Your logo is a symbol used to visually represent your brand. Many people think of their logo as their entire brand, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg.
When looking at a company's website, products, or anything associated with the brand–the first thing you notice, whether consciously or subconsciously, is their colors. Companies deliberately choose their brand colors based on the emotions each color evokes. For example, many tech companies and banks choose blue because it’s considered a trustworthy color.
Icons are visual storytellers that direct your customers through your website, app, packaging, and more. Your iconography should be cohesive and match user intent. For example, when a user sees a horizontal triangle on a music app, they expect music to play when it’s clicked.
Your choice of typeface can either add or take away from your messaging. If you’re a tech company and you choose a font like Disney’s, it can easily give the reader mixed signals. If the header and body fonts don’t look good together, you could come off as cheap or unorganized. Your typeface will be on every piece of messaging your company puts out, so make sure it’s legible and is harmonious with your brand.
A custom website is an extension of your brand. It’s the 24/7 salesperson and digital representative of your company. Inject your brand standards into your website design to differentiate you from your competitors.
voice and tone
Finding the right voice and tone for your brand can challenging but once you discover how to speak to your buyer personas, you'll unlock the key to a successful brand experience. Does your target audience respond to fun, quirky messaging or more serious, jargony copy? How you speak to your audience says a lot more than you think. Deciding on the voice and tone your buyer personas respond to will shape all of your messaging and lead you toward successful conversations in the future.
Your brand traits are the human characteristics that are applied to your company’s messaging. For example: Sincerity, intelligence, excitement, and adaptability are all examples of brand traits. Aligning your brand with one of the 12 archetypes can be a great place to start when defining traits.
photography and graphics
Creating a cohesive look and feel starts with deciding on the guidelines that will dictate all visual content. Do you want to use stock images, or take real-life photographs of you and your team? Do you want images with a lot of sunlight? How big can your graphics be? Deciding what you should and should not use when it comes to photography and graphics will help align your designers and marketing team so visuals are consistent throughout all channels.
Social media is a big player when it comes to delivering content and creating a great brand experience for your target audience. Social channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn give your customers a direct connection to your company; enabling you to humanize your brand and more closely align with your audience. Social media allows you to have conversations with customers and potential customers faster than ever before. It also means gaining or losing your followers’ trust faster than ever before. Your social presence should follow your brand guidelines, so when your customer interacts with you on social media, they’ll know what to expect.
Many companies don’t think about how their employees factor into their brand strategy. Hiring employees that fit your brand and shape your culture can be your greatest asset when trying to maintain your brand’s integrity. Your employees can be the biggest champions of your brand. By creating a culture code that highlights the values and traits you look for in an employee, you can begin to attract the right people.
Your customer experience is the core focus of your brand. When we look at things like developing a voice and a tone, it's all about how your customers, or potential customers, perceive your brand—hopefully as trustworthy and authentic. So, really developing and understanding your ideal customer is the key to being able to deliver a great experience wherever they may encounter your brand. The customer experience doesn't just end with them visiting your website. It goes all the way through the sales process. When they talk to someone on the phone, does the person on the other end represent your brand? Are they saying the right things? When a prospect becomes a customer, how are they treated? The customer experience is number one when thinking about your brand. Essentially, your brand is the overall feeling customers get when interacting with your company.