You wouldn’t think of going to a business meeting without brushing your teeth, combing your hair or looking in the mirror to make sure that you’re making the right impression. It’s just as important for your business that you show up consistently put together.
Often small businesses don’t realize how important it is to create and present a coherent, well thought out visual image of your brand. Your logo, fonts, colors, and website design have a lot to tell your public about your company and in that way creates your brand identity. These things shape the vision people have of your business so it is good to decide on what you want them to come away with from visiting your website or seeing your marketing materials.
Visual Brand Audit
Before making an investment in a new website or other expensive marketing materials, consider doing a visual brand audit to see if your brand elements provide your company with the best representation of your brand at this time. When starting out, some people are overwhelmed by where to start. The visual brand audit is a great place to begin if you are a new business or an established business who hasn’t looked at your branding in a while.
Take a look at your logo, marketing materials, and website in order to pinpoint poor design, confusing elements, and inconsistencies.
If you are too close to your business or don’t have a good design sense, gather your materials together and present them to a design professional who will evaluate them and tell you the truth.
This evaluation will show how well your visual brand currently represents your company and it will clearly identify the areas where your brand elements need work.
There are a few things your company needs to create and then standardize and then they will be available for use in all of your marketing efforts:
- Company Logo: Colors, Availability, and Usage Guidelines for consistency. Make sure you are using your latest logo and that you have them in a variety of sizes including print ready art.
- Company Fonts: Choose a set of two to three fonts or font weights for headlines, titles, subtitles, and body fonts.
- Company Colors: Your company should be consistent in the use of color. Develop a color palette with the hex codes to use to keep your color choice from degrading over time by guessing what the colors are.
- Graphics such as Design Elements and Shapes and Icons: A consistent look and feel can be created with the use of a certain type of brand elements and details that you can use throughout all of your marketing materials including your website.
- Website Design: Your website needs to be targeted to a particular audience in order for them to connect with what service or product you are providing. Every image, graphic and all of the copy should work together to build trust and connection with your brand and offering.
- Business Cards: Your business card should have a minimal amount of information on it which then directs people to your website for more information. The type and weight of the card stock should be appropriate to your industry. If you need to write on the card know that you need a matte rather than a glossy finish.