4 Reasons Your Brand Needs to Look Awesomepdtcseo
There are a bunch of reasons your brand needs to look pretty, but brand recognition is probably at the top of them. A well-put-together scheme lends credibility to your company, eliminates confusion among your audience, and helps make your design choices easier. A solid brand identity tells a story about your company before you ever say a word (read about it here.)
Reason One: Eliminates Brand Confusion
Brand confusion is a kiss of death for companies looking to build and maintain a loyal customer base. Think of McDonald’s. You see those golden arches from the freeway on a road trip and you know you’re on track for a Big Mac. However, if you saw a gigantic M that was turquoise you may be confused. It’s shaped like a McDonald’s but isn’t the right color. Is it McDonald’s? Has someone repurposed the sign? Is it an entirely different company? You don’t know. You may be less inclined to follow the M and instead opt for a trusty Wendy’s sign that you recognize, know, and (more or less) trust.
Why? Because with the Wendy’s sign you know what you’re going to get. It may not even be exactly what you had in mind for lunch, but you recognize it and trust that it will be what you expect to get. You’re no longer certain that a turquoise M is going to deliver what you expect out of the golden arches so you may opt to not go there.
There are a faction of people who will be curious enough about a turquoise M to follow it, but it certainly won’t be the majority. And it won’t be the audience that McDonald’s has spent decades catering to. It would confuse the brand because there would no longer be instant recognition of the design choices they’ve made.
Reason Two: Lends Credibility and Professionalism
A reliable, beautiful brand lends credibility and professionalism to your company. In fact, one of our designers once had a coworker work with a man who kept insisting that “this look really, really legit.” He could not impress enough upon the designer that his branding needed to look professional.
Turns out, the designer did such a good job that this man got away with an illegal operation for years because of how “legit” she had made his branding package. Everything from his business cards to his website looked so professional that people looking into his company felt it looked credible and legitimate.
Obviously we’re not encouraging illegal work, but the point is valid. A quality branding package lent enough credibility to his company that people trusted it even though it wasn’t credible. Imagine what a quality branding package can do for your business that is offering something amazing (and, you know, legal).
Reason Three: Makes Design Choices Way Easier
When you have an established brand identity, it makes design choices way easier. And it makes everything easier, not just fonts and colors to put on marketing collateral. Those are easier, sure. They’ve already been chosen, so you just need to plug them in.
But imagine you need apparel for your employees. If your brand identity is established, you don’t need to browse catalog after catalog comparing t-shirts to polos to sweatshirts. You don’t need to debate between ball caps and beanies and pageboy hats. You’ll already know if a t-shirt is too casual for the brand you’ve put together, or if a polo is too dressy. You’ll already know if a baseball cap matches the branding or if hats don’t fit at all.
Brand identity comes especially in handy when you’re bombarded with design choices. Just picking a business card has thousands of options. Fonts, colors, layout, and materials they’re made out of combine infinitely. If you have a brand you’re catering to, you know that a suede business card with raised UV embossing isn’t going to match your super casual Southern barbecue sauce company. Doing the work up front to create a branding guide makes every choice you have to make in the future a breeze.
Reason Four: Brand Recognition
Brand recognition is the exact opposite of brand confusion. When companies have achieved brand recognition, you can bank on people recognizing it from a mile away and gravitating toward it, just like seeing McDonald’s arches from the freeway. This is the dream for every company.
However, brand recognition can also work against you. This happens most in small, local companies who don’t have millions of dollars to pay a marketing department. At a parade over the summer, a restaurant in our town was handing out samples of their menu. However, the phone number on the printed menus was incorrect so it had been scratched out and the correct number was handwritten in. The menus were printed on thin, cheap paper so they were flapping around and tearing in the wind that was blowing that day. We overheard a parade-goer say something like, “wow, I’m glad to see they put a lot of effort into this.” And their friend said something like, “oh, is it for xyz?… I knew it.”
Because this company had not invested in creating a positive brand for themselves, it was recognizable by this person just by the menu they handed out to their friend. Needless to say, this menu was thrown in the trash. Based on their reaction, it’s safe to assume they did not visit that restaurant for lunch that day. All of this is the exact opposite of the branding goal.
The Brand Recognition Bottom Line
There are clear benefits to a positive brand recognition. But people are often unaware of the dangers of negative brand recognition and/or brand confusion. Many fail to consider the benefits of how it affects their future design choices. Some forget about the importance of perceived credibility when it comes to building a brand and the importance of doing that up front. With all this in mind, it’s safe to say the benefits of an awesome brand are well-worth the time and effort it takes to develop one. If you have any questions, reach out and we are happy to help you build your brand.