As a sometimes designer I often look around and see in the case of too many small companies, good branding is not high on their priority list. I have a real world example in my neighborhood that always makes me cringe when I drive by it. It’s a diner with a logo that is supposed to look like a polar bear, but instead it clearly looks like a strange mouse with a badly designed and oddly proportioned body and a creepy smile. It is neither appealing or well done, and to me sends the entirely wrong message to customers; we don’t care about how our business looks on the outside, in fact, please, feel creeped out about our giant logo.
Good, well thought out branding can set a small company a part from the competition in a great way. It’s hard as a small company however to afford good branding. However, individual designers are a great way to get a good, and relatively cheap results.
Branding itself consists of a few different parts, and they all need to work together cohesively to be affective. This includes good typography choices, a company color pallet and a good logo, usually all wrapped up into an easy to reference style guide for a company to pull from for ideas and strategies for marketing themselves after the designers job is over.
Having a cohesive brand is important because it sends the message that your company has a clear idea of who they are and what they want to be. I says, “I know who I am and what my company stands for. This is my promise to you, this is what you can expect from my product or service in the future.”
I have found that having a branding consultation with clients, it can do something else for a lot of fledgling companies. If they are unsure about their personal message or what there company is about, it can really help them clarify what they want to be, and even help answer those tough questions that they not have even thought to ask themselves about what their company is about. Branding may look on the surface as just a way to make yourself more cohesive at advertising, and that is definitely part of it, but really affective branding can also help a company understand and get to the heart of who they are. It can help motivate, clarify and make companies feel optimistic and powerful from the core outwards.
That is the power of good, affective branding at its core.