Four primary colors call Google to mind. A simple white apple with a bite from it make us think of Apple. Branding creates very strong associations with the companies we know and trust. Designing a brand is very often neglected in the early stages of developing a company. It is easily forgotten, or worse, created haphazardly as an afterthought. Although there are many important things to consider when building a brand, a strong branded design can distinguish your company and give the impression of professionalism.
Branding gives you credibility
As the age-old cliche says, “you shouldn't judge a book by its cover.” You may find it unfair that potential customers and clients are judging your company based on something as trivial as your design, but design can make a big difference in how your company is perceived. In fact, 75% of web users admit to making judgements about the credibility of an organization based on the design of its website. A strong design and a strong brand can make a new product or company appear more established and professional than it actually is.
The Importance of Identity
As David Airey says in his book, "Logo Design Love", “A logoless company is a faceless man.” If your logo is the face of your company, the brand is the personality of the person behind the face. A logo should effectively summarize your brand, but your brand should consist of more than just your logo. Your brand should be defined by your company's values and your customer’s experiences. A strongly branded design will help your company define itself.The most important thing that a brand can provide your company is trust and credibility. You want to ensure that your company is conveying the right message to your audience with your brand.
What should a brand do?
A well-designed brand identity includes the collateral that accompany a logo, but it also serves as a visual manifestation of your company's values. If you want a brand that defines your company as fun and exciting, the use of playful illustrations and bright colors can personify that. If you’re a relaxed company, but you want to exude professionalism, perhaps clean lines are the way to go. A well-designed brand can define your company as a product, but it can also represent your company more wholistically.
What a brand can bring to you:
Identity - You want to seem like you are an established identity instead of a grouping of services. The stronger and more thorough your brand identity and design are, the greater your level of professionalism will seem.
Personality - Identify what your company does and what it values and design from there. If you are wanting to be a professional, straight-laced company, choose a clean design with sophisticated typography. If you want to be more fun, play with type and colors a bit more (with the exception of Comic Sans, please). Your brand personality does not have to be about what you do, but instead can reflect who you want to be as a company. It’s about perception, and an effective brand and design can create the right perception.
Professionalism - Your branding creates your perception, and a sophisticated brand can create a very professional vibe when designed effectively. Even if you are running your business out of your parents’ basement, a strong manifestation of your brand through a thoughtful design can make you appear more professional. Being professional does not mean that your logo has to be sleek and boring. Even fun designs can be professional and strong if they are executed around a strong brand.
Familiarity - When your audience sees your logo and design, they should be able to immediately associate it with your company. A recognizable logo can be a strong asset because customers can recall it very easily. As a startup, you want to establish rapport with your audience. If your branding and design are disjointed and forgettable, your company might be too.
- Value - The most important thing that a strong brand creates for your company is value. People are more likely to invest their time and resources into a company that they perceive well. If your branding is sloppy or does not exist, it can make the work you do seem that way as well. Remove any skepticism about investing in a startup by adding value to your company through the appropriate branding and design.
Creating a brand is not always easy, which is why it is frequently glossed over. Working with an experienced designer to create a brand for your company and design an identity around that brand can help your startup get off the ground on the right foot. A homemade design often looks homemade to potential customers. Having an experienced designer guide you through the process can make your brand much stronger and can give your new company a stronger presence in the market.