Chapter 3

Brand Visuals

“Design is the silent ambassador of your brand.” - Paul Rand, legendary designer

3.2 Tagline

This is your catch phrase, or a summary of your brand purpose in one, short and simple expression. Your tagline needs to represent 2 to 3 main purposes of your brand. For example, Artesana Ice Cream company in Marion, NC needs a tagline that shows their experience in making ice cream, the quality of the product, and the end result of the product’s consumption – in this case, happiness. Their tagline became “Scooping Happiness for Three Generations.” Do some further research to learn how to craft your tagline with a foolproof process, and start here.

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3.3 Style-Guide

Pick a set of colors that go very well together. Pantone is a great resource for popular color pallets. Color is extremely important in the psychology behind brand recognition. Color can increase brand recognition by 80%! Some companies elect to use one or two colors. Others, up to ten. What you decide depends on what you are trying to communicate with your brand visuals. Choose colors that relate back to your brand purpose or story. For instance, when Artesana went through branding, colors were selected from their family’s history in Tlacopaltan, Mexico.

Next, pick a font! Your font choice(s) are equally as important as your colors. Some brands choose to have two or three fonts, but do not go overboard. You want consumers to be able to immediately identify you. Finding a font is easy with Google Fonts, which has thousands of fonts to choose from, because of the versatility and usability of those fonts. They are compatible with most applications and users, so nobody will have trouble seeing it or have to download it. Sometimes brand’s choose to illustrate a new font completely from scratch, and that is great! However, that will typically only be used as the logo or substitution of the logo. It is still important to pick fonts for digital application. 

Then finally, define your brand voice and attitude. How does your brand sound to the public? This is defined by your target market. Are you light, or aggressive, youthful or experienced, colorful or black and white. Come up with a list of words or expressions that can define your brand attitude, and stick to the script! This can even turn into a full brand purpose – similar to a mission statement. 

Check Out These Brand Style Guides for Inspiration!

3.4 Brand Touchpoints

A brand touchpoint is any bit of interaction or communication made between a brand and its customers. Touchpoints are normally crafted and constructed by the brand in order to engage their customers, giving them the best brand experience they could possibly have. Essentially, your brand touchpoints are anywhere your brand may be seen or engaged with by the consumer – your packaging or shelf space, your advertisements, website, social media, etc.

Does your business have a brick-and-mortar location with customers? Think about how you can integrate your brand visuals into the look and feel of your business. Remember to keep it consistent. And this should go without saying, but make sure your store is clean and presentable. This is your most important brand touchpoint, and every customer visit should be an experience unique to your brand. This gets into a whole other world of retail marketing that has become exceptionally popular and successful in the last few years called experiential retail, or, retailtainment. The MEP will be releasing a full chapter on this strategy by 2019.

3.5 Copy

Too many brands fall victim to poor copywriting that doesn’t accurately define the company’s goals or services. Using vague copy to describe your brand can be a major setback when it comes to positioning your brand in the market and distinguishing yourself from your competitors. It will also effect your search engine ranking scores. To make your brand stand out, understand the one thing that makes your brand unique and explains it clearly and accurately. If you don’t have someone in-house who can accurately and effectively convey your brand in your copy, then look for outside resources to help you get your copy in top shape! You can hire freelance copywriters, or work with a marketing company that has that capability in-house.

There are also a lot of resources locally and online where you can learn how to write good copy yourself. It is a huge benefit to have that capability in-house, as copy writing tends to get expensive. Can you be the Copy Machine?!

pretty much everything aaron james draplin book

3.6 Design

Obviously, design is huge! What visual elements make your brand easily recognizable? Stick to the same styles of design in everything that represents your brand, and most importantly, have good design! There are so many messages and purchase options in front of consumers today, which has made design an extremely important factor in everything you do to reach them. If your designs are sloppy, dated, cluttered, or anything of the sort, you will lose your potential consumer’s attention very quickly.

We typically would not recommend working with a freelancer for all of your designs. Either hire a designer in-house, or work with a marketing team/partner that has good design, in-house, especially if they have also done your branding! It is important to keep your brand consistently engrained in all of your designs.

The most important condition of your brand is its consistency!

Once you have created your brand visuals and style guide, you must consistently follow the brand’s style guide on all your marketing campaigns across all channels, including your website, social media profiles, packaging, advertising, printed materials, and whatever else you may publicize to represent your brand.

Chapter 4: Personal Branding