After several years spent building visual identities and reinventing the brand image of multiples customers, you inevitably end up accumulating experience and knowing the best tips. Here are 10 advices to guide your own brand to success! 1. Do what your customers want to see, not what YOU want. Every entrepreneur tries to grow their business as a part of themselves, but if your prospects expect to see blue and you insist that your communication be all red, you will cut yourself off from part of your potential customers. Be emphatic, thinks like one of them. There are colors associated with certain trades and it is difficult to ignore them.
This advice also applies to the communication media you use. If you are addressing an older clientele, don't advertise on the latest trending app. Use print newspapers or local television after lunch and write in large print. And if you are targeting teenagers, do the exact opposite!
2. You need more than a logo.
Your logo is just the start of your story. The image of a brand does not depend only on it; it's necessary to create a universe all around, to reuse its colors, its fonts, and create a cohesive whole.
You can't take an all-white flyer, paste your logo on it, use the most basic font from a word processor and call it your branding. Your brand must tell a story, cause an emotion. And nothing screams more "cheap" than a graphic charter assembled without care.
3. Find your "thing".
You need to discover something that sets your brand apart from that of your neighbor. It could be a particular color, seasonality, or element that allows you to construct a universe around that idea. If you are unique, you are bound to stand out.
Depending on your budget and your regularity, adapt your communication according to the seasons. Use bright colors in the summer, fall hues in the fall, create flyers with a wintery image in the winter.
Do you sell video games? You can try a faux 90s style. It's less common in real life than the internet suggests.
Do you own an organic supermarket? Concentrate your communication on natural materials, use wood everywhere, including in your sign.
You don't necessarily have to be very original, but you have to impose the idea before your closest competitors.
4. Be original.
Granted, this recommendation is very similar to the previous tip. It's all about the circumstances: where the previous advice is applicable to all companies, this one is not suitable for all trades; it uses the same logic but pushing it further and should be avoided if you are evolving in a too rigid or too serious environment.
A real example - there is a used car salesman in the French countryside using pin-ups from the 1950s to showcase his vehicles. I couldn't say which new car dealership is closest to me, but I know that this used car dealer exists and what their inventory is because I recognize their photos when they are posted among others on a classifieds website.
Humor is another example of originality; this may seem inappropriate for your activity at first glance, but it can give you an unexpected capital of sympathy.
5. Don't be afraid.
Everyone is scared of change. But you have launched your business and experienced much more complex situations, you shouldn't be troubled about a new graphic charter!
In the vast majority of cases, graphic redesigns are well received. There are inevitably some people to voice their displeasure and we naturally pay more attention to criticism, but don't stop at them unless they become the majority.
In the worst case, nothing is final. You can always revert to your previous colors and logos and your customers will have forgotten in a few weeks. It happened to well established brands, nobody blamed them and they are still with us!
In short, there is no reason for this change to go wrong.
6. Your logo is only part of your image.
Be open-minded, you shouldn't stay with the idea that your logo is sacred and should never be changed. He is part of your image, but he is not the one who defines it.
The idea is to adapt your logo to the medium; modify its layout to suit the circumstances, while maintaining the consistency of your brand. So that your customers continue to associate it with your image, keep at least one of the elements that make it identifiable: generally the font or the icon. Play with color or layout, depending on your needs. You will open up many graphic possibilities.
Our own logo is different if you use our generator on a computer or phone. There are two main versions and several sub-versions scattered on our site, which nevertheless remain recognizable as our logo.
7. Know your own limits.
Just because you've illegally downloaded Photoshop and followed a tutorial doesn't mean you are able to build a consistent brand from scratch overnight. There is the technique, the mastery of the tool and there is the know-how. Some people have it in them...and others think they have it.
In addition to finding the right words and a visual to catch the eye, a professional will save you many hours of work and many crises, especially if you want to have your documents physically printed. Nothing is more frustrating than spending hours learning technical terms, editing files you didn't plan to edit again so you can add print margins, and only days later find that your entire communication came back printed several shades darker than expected because you don't have a good grasp at CMYK, color profiles, and your own monitor calibration. Save yourself the pain.
8. Graphic design is not a cost, but an asset.
Design is an asset to your organization, not just an expense. It's a useful resource just like your employees; if you gain visibility in a market saturated with companies with ambitions to match yours, it's also thanks to the visual impact of your graphic charter and the message it conveys.
Big companies get it right and spend millions of dollars every year to create image campaigns - ads that don't sell a product, but a brand. Following the COVID crisis, many companies have published announcements thanking hospital staff; the advantages provided in terms of image, and indirectly of turnover, greatly exceed the initial cost of production and distribution. It's the same for you!
9. Take care of the details.
You've selected the right fonts, the right colors, the right logo. You have refined your design down to the smallest detail. And yet...
In every business, there are pages of a website or catalog that are overlooked and unloved. A business card with a blank back, a forgotten web page that points to a 404 error. This is where a potential customer can discover your business, after clicking on their favorite search engine or retrieving your business card from a friend. Take care of the details on your prints and make a regular tour of your web pages, it will only cost you a little of your time if you do it regularly and give an image of seriousness and quality.
Another common problem is spelling mistakes, often due to inattention. There are many tools available online to correct you; take a few minutes to check. Also check your address, phone number...this kind of error is more common than you think.
In short, make the best use of the space you have available and pay attention to the spelling!
10. Focus on quality.
If you have to choose between the two for economic reasons, it's worthier to prioritize quality over quantity. Budget your campaign well, wait a bit if necessary, but don't cut costs by reducing quality. It's hard to forget a negative first impression.
More than the number, what counts is to reach the right customers. Imagine two businesses. Same products, same prices. The first asks an 11-year-old to create a flyer in Word and print it on a home printer. The second uses a professional for the layout, with excellent quality printing on heavy coated paper.
By receiving the poor quality leaflet, even if his letterbox is full of it, the "right" customer will completely miss the advertised products because he will throw it away before consulting it, while the second leaflet will be read more carefully. People have more qualms about getting rid of a document that they consider to be of good quality.
As you can see there are no silver bullet, just common sense and a little experience. Some tips are easier to apply than others, depending on your ego and your budget. Others are so simple it would be a shame if you missed them.
Start by creating a quality logo, this is the entry point before growing the rest of your image. We have built a logo generator capable of automating this process, come and find out at DocLogo.com! Developed by real graphic designers and validated by real professionals, it will allow you to create your logo in less than a minute for a fraction of the actual cost of a graphic designer. It's revolutionary and we are very proud of it!