Branding Breakdown | What it is and Why it's Important
Part 1 of a 5 part series
Hey there, babe! This is the first post in the Branding Breakdown series. Over the next five posts I will take you behind the scenes and dish the exact formulas, psychology, and processes I use to take a brand from scattered ideas to an alluring identity. Let's get into it.
Branding is my jam here at Lady & Co. It's something I love to do and it's quite honestly my favorite part of working with a new business owner. It's the fun part of starting a business, you get to take your ideas and goals for your biz and turn them into beautiful pieces of art. I love the process.
Years ago however, when I started dabbling in my first online business venture, I had no idea what branding was. I thought: Yeah, I'll just create a logo, throw a few pictures on my website, and I'll be good right? But the problem with my quick one-and-done approach to my brand was that I didn't take the time to creatively and thoughtfully construct an intent behind my business.
So, lets delve into that a little bit.
Branding Breakdown: What is Branding?
You're brand is made up of a collection of brand elements. Essentially, these are complementary components that work together to create what I call a brand story.
Brand Elements Include: your brands name, logos, tagline, icons, fonts, color palette, patterns, and other visual representations of your brand.
When you put all of these elements together in a cohesive and well thought out way, your brand does the talking for you. It can essentially sell itself without you being in the background explaining what you do, and what you stand for.
Still confused? I was too.
But then I was scrolling through pinterest one day, and I happened upon a quote that really made all the lightbulbs go off:
"Branding is what people say when you're not in the room."
Ya pickin' up what I'm puttin' down? Basically, your brand is what tells your potential clients who you are, what you do, and why you do it. It creates a story that your clients can easily and clearly understand without you having to spell it out for them.
Branding Breakdown: The Psychology Behind Your Brand
Each element of your brand is a significant ingredient all it's own. Every aspect of your biz's look and style sends subliminal messages to your clients.
For instance, lets say your favorite color is yellow and so naturally you decide to make that color front and center in your brand. While yellow is the universal color for happiness and optimism, it also is known to trigger anxiety if used or seen too often. Anxious clients are rarely paying clients and this is why intent is so important when it comes to branding.
Other aspects of your brand can induce psychological reactions as well. The fonts you choose are also reflective of your brand as a whole. Depending on the services you provide or the products you sell, you will use different types of fonts that emulate your overall brand style.
Think about the vibe you want to give off: maybe it's elegant and traditional, or modern, or even light and happy. Whatever it is, make sure that your fonts follow suit, babe, because it plays an active role in your branding as a whole.
Serif: These fonts are typically seen as more traditional, regal, and mature. Most law offices and doctors will use this style of font because it emanates authority.
Sans Serif: Simply meaning without serif (the little tick marks at the end of the lettering). These fonts are typically used in body text as they are clean, objective, and universal.
Script: Playing with script fonts can add a little character to your brand. Traditional cursive styled script will add elegance, while brush lettering tends to have a more fun and creative vibe.
Modern: More forward thinking brands favor this style of font. It's straight lines and perfectionism can clearly be felt when used in a logo. Many fashion brands (think vogue) utilize modern fonts.
Display: These are statement fonts. There is always something unique and eye catching about them and they tend to be used in logos for this reason.
Other things to consider in terms of psychology for your brand would be icons and patterns. Think of your ideal client (woman, man, age, interests) and then apply their likes to your brand. These elements should also be relevant to whatever it is that you're selling. This means you probably shouldn't use an illustration of a cat for your dog grooming service, or a leopard print for your vegetarian restaurant. They may be silly examples, but every element has to have a direct intent behind why you're choosing to include it in your brand.
Branding Breakdown: Why is Branding Important?
Clear and thought out branding for businesses in general is a must, but for online business owners I believe it maybe even more important. In the digital world, it's not frequent that you run into a new client where you can have a one on one conversation. So, your brand has to do the talking for you.
Quick Impact: According to statistics, you have an average of 10 seconds to hook your viewers to your website. If you can't make a decent enough impression in those first few moments, chances are they will click out of your page to never return. And, because the human brain can process images approximately 60,000 time faster than text, your brands visual aspects have to stand out and pull them in.
Books ARE Judged By Their Covers: This seemingly cliche adage rings true when it comes to how your clients perceive you. Humans are naturally attracted to and/or judge based off of appearance- at least when it comes to businesses. An immaculate store front is sure to drive more traffic than if the paint is peeling the lights on the sign are flickering. These surface attributes to your brand may have nothing to do with how excellent of a product you produce, but your clients tend to be more trustworthy of an attractive brand.
Intention: I have already talked a lot about intention in this post, but, that's because this may be the most important point of them all. Your intent is derived from your why. This is the reason you started your business and why you feel compelled to enter this industry (we will be covering this in the next Branding Breakdown post). Each business owner has their own why, and no two are exactly the same because we all work from our own convictions. Your brand should bring your why front and center to hook your clients even more intensely.
Recognition: Probably the most elementary of why you should brand is the simple fact that human brains work off of association. When you see those golden arches, our brains are nearly programmed to make us crave McDonalds fresh fries. Or, the red soles on the shoes are sure to flash Christian Louboutin in your mind. Likewise, familiarity in your brand is essential to grabbing attention again and again.
Phew! That was a lot of info. But, I'm sure you can see how crucial having a cohesive brand is. Not only does it make your biz look fab, but you will start attracting clients that are inline with your product/service. These clients are sure to come back as well, because your brand will be familiar.
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