by Mark Simpson
As a designer, you’ll be well aware that a business’s brand is more than just a logo. From font choices and graphics to ensuring the message is consistent across all platforms, helping your clients build a brand their customers can believe in is key to success.
In today’s post, we’ll discuss ways to harness the power of aesthetic appeal — from business cards and promotional posters to website graphics and blog content — to help you build an attention-commanding brand and guarantee your client’s voice is heard amid the industry noise.
Why branding matters to your client’s business
Impactful and cohesive branding is the lifeblood of any reputable business – and crucial to creating something powerful and recognizable for your clients. Whether it’s bespoke business cards or eye-catching promotional aids, branding a business is all about immersing an audience in a multi-dimensional brand environment — so consistency is key.
As a designer, creativity comes as standard — but harnessing it to maximize profitability for your clients is easier said than done. Building a brand that generates interest and recognition on a large scale may not be an easy task — but by developing graphics and designs unique to your client’s offering and ethos, you’ll be one step closer to delivering a brand identity their audience can believe in.
Apple is a prime example of a brand that successfully gains and retains customers. In the image above, the logo isn’t adorning an iPhone or iPad and the colors might not be what we immediately associate with the brand, but the logo has that all-important instant recognition factor. This sort of familiarity can be crucial to increasing a business’s reach. While many companies can only aspire to achieve Apple’s success, this is the sort of impact you should be aiming for with any brand design — ensuring a visual identity is as unique as the business.
Developing your client’s brand
In order to begin building a brand strategy, it’s important to understand your client’s target audience and the platforms they use to run their business. Below, you’ll find some tips to help you on the path to cohesive branding and ensure your client’s voice is heard:
- Who are they? Helping your clients discover what they want to be known for is the first and, arguably, most important step to achieving success through branding. When businesses contact a designer, they’re most likely seeking inspiration — and an objective onlooker can help them hone in on how they’d like to distinguish themselves from the competition
- A clear brand message: This goes hand-in-hand with cohesive visuals and should be evident across all platforms. Once your clients are clear on their mission, next comes their message – and you can work with them to create logos and straplines that accurately reflect their vision
- Consistent graphics: Whether it’s a client’s company Twitter page, promotional posters or event banner stands, color, font and graphics all contribute to the visual appeal of the brand. As a creative designer, this is where your expertise and influence can create the most impact – so set aside time working with your client to help them find a brand design that feels right
- Encourage activity on social media: Providing mass outreach at zero cost, social media channels are crucial to ensuring a brand remains in the public eye. While a client’s graphics might be creating an impact through their promotional materials, is their brand cohesive and active on social media?
- Learn from the best: Coffee giant Starbucks is no stranger to the spotlight — both on and offline. With a Twitter following of 11.6M and chains around the world, the American coffee company is instantly recognizable by its green logo and controversial take-out coffee cups. Think about how your clients can utilize different platforms for their brand. Will their mass outreach come from social media, website content or branded promotional products?
Whether you’re working with an ambitious start-up or an established business looking for ways to make industry waves, as a designer, there are any number of exciting avenues for you to explore in your quest to achieving brand success for your clients.
Mark Simpson is Chairman of shop4pop.com. With over 40 years’ experience creating and producing full POP campaigns for large national clients, we’ve been able to transfer our expertise from Simpson Group to our new web-to-print website — shop4pop.com. shop4pop.com allows smaller retailers the opportunity to benefit from professionally designed and printed POP on a budget without having to meet a minimum order quantity.