I got inspired to write this article because I frequently receive enquiries for work such as logo design, website design or social media branding. I then request my client to send me info about their brand identity or some sort of branding guidelines.
More often than not my client will not have these sorted out simply because they are a start up or because they are not aware why these are needed in creating any branding or marketing assets.
A common misconception is that a logo will instantly create your brand identity. A logo is just 1 design asset that is part of a brand identity.
Here’s a list of the most common elements that define Visual Brand’s Identity:
· Logo design
· Colour palette with hex codes
· Typography Guidelines
· Brand guidelines (these can be defined as a text or image, or both)
· Auxiliary graphics such as iconography, images, illustrations, patterns, effects
· Mock ups to visualize products/stationery in 3D
Brand Identity is also created with non-visual elements such as:
· Brand Name
· Tagline or slogan
· Style of communication / voice and tone in communications
· Brand’s DNA
Why do you need to sort out your Brand Identity before launching your business?
If you decide to design just a logo before launching your business instead of having your complete brand identity sorted you are falling into a risk of:
· Being misunderstood by your perfect customers
· Not reaching your perfect customers
· Not building reputation and credibility
· Inconsistent brand look throughout different channels meaning that your customer will not remember you or will get confused with your marketing efforts
· Looking unprofessional and amateur. This will affect your sales and future opportunities
· Spending more money on different designers/agencies for designing other assets or redesigning, as the consistency might be lost.
· Public embarrassment and negative criticism
So in other words, you might completely waste your money on a logo design that will not bring you any results if you haven’t got all your Brand Identity elements sorted.
What if I can’t afford designing a complete Brand Identity before launching my business?
As a former luxury lingerie brand owner I will tell you honestly – do not launch your business until you feel very comfortable to present it in public space (including online). You don’t want to sabotage your efforts at an early stage of your business and quit just because you feel unconfident, uncomfortable or embarrassed about your visual representation.
If you cannot afford to hire an agency or a professional designer there are some things you can do:
· Do some research on open license graphics and see if your designer could use them and adapt them to your brand. This might lower the cost of design process. You will not look completely authentic and might have to rebrand in the future when you have more funds.
· See if there are any business support networks or funding opportunities in your area. Usually there will be schemes available by your government for start-ups to borrow money. Depending on your industry there will be different options available. You do not have to choose $10K branding packages to achieve great results for your business when first starting.
· You can spread the design process over a few months and request a payment plan from your designer.
I hope this article was helpful and useful for you. I am a professional brand designer