The thinking behind a strong brand and communications plan is invaluable. It directs so much about your business.
Your physical brand
There is also the more tangible side to your brand that may need attention too, and that’s the physical parts of it. Think logos, promotional work, brand colours, your office or shop or van.
Critically, if you’ve done the brand thinking right you can guide the physical brand with a look and feel that fits (see the previous article on what you need to be thinking about here).
Logos and Colour
How do you know if your logo needs attention? This is a tricky question to answer as every business is so different.
Logos can develop over time. The degree of change is probably down to what you started with in the first place, or what direction the brand might be moving in.
For instance, you may have started your business on a shoestring budget, or without much thought to the logo or brand direction. It can often be the case that businesses find themselves looking at a logo that needs to ‘grow up’, rectify some cheap, basic design or reflect a better brand direction. Some fundamental re-working might be required.
It’s also the case that some businesses take a more subtle and progressive journey with their logo, moving it on bit by bit, keeping it fresh and working within new environments (think how mobile phones have affected logo visibility, and how the small square social media icon can dictate if a logo works in all environments).
Google is a good example of progressive logo development over time.
The same debates can be said on colour. Colour in itself can say so much about a brand. Brands will become heavily associated with colour, and so more radical changes in brand direction or signals of change can be achieved by colour changes. Subtle progression of different, fresher tones can keep things contemporary too.
Web Design and Promotion
A new website can bring massive benefits from a technology perspective. It is also an opportunity to improve the look, feel and messaging of your brand. The time you have spent thinking about your brand, its values and core messages can feed directly into promotional work to invigorate your brand. It’s a real opportunity to assess what you say and how you attract customers, and improve it.
Think new wording. New headlines. New photography. New typefaces. A new ‘About Us’ page. These can all make a huge difference. It also proves the brand cares about itself, which says to customers ‘they’ll care about me’.
Vans, reception, offices and retail spaces
A new sign, a new van or a major office or shop refit can re-launch a brand to great effect. It’s a chance to communicate and say something about your brand, as well as doing the job of reminding people you exist (the named Virgin Media vans and Stobart lorries are a great example of going beyond a logo and showing some of your brand personality).
Got an office? Think about the first impression your reception makes? No pictures. Tatty chair. Boring chair. Fading coloured paint. No work on the walls, no client logos, pictures or screen to show imagery and messaging? You’ll need to go back to your brand plan and the perceptions you want to illicit and get the reception to match. It’s the same for retail experiences (as that’s what they should be, an experience).
These are just few examples of your physical brand and identity that can make a huge impact on the perceptions held about your business. Each may be small, but when brought together they create a visual story about your brand that you need to guide appropriately.