8 Proven Brand Design Principles For Startups to Follow

Brand

A brand is more than just a logo. Branding is the image a company presents to the public. It colours all interactions, all marketing, and all user expectations. In many ways, branding is defined by people’s perceptions as much as it is by what your company produces or the service you provide. In other words, branding is critical to the success of every company and is involved in all aspects of a business. The following 8 principles are a guide to effectively design your brand and take your business to the next level. Here are 8 proven brand design principles for startups to follow:


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#1. Strategise

Before you take your brand public, you first need to decide what brand you want for your company. This decision is based off an understanding of the core concepts of the business:

  • what value is your company providing customers or users,
  • who are the customers or users,
  • what relationship do you want between them and your business.

This step requires intensive communication with your business and all parties that interact with that business to understand all the elements of your company. As much as possible, your brand should reflect all of these elements and represent the core of your business.

Recommended reading: How Visual Communication Can Help You Nail Your Unique Brand

#2. Consistency is Key

Branding strategy is so important because consistency makes a big impact on your brand’s effectiveness. People will remember your brand better if you deliver a consistent experience to them. This doesn’t mean you can’t redesign your brand (brands should be fluid and adaptable), but rather that you should be aware of your brand’s history and use that to your advantage.

The key is that there should always be a vein of familiarity within a brand that reminds people they’ve used your services or product before. A company’s brand should also be consistent and apparent across different platforms, whether it be social media, the press, or the company’s own website. Target your audience, not every audience, and that should reflect in how you brand your business.

#3. Monitor Competitors

Early in the branding process, research not only your business and its target audience, but the competition as well. Find out what your rivals are doing in terms of branding and then do something as different as possible. As much as you can, you want to stand out from competing companies. Part of the goal of branding is not being mistaken for something or someone else, so use a distinct brand to your advantage and make your business memorable.

Recommended reading: How to Create the Perfect Brand Name

#4. Create a Flexible Logo

Your logo is a pivotal slice of branding and needs to be versatile. An ideal logo works just as well as an icon on a smartphone as it does blow up on a billboard. A logo image is often the first thing a potential user sees, so make sure your logo is well-designed to create a good first impression. That being said, the logo is still only a part of branding, so don’t sink an undue amount of resources into creating the perfect logo.

#5. Simplicity is Durable

When designing your brand, exercise restraint with all elements of your brand. Simple designs are easier on the eyes and can create a powerful impression when done right. Limit your color scheme to only a few colors (black and white not included), and be sure to pick the right colours for your business.

Similarly, limit your use of different fonts. Typography can be an effective marketing tool, but it should be used in moderation. When designing your brand, a useful exercise is imagining that it will last decades from now. The best brands aren’t trendy; they’re iconic.

#6. Transform Your Brand into an Adaptable Form

Building off the importance of consistency, your brand should provide a similar experience across all platforms. Users and customers should be able to identify their experience with your business as unique to your business regardless of whether they’re on a computer, a mobile device, or seeing a billboard or paper ad. To that end, it’s important to hire designers in all technological platforms your business is present on in order to craft a similar experience across the board.

#7. A Great Brand is Balanced

One of the most important constituents of good branding is the absence of overcrowding. Effective brands minimise the number of words used to deliver an idea, whether it’s a catchy motto or more technical information about a business. Usability and clarity are two of the most important bits of web design, so use ample white space around words.

When using text, keep it minimal as much as possible without losing cognition. You want your brand to easily convey the heart of your business without losing the attention of potential readers and buyers.

#8. Deliver Value and Integrity

The final piece of any great brand is that it delivers value to customers. There is no effective brand that doesn’t provide something of worth to consumers. At the end of the day, you are a business trying to make money by getting people to pay for something The best way to do that is if that something is really good. To that end, integrity is a crucial element of success. If you tell people your business does a thing, do that thing, and do it well.

The best way to build your brand is to give users and customers a positive experience, one that will lead them to trust your business more in the future.

Remember that branding is about recognition and association. You want your brand to stand out visually, but you also want your brand to be associated with positive user experiences. Tie these two elements together, and you’re on your way to becoming the next iconic brand. 

Over to you now. Have you followed these 8 brand design principles for your business? Tell us in the comments below. 

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