When you think about it, the steps to stellar branding really are simple: Be strategic, don't rush the process, share your story, and put yourself in the shoes of your consumer. While every designer in the world prays we're past the days of Comic Sans and Papryus logos (please!), there are still a few mistakes I see business owners make in the realm of branding.
1) Improper use of a business logo
Just like Cinderella's glass slipper doesn't fit every foot, every logo does not fit every design need. All those file types your designer delivered to you with your final brand guidelines are intended for different purposes. In fact, my stomach turns every time I see a stretched, distorted, or pixelated logo printed on something official on behalf of a business. If you aren't sure how to properly position or print a file, please consult a professional. I promise the end product will be worth every penny.
2) Disregarding brand guidelines
Can you easily locate your brand's exact HEX color code for web and digital design purposes? What about your brand's Pantone colors for print? If these terms mean absolutely nothing to you, it's time to get to work. Inconsistent branding is one of the first things your potential client notices, and it can easily deter someone from booking you in the first place. This is why I make sure to deliver an extensive brand style guide at the end of every branding project to clearly outline the intended use for every single piece of the brand. If your designer created something similar, USE IT to your advantage! If you’ve never worked with a designer, take the steps now to determine these guidelines immediately. For more insight into color and type theories, click here!
3) Taking an inconsistent approach across mediums
In our present digital age, it's increasingly important for your branding to feel and look cohesive. This means everything from your brand tone to your brand imagery to your color palette should flow as one, unwavering stream. Utilizing your Facebook page for funny memes and brightly-colored messaging (when your brand aspires to embody a high-class clientele) is not only confusing, it’s also untrustworthy.
4) Failing to educate employees or assistants
Whether you're a simple, two-person operation or a company with 500+ employees, proper communication is essential to avoiding brand blunders. Readily share your guidelines, templates, and instructions with employees from day one, and you'll (hopefully) never see a proposal floating around with an outdated logo or incorrect fonts. Even if you don't expect an employee to interact with your branding materials, this step ensures everyone is on the same page about WHO you are as a business, WHAT you hope to accomplish, and WHY you make certain decisions.
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