I was reading Design Week this week and see that Coca-Cola has unveiled it’s first own-brand typeface http://bit.ly/2D1jYXm. Apparently it is the company;s first own-brand typeface since it was founded in 1886. Now, you would think that a huge company like Coca-Cola is so well recognised that they would not need to do anything with their brand, however, times are constantly changing and the current need for a company’s brand to work across their website, print and social media platforms makes it a necessity for even a giant like Coca-Cola to review their brand from time to time.
Review your company logo
If you are lucky, you have been trading successfully for a number of years. But, have you reviewed your own company Brand? Take a look at other companies out there? Does your brand compare well or is it getting a little dated? Whether it is fair or not, we judge a book by its cover. People choose products or services based on their perceived value of your services, and that value is often formed at first glance. This means your company brand and what it says about your business. In today’s market a fresh and clean visual identity is required due to the need for use across all platforms – from websites to social media, to print. If you already have a strong brand, sometimes an update of your current graphics is all that is necessary to stay up-to-date with current design standards, keeping your current brand identity intact, but smart and in fashion.
Below is an example of a logo update I did for the Balbriggan Chamber of Commerce a couple of years ago. Staying true to the original but creating a flat design with a new crisp sans serif font, and removing any unnecessary details will keep their brand smart for years to come (or at least until current trends change again).
Now, take a good look at your website.
Websites today absolutely MUST work across all platforms – from the largest desktop screen to the smallest smartphone. Somebody out there could be looking at your website on a 65 inch TV right now. How do you think it will look? Will they be able to navigate it easily? Will they be able to read it on a smartphone? If not, then your website needs an upgrade.
Now that your brand and website are looking sharp – focus on your social media accounts
Your brand extends to everything you do on Social Media, so this should always be consistent with your website and print materials. Companies often think they can be a lot more casual on social media, but always remember that nothing ever dies on social media, so if you post the wrong comment or image it can keep popping up forever. My advice is to be as business-like friendly as your website. Keep in mind that some new customers will find you on social media before they visit your website, so this will be their first introduction to your business.
Because your brand extends to everything you do on social media, your social media accounts are integral to your marketing, so it is important to maintain that brand consistency across all platforms.
To get some ideas on how to maintain the consistency of your brand, look to the most progressive companies to see how they do it. Personally I always check in with Virgin Media, because they really know what they are doing when it comes to branding. There is no harm in shopping around for inspiration or ideas.
The problem with social media accounts is that they are known as “rented space”, Which means that you do not own them and therefore, you have very limited control over how they look. There are only a few boxes for you to add your company message, so those boxes should be used wisely. Staying with your brand colours and cropping logos properly, as well all messages you put out there should be carefully considered to avoid a disconnect between your social media accounts and your website.
Grow old gracefully by staying current
Now I know that you have probably spend a ton of money setting up your brand in the first place. It is yours and you are very fond of it. So why change? Just remember you don’t need to change it completely. Just like Coca-Cola, a tweak here and there will keep your logo and website current, so, as your business grows over the years your brand will grow old gracefully along with it.