The things people put on display inevitably generate a kind of inertia. In a world where we now have extraordinarily efficient ways of communicating and displaying, the question of who you are becomes incredibly complicated.
I think that brands are a part of this. When you surround yourself with certain kinds of objects, they become a public statement about who you are. There are hundreds of choices that are necessary to fill out your life with objects and things, and I think that requires an inner logic as well.
Maybe the modern version of introspection is the sum total of all those highly individualized choices that we make about the material content of our lives.
When will you create a brand that is perceived as professional?
You recognize brands all around you that look and feel professional. You also recognize those that are not quite there yet.
There are too many businesses and service providers out there underplaying themselves by not showcasing themselves as a professional brand. Branding is not only about a great visual array of elements (those that allow your customers to recognize your products and/or services), but a promise to customers and a holistic experience created throughout your marketing and social media outlets.
Professional brands are the ones that invest time and resources following their brand guidelines and make sure that everything they showcase is aligned with their vision and the core message they want to communicate. These brands are the ones that follow a set of instructions that were crafted to deliver a message and an experience in a clear way. They understand their brand’s personality and implement it on every visual presence they have; website, social media profiles, marketing materials.
Brands that have achieved certain level of recognition know that they have to maintain and take care of their brands as a daily goal.
Brands that are just starting might fall into the trap of “this is good for now”.
You can turn your online branding into a carefully crafted visual message now. You can become a professional brand today. You just have to commit to your brand, it’s that simple. ( tweet this! )
1. Create a logo that you love that can be used in different mediums and platforms. It can be as simple as a typographic one, or a graphic representation of your products/services. Keep it clean, keep it simple, keep it memorable.
2. Use a professional font. There are many font designers creating free (or very low cost) fonts that you can use to create your brand. Follow the type foundries providing web and print fonts to enhance your brand.
3. Create a color palette and stick with it! Some brands don’t have a full color palette, but you might want to consider having at least one other color that can be used for highlights or contrasting elements. If you’re not sure where to start, you can create your palette by using the colors of an image that represent your brand. You can create a set of colors that works with your main tone, or just use different shades of the one color your brand has been built on.
4. Don’t settle for any image. It’s better that you create your images (with your mobile phone or digital camera) than just settling for the ones you find on a Google search. Why? Well, there’s a great deal of copyright you have to be aware of and be careful with (if you need to find images online use Creative Commons). It’s unlikely that a generic image will follow your brand guidelines.
5. Show personality behind your brand. We all like to see the person or the people behind our favorite brands making us feel closer to them, and making that brand more human. It doesn’t have to be all about you, and it doesn’t have to be so literal that you’ll be in every single image on your website. Keep it approachable and human.
6. Take your audience behind the scenes and make them part of your brand! We all wonder how certain things are done or how someone we admire spends his/her days. Take your audience with you to places they have no access; a private show, an industry event, and make them part of it.
7. Use multimedia content to boost your presence and empower your brand. Some brands rely on videos, others on photos and some rely on a mix of all of them. Think of what type of content works best with your brand and serves your audience better.
8. Create content that will allow your audience to know more about your brand. Every message you craft will bring your audience closer to your brand. This is an opportunity for you to implement your unique brand proposition.
9. Don’t make it all about you. Think of all the brands that provide complementary services to your audience that can be aligned to your brand promise and show a bigger picture of the benefits your customers can get from working with you. Make your brand about your audience.
10. Carry your brand throughout your website, social media profiles and marketing collaterals. Connect them and have them feed each other content. No matter where your audience is reading/consuming/buying your product, you can provide the same experience for everyone.