B is for Brands

As part of our #EventprofsAtoZ series we have lined up a number of guest bloggers to post on their area of expertise. First up is Freelance Graphic Designer, Nicola Darwen. Nicola has experience working for some of the worlds top brands; now living and working in the North West of England she brings that same understanding and integrity to projects big and small.

You can follow here on Instagram @nicoladarwen and check our her latest projects at www.nicoladarwen.co.uk

You’ll often hear it said that your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room; it’s who you are, what you do and how you do it. To put it bluntly it’s a whole lot more than a clever logo and slick business cards.

Whilst that can seem daunting (especially if you’re a small business) the key is building trust, and that should come from what you’re already doing – providing products people love or services they can rely on.  That trust is what keeps customers coming back to you, recommending you to their friends and leaving great reviews; without that this whole thing falls flat…

But if you’ve come to a place where it makes sense to step it up, consistency is key – from internal communications to packaging, from uniforms to how your phrase your Instagram captions, make sure everything feels like it’s coming from the same place.  Think about your tone of voice and define your core values, then find ways to weave that into every interaction you have with potential and existing customers.

Visually it starts with your logo, but a brand is brought to life through colour, type and photography, through pattern and interiors and print. Your particular needs will depend on your sector and your business (an online consultant needn’t worry about shop fitting, just as an independent café doesn’t need a fully functioning ecommerce site) but no logo is an island and a fully fleshed out brand will help your services sing.

As digital continues to enter every aspect of our lives and visual literacy across generations increases, the content we put out on social media is all that much more important. Look for a story you can tell (about your product, about your customers, about yourself as you build a business) and then commit to telling it through photography, graphics and video – make it a common thread across platforms and engage in meaningful conversations with customers wherever possible.

In a world where everything from dishwasher tablets to YouTube personalities are packaged and sold as fully formed commodities, cutting through the noise with a clear and consistent brand is more important than ever.

If you brand it, they will come.