You've probably heard the word "branding" or "brand identity" float around the webosphere on more than one occasion. Wait, scratch that. On TOO many occasions.
You're probably sick of hearing about branding, but you know what? You need to listen up because branding is the business, y'all!
Branding is all about the different elements that make a cohesive vision for your company or product. These elements include the logo, the font styles, the color palette, the voice in which you communicate or write, and of course, the photography style. Or just any visual graphics. Every company should have these elements in place to make up their brand identity.
Heck, I sometimes think I should have a "brand" in place just for my house! Do you know how many times I've designed a new spreadsheet thinking how much easier it would be if I had fonts or colors pre-selected for our house use? That way, everything looks cohesive and beautiful. And I'm all about making everything look beautiful, people.
So, let me continue with the reasons why you need to have a solid brand.
1 | IT SAVES TIME
If nothing else, branding just saves oodles of time. You basically have a visual plan for how you want every detail of your business to look. When you need to create graphics for your blog, you just pull from your branded fonts. No need to search through the gazillion font styles out there each time you want to make a quote graphic for social media.
When you need to redesign your website, you have your colors already selected. You don't need to waste precious minutes deciding which colors to use, which fonts look good together, which editing style looks better. Everything is done in advance and all you need to do is just run your business.
Who wouldn't love that?
2 | IT CREATES CONSISTENCY
When I first started blogging, I tried all sorts of different styles and fonts for my photos. I would see a font and it would be my new favorite thing until the next font came along. Since I was still practicing my photography, I played with different props in various colors and patterns.
All of that resulted in a hodge podge of looks on my blog. Nothing looked cohesive and you could never tell I wrote that post. Which leads me to my next point...
3 | IT IS EASILY IDENTIFIABLE
When you have a solid brand that you use consistently, your customer will be able to identify you a lot easier. They'll see your marketing materials and know it's you without even having to see your name.
Take a look at companies like Target and Starbucks, for example. Target just uses their logos in their ads. Even without their name plastered anywhere, you know who that trademarked logo and red color belong to, right?
What about Starbucks and their signature green? You see that green on their coffee cups and know instinctively that person is drinking Starbucks.
That's how powerful having a brand can be.
4 | IT LOOKS PROFESSIONAL
Companies that use a consistent color palette and visual elements are always going to appear more professional than companies that don't. Why is that?
Well, what do you think of when you see companies that use every color under the sun and fonts that you can't even read? Personally, I think it's all too outdated for the information age.
Your customer is too savvy. Your competition is too stiff. Your ideal customer can easily walk away without even talking to you. Because your competitor did take the time to think about appealing to your ideal customer. Your competitor went the extra mile to put quality in their appearances. So now your ideal customer has called on their professionalism and expertise. Darn.
Sorry, Charlie. But a lot of people do judge a book by its cover. Not gonna lie.
5 | IT CREATES TRUST
Be brutally honest with yourself. If you're comparison shopping for anything, would you choose the company that looks like:
A. a website that you can't find any information about the company or have any product images that accurately depict how to use their products?
B. a website that has a clean interface, is easy to navigate, and has product images that are bright and crisp with clear descriptions?
If you chose option B, you would be very wise. Seriously, website A could have amazing products and the owners could be the most wonderful people on earth, but without face-to-face interaction, I would never know that. I could only base my buying decisions on their poorly branded website. I just couldn't trust this company with my money.
While I'm definitely an economical shopper, I also know that it is far more economical to make sure you put your money into quality. I want to trust that when I buy something online, I'm buying what I see on the screen. Or that the website won't run off with my credit card information. Yikes!