What makes up a brand?

28th Sep 2016

What makes up a brand?

A brand is more than just a logo. While it is an important part, it's one of many that come together to create your brand identity. Here, we've highlighted eleven elements that help build your brand and given a quick guide to why we use them.

1. Logo

Your logo is quite often the most visibly recognisable part of your brand, with the right style and used correctly, it can be the foundation of your identity.


2. Brand Mark

One of my favourites and a great example is the Nike "swoosh". Obviously Nike have an amazing reputation and have put in a lot of hard work from developing their products to advertising and brand building but once you've built up some recognition you can start being really creative with your brand mark.


3. Colours

Another part of your identity are colours and the consistent use of them. You can have as few or as many as you like, so long as they are used in the same way each time. Colours are a great way to bring out sections of any marketing collateral to emphasise an important piece of information such as an unique selling point or a call to action. Take a website for example, when we're designing a page, we'll use colour to bring out a button to push a visitor in a chosen direction.


4. Typography

Typography or the use of different fonts is surprisingly important in building your brand. Using more than one font or more than one font weight (bold vs. regular for example) is a great way of creating an information hierarchy to help people navigate through the copy you've created. Headings in a really punchy impact style font and used in the same way will help people recognise that it's your company material they're looking at.


5. Photography

Best example - Marks & Spencer. Doesn't your tummy rumble when you see those beautiful foodie pictures? And you know it's Marks when you see those adverts, you don't even need to see the logo.


6. Iconography

Very similar to photography, used in the right way it can work like the Marks & Spencer photography. Most of the time icons are used as supportive imagery to bring out services or benefits and are great for creating service specific campaigns.


7. Personality

It's important to get your company personality across in your collateral and can be important from a sales perspective when a potential client is looking to buy from you. This can be portrayed in many ways, whether it's tone of voice, photography or even in your logo.


8. Values

What do you believe in, what does your business stand for? This can help in two ways:

Externally - People want to know that they can trust you and a values statement is a perfect way to get this across.

Internally - You need all of your staff on the same page. You need a consistent vision across your entire company and even better, get your staff involved when you're developing them. This can be a brilliant way of making your staff feel and be a more dedicated part of the business.


9. Strapline

"It does what it says on the tin" A brilliant example of a strapline that has been successful and works fantastically well. Traditionally a strapline is there to explain what you do in a short and concise manner. Nike again - "Just Do It", this is an example of a strapline that is used subtly to get people active which of course encourages people to use their products.


10. Guidelines

Consistency consistency consistency. Very important for companies that allow others to use their brand, whether it's a design agency or a partner company that is selling your product or even for internal use. We've developed many of these for our clients and really help with a consistent look from everything from your internal email signatures to the use of your logo on a partner's advert.


11. Tone of voice

Marks & Spencer again, can you tell I like my food?! "This is not just a steak... it's a hand reared, succulent, aberdeen angus steak, aged for 28 days..." Tone of voice can also be used to create a confidence in your product. If you sell a security product, you want to make a prospective client feel like they are in safe hands and by speaking in a practical manner about your experience and dedication then it will fill people with confidence.


In my opinion, these are some of the most important things you need to concentrate on to build your brand identity and just a logo isn't enough. Put some time, effort and thought into it and you'll really start to see the benefits.

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