A Guide to Making the Most of Using Your Brand

 

The birth of a brand is no easy process. It involves a hard push from your team to produce the representation of your dream — of your brand — and lots of labored breathing as you release it into the world. You hope the world loves it as much as you do and that your target audience goes gaga over your services and products.

Your brand speaks through its logo, typeface and copy. Your brand’s got wit and charm enough to travel back in time and get Marilyn Monroe to sing “Happy Birthday” to it. A picture says a thousand words, and you expect the elements of your brand to do the same work. Here’s the guide you need to making the most of your brand.

1. Your Full Logo

Keep your logo front and center since it represents the face of your brand. You want your customers to recognize it everywhere they go and from a distance. You want your 90-year-old grandfather to recognize it the way he remembers that Kleenex got its start as a gas mask filter. No, really.

That’s why you spent so much money on it in the first place. You will use it the most on your branding materials.

2. Logo Variations + Extra Elements

Don’t forget about the additional elements that often appear along with your logo. Account for alternate needs to use variations of your logo, such as when your logo must appear on various surfaces with different colors.

An outline usually assists with making the logo stand out, but sometimes, you’ll need to slightly adjust it depending on the background. This is why many publishers produce variants of their standard logo to go on books since they need to maintain a consistent brand representation visually on various book covers while ensuring those books stand out to customers.

Don’t forget your tagline. You may include it on your website and other promotional materials, but in others areas, your logo will stand alone. The extra elements allow for more color options, but your overall branding must remain consistent and not overwhelm your audience.

3. Color Palette

Color influences your target audience’s mood and communicates what you stand for as a company. Follow your designer’s advice and only use your specific brand colors, unless they mention the benefits of using tints (adding white to your colors) or shades (adding black to your colors). Sometimes, these adjustments are necessary.

Decide what proportion you want your color to appear in as that affects how your brand is perceived. Coca-Cola keeps it simple with script typeface —and going with script isn’t for the faint of entrepreneurial hearts — and a red unique to that brand.

4. Textures and Patterns

Textures assist some brands with standing out as a more tangible entity that customers can reach out and touch. Again, it comes back to evoking mood and emotion within your target audience. Use these primarily in the background of your campaign materials, but keep it consistent.

The same is true for patterns but with one additional caveat — make the pattern tileable so that the full image is seen on the web. Use your designer’s expertise for appropriate sizing and coding.

5. Icons

Think of an icon as the mini-me of your logo. Other industries know the icon as a “submark.” Icons work as the shorthand of the standard logo and commonly exist in a self-contained format, such as a circle with abbreviated initials of the organization’s business name. Icons come in handy in areas where you don’t have the room to show off your impressive logo, such as social media. So, upload your icon on Twitter and Facebook instead.

6. Fonts/Typefaces

While everyday folks prefer the word “fonts,” your designer may frown and use the more formal word “typefaces.” Don’t worry about precision in word choice in this case since the exchange rate’s the same. You must keep your brand’s core fonts consistent across all your marketing materials, including on the web and in print.

Three main fonts make up the core of your typeface usage: a hero font (headings), a supporting font (emphasis or subheadings) and an extremely legible font for your body text, which is typically a san serif. The small strokes that shoot off from the stems of letters, such as in Times New Roman or Courier New, represent serif fonts. Typefaces like Arial and Verdana are san serifs because they are sans a serif. Bolding or italicizing are the only times these fonts will change form.

Some fonts are unique to campaigns and how long they run, but you want to keep these as close to your brand’s core typefaces as possible.

7. Styled Imagery

What type of photo styling does your brand use? Include reminders of this around the office and on your brand board to remind yourself of your brand’s message and feel. Does that come in color or black and white? What about sepia for a vintage feel? Is your brand clean or gritty?

Who is your dream client? Would this appeal to them? Keep your brand use consistent, and remember the power of simplicity to impact your target audience.

Make the most of your brand by contacting Drip Drop Creative. We’ll write new songs for your brand together and then some.