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In a world that is becoming increasingly visual it’s surprising that many small businesses are still taking the impact of their brand for granted. Seeing business logos everyday can be a stark reminder that no matter their size, big or small, many are still getting it drastically wrong.

The simple truth is you don’t have to be a designer or a creative to know a good brand design, it’s the fact that they remain in our minds when the company name is mentioned that makes them so. From Coca Cola’s red and white, to Adidas three stripes and of course Facebook blue, you only need to say the name and we know the logo, and most probably the strapline.

The impact of good branding can help you resonate your message to target customers marketing your business effectively. Over time a strong brand can become one of the most valuable assets a business can have, yet many still disregard its effectiveness.

You only need to look at the Virgin brand and how Richard Branson has been able to transfer the trust he’s built up over multiple sectors.

With what we now know about the brands we currently recognise, it should give businesses a head start in creating their own effective campaigns, but bad branding is still out there.

Being cheap

Let’s be honest, cheap branding stands out from a mile. And does it make me trust that company and want to do business with them? Absolutely not!

Aside from looking unprofessional it doesn’t resonate any trust. If they’re going to be cheap about how they represent their own business, perhaps the service or product they offer is going to be cheap as well?

Unfortunately, in many circumstances businesses do not understand the importance of their branding and therefore don’t understand why they should invest in it.

The power of your brand will not only help you build a relationship with your customers, but can help you to find new ones. Gaining brand recognition is a powerful competitive edge to have in any industry.

“Your brand name is only as good as your reputation” – Richard Branson

Overcomplicating

Your logo should encompass your business values and your product or service, it shouldn’t be a Mona Lisa work of art!

Too much detail and an overcomplicated design can confuse people and hide the message that you’re trying to put out there in the first place.

It can be tempting to keep adding more and more but your logo doesn’t need six colours and represent every area of your business.

Take a look around at some of the most recognisable logos in the world, they’re clean and simple.

You could put them anywhere and you would know what it was and who they were.

The same goes for the strapline. A cheesy inconsequential piece of text can make people stand back and say “what?”

Your business model should be summed up in a matter of three words and get to the point.

“When you brand yourself properly the competition becomes irrelevant” – Dan Schawbel

Changing your message

It’s bad enough if you can’t live up to your brand message let alone if you keep changing it.

Cheating on your brands guidelines can take you down a dark path that you may struggle to return on.

Every time you deviate from your brand guidelines, even if you think you just want to change the colour a touch, you dilute the power you’ve spent so long building.

As we all know when Google changed its logo, many us just didn’t like it. Not for any particular reason but for the fact that we hate change and are naturally creatures of habit.

Although your company may not have the power of Google’s branding, the science is the same.

A successful business can be built on the stepping stone of great branding, and it shouldn’t be taken lightly as to the doors it can open and the customers it can attract.

In our digital days of social media brand damage can be done in minutes, yet take years to repair.

 

By Richard LeCount, Director of USBMakers