Essentially your brand is you! The image you portray to the world – the reputation you build, your values, market position, mood, appeal, message, products and services; How you use it and which messages you portray is the essence of brand communication, which has a massive influence on market behaviour – when it works it’s your most powerful asset, when it doesn’t it’s a liability.

A strong brand design is vital for success in a competitive market. All your work, promotions and activities build with your brand and improve its worth or ‘brand equity’. Equally bad news, unhappy followers or wrong perceptions count against it.

Branding affects all market sectors including charities; who do we choose to support, who do we trust, who looks like they really deliver? You can be doing all the right things for your cause but if your brand is not communicated well no one will know!

Clear brand strategy

Everything should develop from your brand strategy. What makes your product special? Who do you want to appeal to? What emotions do you want to conjour? Where do you fit in within the market place? Brand strategy is critical to getting everything else focussed and working.

What’s in a logo design?

A strong logo is a huge contributor to a strong brand. A logo isn’t an organisation’s brand but it is the graphic representation of it. Saying what you do clearly and in keping with your intended perceptions for your audience is a powerful tool. It’s the first glimpse, a visual focal point, of you. In order to communicate your brand effectively, your logo has to be giving off the right messages.

How are your brand looking?

Brand guidelines are developed to control the way colours, type and supporting graphics are used. However if the guidelines are not followed things can slip out of control. Once the cascade begins an organisation loses cohesion and clarity – all the benefits of a tight, well-disciplined brand are lost. As an instant test try gathering up all your published materials, open your website and have a good look at it all on the same table. Is it consistent, controlled, attractive, clearly from one organisation, and giving off the desired impression?

How could a brand design agency help?

The starting point is a ‘brand audit’, a grand name for taking a thorough look at the strengths and weaknesses of your brand, and what your web, publications and other outputs look like. An audit looks at whether your brand successfully represents your desired image, both in and out of the organisation. Information is gathered from all those connected with the organisation – customers, employees, clients, service providers, agencies etc. It will also take a look at your competitors. Perceptions of the brand are then noted and your desired ‘brand values’ considered against the findings. From this point it starts to become clear which actions can be easily taken and how broad any changes need to be. Very often it can be a fairly painless exercise to establish a route forward.

Would you change your logo?

Your logo drawing, colours and supporting lines are the key concerns of a visual branding process. Is the typeface strong and modern/appropriate? Are you clearly communicating who you are and what you do? If you use a graphic, does it actually mean anything? Do you have a mission statement and if so is it reflected by graphics or words in your logo?

The refresh

Rebranding may not mean a whole new approach. A great deal can be done to refresh and modernise the look of a logo, whilst maintaining some identifiable anchors to your current identity. A tired brand can be very successfully modernised and polished to become more targeted, contemporary and usable.

Thinking about brand design and development?

If you are considering brand design and development why not start by talking to us.

Call 01243 389713  or email hello@oysterdesign.co.uk.