Not so far away in the entrepreneur galaxy is a planet called the business world. Deep within the recesses of this world is a place called Brand Land. There, lurking around every corner are menacing creatures known as Brand Gremlins. These Gremlins run a muck spreading confusion in the minds of unsuspecting consumers everywhere. If that sounds like an outline for a bad science fiction novel then you would be wrong. This place actually exists but not in the literal sense.
We have heard it time and time again that logos and corporate branding need to remain consistent. We have also been told that eating cookies everyday will make us fat but some of us do it anyway ignoring the consequences. This is why millions of Americans start diets everyday. However, there is no diet to correct inconsistent branding. Once you have entered Brand Land you must guard your brand well abating the attack of ominous Gremlins out to destroy the trust, confidence and brand recognition of potential customers.
There are several facets of good branding. One is of course using your logo consistently. Logo variations are allowed and can be fun when modified for seasonal use or to enhance a special event. However, the overall bones of the logo need to remain obvious. The second is the use of elements. These elements should hold some form of relevance. Design elements can be used as stand alone icons or dissected into individual pieces that can be strategically placed in brochure designs, websites or other marketing materials. This cohesive use of shapes or element fragments unifies the overall product and instills a feeling of confidence in the consumer.
Another very important part of good branding is the correct use of company colors throughout all print and digital media. PMS color(pantone matching system) works much like the recipe on the back of a paint swatch which allows the color to remain the same for each application. UPS brown is always UPS brown. This brown was specifically created for the company and is the brown used on all of their envelopes, uniforms, trucks, and marketing materials. The unvarying use of color is one area where most small business owners get off track. “Do it yourself” computer design kits are one of those lurking Gremlins that are waiting to attack a perfectly good brand. Hiring a professional graphic designer is always better if the budget allows.
Your business is but one in a vast universe. Once you homestead your piece of property in Brand Land, be sure that you protect it. Don’t let it get jumbled up into a hodge podge of logo soup where the consumer will fail to recognize who you are from one form of media to the next. May the force of good branding be with you always and may your business live long and prosper.