After years of developing visual brand identities for several companies, it is clear that most want the same thing–branding that is reflective of their core mission, design that is beautiful, and that attracts their target audience. However, without preparation and research, it is common to see branding that is beautiful aesthetically but mismatched with the company’s visual communications goals. How can you develop a brand that is crisp but also attracts your target market?
Know your brand values
Why was your company started? What problems does it solve? What impact does your company want to make?
One of the most important aspects of reaching your target audience is understanding the purpose behind your products and services and being able to communicate that effectively using visual elements. Your branding needs to communicate that what you offer is for a very specific audience. So starting with your brand’s background story and core mission, you can craft something that incorporates colors, iconography, fonts and photography that captures the attention of your ideal customers.
Know your target market
Part of your company’s overall strategic planning should include market research and getting to know the customers you serve. By making observations on social media, running customer surveys, and even monitoring consumer behavior using analytics and other tracking data, you can gather information that helps you understand the people you serve. For starters, analyzing data from Facebook Audience Insights and Google Analytics can provide you statistics on the age, familial status, location, occupation, income and education level of your audience. You can even uncover information on what brands they are already engaging so that you can use that to your advantage.
Know your competitors
When reviewing available analytics data, especially note the brands they engage with that may be your direct competitors. Research the branding and communication strategies of these companies by reviewing the copy, photo styles, layout and colors on their company websites, advertising campaigns, product packaging and social media. It might be helpful to also download any media kits so you can be sure that you are in fact working to communicate with the same audience. Create a pin or mood board to review things that may work in your branding.
Your purpose in doing research is not to copy the branding of your competitors. You want to make informed decisions and note what’s working in your industry, what’s attractive to your audience, and how to translate your unique story visually in the marketplace. Keep in mind your products may occupy the same shelf space as your competitor so you want to stand out. Incorporate color combinations, textures, fonts, photography or icons in variations that are eye catching to your buyer and set you apart.
One of the most crucial parts of the brand development process is getting feedback. After developing mood boards and a creative brief that should incorporate the items referenced above, it is time to draft two to four options that may work best for your brand. Then allow a small focus group–not just your internal team–to review and share feedback what they like and don’t like about your brand and what they can tell you about the company by looking at your branding. Using information taken from the field, you’re able to revise and finalize branding that works to attract the exact person you’re trying to reach.
If you need support developing an eye-catching brand, contact Spark Creative today.