In a previous article I went over the misconception of how many start-ups think that their branding alone will make their business famous. In this post I’m going to talk about how you can actually get value, and profit from your branding and logo design.
Lots of people will have a logo designed and then think that their branding is done. Sometimes people invest in a logo design and then think “what do I do with it?”. If that’s the case it may have been because you invested in “only” a logo design. For the idea of a logo, brand design or identity to be useful it needs to be utilised and expendable as an asset. It needs to be a leader of a whole set of visual elements for your business. The logo design will only gain value:
- When you use it
- When a business is built around it
With big brands, a logo design is an asset that can generate revenue itself, only because of what it’s associated with. As a small business it’s your foot into the door. In either case, the effect of a logo is quite subliminal making it hard to measure what value it’s bringing to your business. If you want to make a profit from your logo design, here’s what you should do.
1. Discover your brand first
Forget about logos and design for the minute and take a look at your business.
- What do you do?
- What do you Sell?
- What makes you different?
- What do you think about your business?
- Go ahead and name 5 positive things about your business.
The idea behind the exercise is to really reveal what you stand for as a business so that your brand is not just about a quick sale but a company, service or product with purpose that holds specific value, and values.
2. Design wise, start with the logo design
After answering the above questions about your business, you may want to dive straight into advertising, building a website or a brochure but don’t. Start with the logo design first.
The logo design is a single graphic that will encompass your brand visually. It’ll be the foundation from which every other piece of collateral will built upon and it will solve design problems for all your marketing documents thereafter.
I’ve seen so much time and expense wasted when a design project starts backwards from the website or collateral and then moves onto the logo and brand values at the end. It becomes a mish mash of ideas and messages that creates a confused brand that can’t make sales. Avoid this by starting with the logo design.
3.Don’t create just a logo design
A logo alone is actually not that useful. You’ll find yourself placing it on documents because you have it but you’ll be unsure of what else to do with it. To add more value to your logo design, give it some company. Don’t get just a logo designed, develop a “brand identity system” so you have a set of visual assets to use on any given document instead of just the logo.
In doing so your brochures, web design and other collateral will now have design assets that can be applied to it. This will unify your brand identity and build a physical presence for your business.
4. Extending the brand identity system
To create your brand identity system, develop the use of typography for your business. Pick no more than three well pairing fonts, preferably one taken from your logo design and use them throughout your business documents. You’ll be surprised at how much text content you create as a business and how useful a dedicated set of typefaces will be. Having specific fonts and styles for specific locations (headers, paragraphs etc) will save you time, make you look professional and create an identity for your business to be remembered by.
5. Create a colour palate
In addition to typography, think about the colour palate that your brand and logo uses. Take colours from the logo and keep a set combination of 5 colours that be used within your design communication and don’t deviate from it.
6. Additional brand imagery
As well as type and colours, be sure that your branding contains a theme of photos, shapes or patterns that follow on from the logo to create a stronger identity for your business.
Making a profit from your logo design
All of the above gels together to form a system of design dedicated to your business, also known as a “brand identity system”. It’s a system that’s usable and can be applied to everything from stationery and websites to livery and adverts to identify your business in a consistent format.
The most important point is that you use these assets to market your business. In doing so, your identity will become familiar and recognisable, building visual relationships with customers and in return generating sales and profit.
The idea of creating a system of design as a marketing tool will add value to your business and brand by making it as physical of an asset as possible, oppose to just a logo design.
Take a look at these brand identity systems we’ve created for clients to see how it all works.