Having experience as both brand identity users and designers, we know that option number two is unfortunately more common. But it’s not that you can’t possibly make your branding functional and neat. You just need to know your enemy.
Limited usage possibilities
Your brand identity will probably be used in a variety of cases. Thus it has to be prepared for all the media of regular communication. Unfortunately, it often happens that, although the assets follow the design rules, they are not properly adjusted for the marketing team needs. That’s why, before creating a thorough brand identity, it’s great to make a list of all the materials needed, i.e.: social media graphics, presentations, offers, gadgets, printables, etc. You don’t have to make a whole encyclopedia of designs, but the more you cover the more is out of your hair.
Having a company’s logo, choosing brand colors and typography doesn’t necessarily mean that your visual identity is consistent. All of the designed elements need to complement each other and be ready to create one whole. Incohesive branding may mislead your audience and question your business authenticity.
Remember that consistent branding is a part of marketing strategy, so it’s important to keep it neat and tidy.
Taking too much time
If you work in marketing or closely with a marketing team, you know that the amount of content that needs to be created can sometimes get out of hand. Social media posts with designs adjusted to each individual medium, website assets, landing pages, sales presentations, prints, gadgets – they may all cause a headache, and most of all, take a lot of time to prepare. That’s why it’s sometimes so difficult to seamlessly meet all the deadlines and be on time with every urgent publication.
This is also why branding process takes so much time – we have to map all the needs, then prepare a system that can hopefully work smoothly within the marketing team, so they can hit the target audience with targeted content.
Neglecting style guidelines
Even if your brand identity is all set, there’s still a human factor that may stand in the way of full consistency. If your graphic materials are handled by several different designers, in-house or freelance, with diverse styles, you have to be sure that they all understand the branding well and are eager to follow the set guidelines. If each of them starts smuggling their individual style, the coherence is gone, and so is your hard earned visual identity. It’s important to prepare brand guidelines such as key visual or brand book.
Not checking for originality
There’s no use in being a copycat, especially while creating your company’s branding. Your logo and other assets shouldn’t resemble other, even most renowned brands. Remember that there’s a thin line between getting inspired and copying. Don’t confuse your audience, and most of all, don’t risk a trademark or copyright infringement.
Sticking with a poor logo design
If you think that a logo is the least problematic element of your brand’s identity, you couldn’t be more wrong. Yup, it’s fun to design, but the responsibility that lays upon it is huge. A well designed logo should support your brand and be its strong showcase. If a client sees your logo and can’t associate it with your business, maybe it’s time to rethink it.
If you want your brand to read well, you should think twice before choosing the right typography. Encumbering your audience with indecipherable, cluttered or overwhelming text will only discourage them from digging deeper into your offer. Remember that the simplest solutions are usually the best. And, of course, that less is more.
Low-end website experience
A website is a comprehensive presentation of all potential branding flaws plus it can be a real pain if it isn’t user-friendly. That’s why while designing for a website it’s best to consider varied use cases, paying tribute to the mobile-first rule.
Not having a target audience
There’s no need in pleasing everyone that comes your way. A brand should communicate with the audience that may actually make use of its services. That’s why it’s so essential to know who you’re trying to appeal to while creating your brand identity. If you miss your target group, you’ll also miss a chance for valuable leads.
Not having a design system
A real problem-solver to all of the challenges above – a design system that may cause you one less headache a day. A well prepared one works like connecting dots or doing jigsaw puzzles. It combines a set of elements that create a coherent whole. The topic has already been thoroughly covered by our Senior Product Designer, but if you want to dig deeper and get to know why it’s so crucial for your brand…