By Tori Atkinson - March 20th, 2015

Many businesses are now under the false impression that a ‘quick and dirty’ logo design is all you need to build a brand

In fact, professional brand design goes far beyond a pleasing website and logo—and companies that embrace the potential of a fully-formed brand identity are sure to reap the rewards. (For more insight on building your brand, check out the upcoming Incite Summit: West, May 18th and 19th in downtown San Francisco.) In order to make waves in your industry, you’ll need to look beyond the branding basics and invest in a multi-faceted brand identity that’s aligned with your business. An authentic, three-dimensional brand is much more than a generic logo thrown at the top of a generic website. Pseudo-brands just have a name—genuine brands have the following:

Brand values

Industry-leading brand identities are founded on a set of unshakable company values that define the way the business operates. Brand design that’s thin or irrelevant is guaranteed to fall flat. By developing a corporate brand with your core values as a starting point, you can guarantee that your brand identity is a true reflection of your objectives and aspirations. We’ve helped companies with rebranding, product launches and comprehensive brand strategies, and all require monikers and designs that not only set you apart from competitors, but embody everything that makes you unique. Our work with Font Energy allowed us to create a name and brand design for their smart energy metering product that reflected its unique assets and projected a powerful and unique identity. We settled on the name ‘GURU’ - an intelligent, energy saving friend.

Brand environment

Logos and websites don’t exist in a vacuum. These, along with your social media pages, promotional materials, and even email campaigns, are components of a cohesive and complex brand environment. Creating a brand identity means creating an intricate and interconnected world where all design elements work together to form a fuller picture—and professional brand design encompasses all of these elements. Knowing exactly how your brand looks in any place, at any size, and on any device is an essential part of creating this overarching identity—and guarantees an optimal brand experience for your customers without fail. This was particularly true of No.1 Angel, an office space in the heart of Islington—a project which required a cohesive approach to design across the logo, email marketing, and office interior. With all elements of the design working in synergy, we created a powerful visual identity—and, beyond that, a three-dimensional environment to complement it.

Brand voice

In our experience, developing an audible and authentic industry voice is key to creating a rich brand identity. This brand voice is comprised not only of the way your business communicates, but also its stance within the industry and its professional personality. Understanding that the voice is about the conversations you start, the opinions you offer, and the reactions you have is the first step towards making sure yours is one that can be heard amid the industry noise. Most importantly of all, though, isn’t developing an image or a voice, but knowing how to use it once the creation stage is over. Remembering the values your brand identity is built on, inviting users into your world, and expressing yourself in a distinctive and compelling way allows you to harness the power of your brand identity for the best possible results. Tori Atkinson is a blogger for Shaw+Skerm - a creative branding agency providing brand identity and design services to SMEs throughout London.

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