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7 Brand Design Tips for Start-ups

It’s essential to get the foundations of your business’s branding right from the start. This can not only help make a successful business, but it will help save a lot of time, energy and cost if things need to be re-done further down the line. Read on for our 7 brand design tips for start-up.

Every choice that you make for your business helps to shape its brand. From the style of its logo, to stationery, website design, the tone of voice of its marketing materials, every aspect of your business has an effect on the overall message. For large companies that support a substantial audience, managing these decisions can be an overwhelming and all-consuming task. Fortunately, as a start-up, speaking to your audience with a focused, clear and consistent brand voice is much more feasible.

Before you get started, it’s helpful to have a general understanding of branding. As a ­term, branding is often understood to be a company’s logo. In truth, a brand encompasses all aspects of a company, as perceived by the public. This can include everything as (deceptively) simple as a logo, or a tradeshow booth, to elements as complex as a product’s smell or a reputation for customer service. Your brand is what your audience sees, thinks and feels about your company.

With this in mind, we’ve compiled our top brand design tips to help you on your journey…

1. Research:

Have a good look at who your competition will be: What are they good at? What do they do well? What can you do better?

2. Values:

Write down your new businesses core values and share them with everyone involved with the business, friends and family. This will give you focus and the conviction to stand behind them, and help them to become real. These core brand values will then need to be reflected in your branding.

3. Choosing a name:

Select the name for your new business carefully: Does it reflect your target market, your service offerings, your core values and the personality of the business?

Google it, look for similar names and try to find a name that is unique. It’s also very important that the domain names are available, as that can cause problems further down the line.

4. Look and feel:

What type of brands do you admire and why? Not just in your target market but all in sectors. What do you like about them? Is it the way they communicate with their target audience, the way their branding looks and feels? Is it the avenues of communication that they use, online, offline, social media etc.?

5. Collaborate with a designer:

Choose a designer carefully, the best ones are not the ones who can design a logo, that’s a given! They should ask the right questions, be passionate about what you are trying to do with your business and be open to collaborate on your branding project with you. We believe that the best branding projects are the ones where the clients are fully involved, and the end result isn’t template based, or prescribed by the designer in “their style”, but it’s designed to be bespoke for that business, then it will feel right, the client will love it and will be proud to be represented by the brand identity.

6. Extended branding:

Thinking further than just the logo. What colours, images, fonts, and even messages/phrases best suit your business? It’s a good idea to think about these elements even at an early stage, even if not all of them are put into action straight away. It can help with future advertising, marketing and even recruitment, as everyone involved in the business has a clear visual image of what the business looks like.

7. Avoid trends:

Make sure that you choose a company name and a logo that matches the core values that you have set for the business, its personality, its services and its target market, so avoid trends at all costs. This means avoiding choosing a name that sounds like or is similar to a competitor’s or even one that sounds “cool”. Likewise for the style of your logo, avoid choosing a logo that “fits” within a particular market, or even looks similar to a competitor, as this will be counter-productive.

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