In the good old days, before the internet came along, people started businesses. (Really!) Once they had decided what they were going to sell, they sat down and puzzled about brand names and company logos. Then they would go off and employ an artist who stuck together bits of paper and sketched things on boards, until something was created that appealed to the business owner. Often there was a bit of market research involved, asking the public which design they thought was the best. Then, weeks later, after looking at dozens of proofs, he would get umpteen quotes from printers and finally the work could be done.
He would order his headed stationery, envelopes, advertising materials and business cards all to match. He had created his brand. As the company got more successful and wealthy, they would give away branded bags and ball caps, pens and key chains to everyone they could, so these people would say “thank you” by remembering the brand and, more importantly, coming back to buy the company’s products.
Then along came the internet, and lots of businesses lost sight of the whole brand concept. Emails are unbranded, or badly branded, in black and blue. The company’s blog is some scary shade of yellow and green. The newsletter is grey and pink. The box you receive your product in is purple and white. You get the picture. Like a dysfunctional family, none of these items visually relate to each other.
We clearly recognize brands, the red and white of Coke and Nike’s swoosh, even without the company’s name ever appearing on whatever it is. Famous logos and brands are everywhere, and when people see them, they know exactly what they are buying.
If you are only just considering starting a business, don’t make this mistake. Learn from the pros. Make sure your brand is the same on everything. EVERYTHING. If you have started your business already and have made this mistake, fix it now. It’s a lot easier to redesign a blog than it is ten thousand boxes!
- Your blog and your website should have the same colors and logo as
- Your business cards, and
- Letterheads, and
- Anything you give away free and
- Your packaging and
- Your advertising
Make your brand instantly recognizable!
People look for consistency of quality, so, what do they think if everything your company puts out is mismatched? Yep, they think your company is sloppy and disorganized. If a customer doesn’t instantly recognize your brand on the shelf because it bears no similarity to another of your products, chances are you’ve lost a sale.
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