Managing Your Brand: Design 101

It’s all around us: Bad graphic design. Whether on a billboard, on a website, or in your mailbox, you know it when you see it. One of my team members even keeps a “Marketing Mishaps” folder filled with examples from over the years, just for fun. Thankfully, there are some rules of thumb to help you avoid design blunders and properly manage your brand. Here are a few:

Trust a talented designer. You’ve invested a lot in your brand, the visual part of it. Your logo, tagline, branding elements, colors, and brand standards/usage guidelines are the foundation pieces. With those in place, it’s up to a pro to know how to use them as a part of extending your brand, creating your brand presence effectively. A designer gets to understand your brand and knows how to artfully balance design and verbiage to propel your message.

Less is more. The recipient will remember your message when you communicate it CIMply and clearly. You don’t have to display all brand elements in every instance just because you have them.

While you may have built a treehouse in the backyard, you wouldn’t try to build your new home yourself. True designers have innate talent and training to use tools to pull it all together.

Stand out. When looking head to head at competing products and services, you want to best the competition’s offerings. How you do this is by having well-conceived, graphically pleasing designs that reach this goal. A designer knows how to accomplish this for you.

Don’t forget the family. Your brand family, that is. Your brand footprint is ever-expanded by using your brand elements everywhere you have a presence. Your printed marketing materials should match your digital marketing efforts. Whether one visits your website, views your social media pages, or receives an email or actual mailpiece from your company, it should look and feel like it’s something about your company.

Brand consistency doesn’t happen by itself, but must be managed, and that ultimately helps lead to a higher trust in a brand: “I know this company, I recognize this company, I like doing business with this company.” Think about Apple, for example. When this company touches you with a message, do you almost instantly know it’s Apple?

Investing in good design pays for itself in spades through building your competitive advantage, elevating your company’s products and services above others, increasing actual sales and revenue and, ultimately, driving marketing results. Step one: Make sure it’s being effectively led and managed by someone or a team you trust.

Happy Labor Day!

Quote of the week:

…knowing how to use a design or art software doesn’t make you a designer.

Adri M.