Brand Basics: What is a brand and why is it important?
People often use “brand” as a nickname for “logo”. But a brand is more than a logo – it’s all thing that make up your business’s visual identity, plus all the things that people say and think about your business.
I describe myself as Brand Designer, but that doesn’t mean that I only design logos. Since a brand is made up of many elements – including your logo, your tone of voice, your marketing campaigns, your images, and the general vibe you give off – I consider everything I do to fall under that umbrella.
Example: you want a leaflet designed. Okay, but before I can do that, I need to at least know the following:
- What’s your logo? (So people can identity quickly which business this is from)
- What colour palette do you use? (As above, and certain colours evoke certain emotions)
- What font? (Childlike Comic Sans or plain Arial?)
- Is your tone of voice professional (“SALE on now!”) or conversational? (“Grab yourself a bargain!”)
Without knowing any of the above, I could just start designing a leaflet that looks “nice”, but it wouldn’t create any brand recognition.
Why is brand identity important?
You can distinguish yourself from your competitors and show people what they can expect from your business by building a brand – starting with a simple, clear logo – that makes a memorable impression on clients and customers that says “this is who I am”.
It adds value to your offer
If customers can see at a glance who you are and what you’re about, so can potential investors. A clear brand makes it easier for clients and stakeholders alike to decide if your brand aligns to their personal goals.
You gain confidence in yourself and your business goals
To know where you’re going, you need to have a vision. If that vision doesn’t match your aspirations, it’s going to be hard to motivate yourself. Starting with a solid identity that will accompany you along your journey gives you pride in your (brand) appearance in the same way a new outfit does.