I am a designer through and through. I want to disclose that fact upfront. So, of course, I’m always going to be on ‘Team Design,’ meaning I may be a bit biased when it comes to the importance of design. That doesn’t mean that I don’t value a good marketing strategy or a product’s quality. I do, however, think that design plays a significant role in the success or failure of your brand’s ability to not only be recognizable, but also be understood by current and potential customers.
Let’s first define brand identity. Think of it as a personality. It makes your company unique, sets you apart from your competitors, and creates a relationship with your customers through your values, vision, and products. A company’s logo, marketing assets, website, newsletters, social media, and packaging are all important parts of a brand’s identity.
So how does design impact brand identity, and how does it help your brand become recognizable? A great logo design will help make a company stand out amongst competitors by strengthening the recognition of your products and connecting your company’s values and mission with its customers. Having a logo designed to be dynamic— one that works well across all platforms— is vital in today’s noisy media landscape. It should look great on the side of a building and on the icon of an app. A well-designed logo with great exposure can become so memorable that what remains of it will still be instantly recognizable even after the apocalypse.
With great logo design comes the need for consistency, consistency, consistency. I wanted to say that three times to drive it home! Take a look at your products, marketing assets, website, social media pages, employee uniforms, and even your email signatures. Is the visual presentation of your branding consistent? Does your logo have a consistent placement, size, and use of color? If you are using illustrations, photos, or iconography, do they have the same look and feel across all platforms? These design elements should create the necessary thread of recognition that ties each exposure together in a customer’s mind. Recognition will grow with consistency and repeated exposure. One way to ensure brand consistency is to create a brand guideline. This document should set rules for usage of color, typography, imagery, and logos. Provide it to your employees, vendors, clients, and agencies—anyone who will be representing or building assets for your brand.
There are many great examples of strong brand identities, but I always fall back on Apple as my example of choice. Apple has turned branding into an art form. It’s one of the strongest examples of how design impacts brand identity in today’s marketplace. Attention to design and usability plays a lead role in every aspect of the company’s marketing strategy and product development. Apple’s identity is sleek, modern, and in a constant state of iteration. It has elicited an unshakable loyalty from its customer base through cutting-edge technology and bold design.
Investing in good design is like dressing for success. If your company has mediocre creative and marketing materials, or maybe inconsistent logo designs, it’s as if you are showing up to your dream job interview in your nicest sweatpants. Take a minute to think about what that says about your business. Are you okay with just being okay? Poor design, weak brand identity, and inconsistent messaging can tarnish a brand. Strong brand identity starts with good design. Here are ten signs that your brand identity may need a refresh and what to do about it. You want your business and your products to be seen in the best light. You want the customer to pick your product out of a sea of other products because they recognize your brand and associate it with quality. Invest in a good designer that understands the importance of brand identity. Your ROI will not disappoint.
Thinking that you may need a brand refresh, or maybe you need to step up the consistency of your marketing visuals and tactics? Check out the range of services Babcox offers to see how we can support your next marketing initiative or design needs.
Nichole Anderson is the Director of Corporate Design at Babcox Media
Contact Nichole at [email protected]