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Is DIY branding a false economy?

A brand is more than a logo, it is how you effectively communicate and differentiate your brand to your customers, and can be incorporated throughout your entire corporate identity.

As an SME it is unlikely you will
have the army of brand consultants behind you to help you build your business,
therefore while your business is still growing into a success, there are a
number of branding elements you can do to help develop your brand, until you
can justify the cost of a major branding push to help business growth.

Know yourself

What is your USP (Unique Selling
Point)? What can you do better than your competitors and why would a customer
buy from you? Are you solving a problem that your competitors aren’t, or doing something
differently that makes you stand out from the crowd? If your product or service
isn’t unique, what can you do to highlight your offering? Are there any
guarantees you can offer to your customers such as fast turnaround or a
lifetime warranty?

Know your market

What does your customer look
like? Identify as much as you can about your customer, such as how old they
are, What they do for a living? Do they have children? How old are they? Do
they have pets? which ones? are they single, married? where do they live? What
are their hobbies? Everything you use to communicate with your market from your
logo through to the language you use in your communications should be aligned
with your customer. The way you communicate with a 14-year-old girl would be
very different to the way you communicate with a 70-year-old man.

Developing a logo

For the development of a logo, it
would be beneficial for you to go a design agency, not only for their creative
expertise, but their technical know-how too and to ensure you receive the files
in the formats you need. However, we can reduce costs here by helping your
Creative as much as possible. Designers are not mind readers and a good brief
will go a long way. From a cost, creative and efficiency perspective it is
advisable to provide your designer with as much information as possible upfront.
 If you have a vision or an idea,
communicate it. If there is something you inherently don’t like, let them know.
More to the point, try to explain why you like what you do. A good designer
will be inspired from the smallest thing. Don’t forget to tell them what you
are trying to portray and who your customer is.

Overall, make sure you get
something you love.

DIY Branding

As mentioned previously there are
elements you can do yourself to reduce your costs and align your brand. Decide
on a font to use (many people use Calibri or Arial, however a child’s nursery
may use Comic Sans), and incorporate this throughout your documentation and
your emails.


Once your logo has been
developed, and you have your RGB (red green blue) values from your agency, you
can decide on your colour palette to use. A nice tool to identify complementary
colours is
You can then customise the colours throughout your Office suite to ensure your
tables and graphics are all aligned and displaying your brand, not forgetting
your email and your email signature.

Protect your brand

If it is applicable, you can
protect your brand with a trademark symbol ™ or Registered symbol ®. It is
important you comply with the law, therefore only use the ™ symbol when you
wish to claim a trademark and notify your competitors you are making this claim.
To use ® you must complete the necessary paperwork and filing. To take this
step, it is vital you take advice from an Intellectual Property lawyer.

How to write a design brief

If you are unsure what information to give to your Designer, the steps
below may help you.


What is the
role of this communication and what is its objective? What do you want to
achieve? What action do you want your audience to take upon reading the brief.
What are your competitors doing and how you can you avoid.


Who is your
target audience and what are their demographics? This will enable you to
develop specific material which resonate with your audience.

Role of product

How does your
product or service meet the needs of your customers? Think of the emotional
needs as well as the functional needs.

What do you want to say

Give your
audience a reason to read more. Highlight your USP as well and include a CTA
(Call to Action) - 'Book Now', 'Call Today', 'Contact Us Here'.

It's just a brief

The key thing
to remember is that a brief is a starting point. Creatives will interpret and
use this as a launch pad to develop something fresh and exciting. Most of all,
it's just a first draft. A good designer will be happy to work with you as you
mould and determine what works and what doesn’t work for you and your market. 

Blog supplied by Tina Marshall - Founder of
Creating Sense Ltd, a Marketing agency focused on Strategy, Innovation and
Application. Access the same skills and experience of a large corporation,
a fraction of the cost.

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