Branding is very important when it comes to any type of business ranging from something simple like a Youtube channel to a fortune 500 company. Your brand is the first impression people will have of you and it shows the world who you are. Learn how to use web development and design to build your brand.
Branding: Marketing, Design and Web Development
Branding has a very strong cross-over with design and marketing the marketing won’t work without the design and the design won’t make money without the marketing. In fact good creative is essential when it comes to social marketing and is often the limiting factor for many social campaigns. Tests have shown that good creative can increase the effectiveness of a social marketing campaign by up to 16x. Seriously, good creative can make something go viral on social media.
When marketing the internet is such a powerful tool which everyone should be using even if you only have a local business. When communicating your brand online you’re website is the center of your online ecosystem you have created. You create content on your website and you push people towards your website through other channels.
Overall marketing, design and web development all link together when creating a strong brand identity and none of which should be neglected.
Defining Your Brand
After you have realise the power in branding this is the first thing you need to is ask yourself “what matters to your brand?”. You need to define the values of your brand in order to create a strong image, to do this you need to know what the aim is for your brand. If you don’t have an aim then that is a sure sign that your brand will fail, you need to be offering something valuable this is similar to a USP (unique selling point). This is made up by two main parts:
- The Persona of Your Brand – it is easiest to make this based on your own personality, it could be that you are humorous and make people laugh such as the famous Youtuber Pewdiepie, yes I know, you’re thinking that his stuff isn’t funny to anyone older than 12, but there is no denying he has effectively used his personality to create a loyal brand following. Alternatively you could build a strong, almost argumentative opinionated type brand such as Jim Rome the sports talk host. The main thing you need to do here is make sure you stand out, it is better to have 10,000 people who love your content/products than 50,000 who are merely interested. You need to isolate your target audience, so you have a group of followers who actually like your stuff.
- What do you offer – now this isn’t necessarily what is going to completely differentiate yourself with your competition but is still important. Here are some examples of things you could offer. If you are a blog you: have expert knowledge few people have, offer information friendly for beginners, create content on a more regular basis than other bloggers or it could be that you engage with your audience a lot in the comments. If you sell a product it could be you have: a great quality product, something unique, great prices or your customer support and service is good.
Overall you need to stand out to be successful.
How to Use Design To Create Your Brand Image
Okay, now we have covered some of the more general aspects of creating a brand we will be going into some more specific design stuff.
Here are some of the main things to consider in your designs for your brand:
- Colors – as a designer you should be aware the colours you use have a psychological effect on the reader. Darker colours are perceived as heavier, this can be used to make certain aspects of your design stand out. Also, more importantly the colors you use have a large impact on your potential audience, statistics show that different genders are partial to different colors (you should learn which and pick a color to isolate your target gender or a neutral color to include both). Furthermore different colors are associated with different emotions. Did you know that the color blue is associated with trust and dependability? You should learn the emotions of colors if you wish to create effective design.
- Shapes and Symbols – your brand needs to be easy to understand and easily identifiable. If someone sees your brand they should be able to recognise it’s you.
- Size – you need to get the sizing of your branding right in all areas of your design. For example when placing your logo on products it should be large enough to see clearly, but not too large that it takes away from the products design.
- Font – often overlooked the font you use does have an impact. In your materials you should use no more than 3 font types and the font types should be easy to read. The font you use should also reflect your brand, fonts show mood and emotion. A more rounded font is representative of a more casual and relaxed brand, whereas a straight font is associated with reliability and being trustworthy.
How to Use Web Development To Create Your Brand Image
Having a website is one of the strongest ways to build your brand online, usually your website is the epicenter of your online brand and the use of other channels such as social media is used to push people towards your website (although in some cases a social media platform can be your main place of online activity).
There are areas of web development you must consider in order to successfully create your desired brand image:
- Platform – If you are serious about your brand you should have your own domain name and hosting (learn how to do this here). I would also recommend that you used WordPress as your platform to customise the appearance of your site whilst using a premium theme.
- Content – you need to provide value in your content. If the content of a website is poor people won’t return and probably won’t even finish reading your stuff. Good content is usually either funny or contains information. A good book which covers the importance of giving value to your audience is “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World” the main principle in this book is that you need to give free stuff to your audience (your great content) and then when you have a promotion or want to sell them something they are much more likely to buy it – the book is definitely worth a read.
- Design – your website has to look good. If your website doesn’t look good then it reflects badly on your brand and people won’t stick around. With all the competition out there you must have good content that is easily laid out (people are lazy, make it easy for them) and it should look pretty – no putting red text on a yellow background. To make sure you have a website that doesn’t hurt peoples eyes, get a good theme, do some customisation to the themes preset and make it reflect your brand.
Don’t neglect your branding or the design and web development involved in creating a brand. It can bite you in the ass and you will be wondering why people are leaving you comments telling you that the red text on your website gave their Grandma cancer. Yes I have seen that happen.
Thanks for reading.
The Dezign Guys