have they been hastily put together with no thought as to what they communicate?
Here is brand consistency in action, from web site through to presentation folder and DVD labeling the client is getting the same message.
Interested in how we can give your collateral material a more branded and polished look? Checked out our Branding Services.
©: 2011 Chicago web designer
A few weeks back I showcased a new logo for Prefix Technologies. The logo has now been seamlessly integrated into their web site.
Switching out an old logo with a new one can sometimes pose a few challenges.
- The footprint is substantially different, wider or taller, and the allotted logo area can’t accommodate.
- Color issues. Too much or too little contrast, color clashes.
- Look and feel – is the look and feel of the logo in keeping with the rest of the site.
In this particular logo switch we had an issue with color contrast as you can see below, the new logo just did not pop against the background.
Adding a dynamic star burst solved the problem.
©: 2010 Chicago Web Designer
Do you have a Twiter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google or any other social network profile? Are you getting the full SEO (search engine optimization) potential from these profiles? Here are a few tips to maximize the possibilities they offer.
On just about every social networking site, when setting up your profile you will have the opportunity to link to at least one external web site. Make sure you fill out those sections and test then once your profile is live. Links you may want to consider adding are your company web site, blog or links to your other social profiles.
Search Engine Page Results (SERP)
Building a robust profile and not just completing the “bare minimum” can really help dominate the search engine page results. The more information you can add to your profile the better, you are building authority. It is also important to not just build your profile but participate within the network too. Here is a simple example of a Google search on my name, the social networks dominate the return of the search.
Present yourself in a consistent way across all social media networks so there is no emotional disconnect for users visiting more than one of your social network profiles and getting confused brand message. Make sure your web site has links to all your social media platforms.
When participating in social media promote links in posts or tweets. The more useful the information you share the more others will re tweet or share which can build considerable traffic to targeted pages on your site.
Delivery top quality content on your web site is so important for getting it to rank well in the search engines. Conversations, comments and ideas generated within your social media network can be great inspiration for blog posts or site content in general and help keep your content fresh and up to date.
©: 2010 Chicago Web Designer
It is my objective to provide exceptional service for my clients and getting a recommendation like the one below on Linked In makes my face break out into a wide grin … and maybe even blush a little!
“Zoe has that rare combination of broad vision and tactical expertise, especially when it comes to careful listening. She is able to form the concept into a distinctive message, and then follows through with outstanding execution. Really knows her business. Zoe is as much an astute advisor as service provider.”
Top qualities: Great Results, Expert, Good Value
I worked with Peter earlier this year on a web and branding project for his Chicago based headhunting company.
Thanks Peter, for taking the time to write such a flattering recommendation.
2010 © Chicago web designer