There are so many products, services, bloggers, podcasters, speakers, and authors vying for an audience that chances are, whatever you’re offering, there’s someone else out there doing something similar. I don’t say that to discourage you, but to get you thinking.
In a saturated online world, how are you going to stand out?
If you aren’t creating content with intention, then I think you’re missing opportunities. What I mean is that you can’t afford to just make things for the sake of making them. When we intentionally create content, then everything we do has a purpose. It means something.
You can’t just throw a website together and expect an audience to show up, let alone engage. The look, feel, and content of your online space matters and will determine if people will stay and for how long.
Branding is essential to creating a clear, unified presence online and in person. Your brand is more than your logo. Branding is the aesthetic thread that ties everything you do together. It is the essence of how your audience will remember you and what you offer. A visual representation that connects you to your people and helps them find you amongst a sea of offerings.
The word “brand” may feel a bit commercial, but think of it more like defining your look and the feeling you want to convey. Your brand represents you, which is why it is so important. Understanding what makes you unique and showcasing that will help your brand stand out. Figuring out your branding should come before logo or website design is discussed.
HERE ARE 4 THINGS TO CONSIDER ABOUT YOUR BRAND:
1. TAGLINES AND PURPOSE STATEMENTS
Perhaps one of the most important things you can do is clearly articulate who you are and what you do. It doesn’t matter what your website looks like if your audience can’t figure out what you are offering them. What is the purpose of your website? What are you passionate about? Taglines and purpose statements are a great way to summarize your purpose and to let your audience know succinctly what you’re about. Taglines and purpose statements are short, sweet, and to the point. Usually no more than a sentence, or as in a tagline, a few words strung together. Many times taglines and purpose statements help inform your overall web design and are used in conjunction with your logo.
What is your personal style? What looks do you love? Hand-drawn styles? Modern? Classic? Knowing your personal style can help clarify your brand. It impacts the overall look and feel of your design elements, including your logo. Style also often includes fonts you like, as well as, images that complement the feeling you’re trying to convey. Is your style bold, eclectic, edgy, simple, or sophisticated? Being able to articulate your style preferences will save you and your designer a lot of time.
What colors speak to you? Establishing a complimentary color palette is essential for branding. You may like an array of colors, but as you narrow your color scheme down to 2 or 3 main colors you will see your brand begin to take shape. Warm or cold, feminine or masculine, bright or subdued, pastel or sassy colors say more than you may think they do, so it’s important to think intentionally about your color scheme. Will this color scheme appeal to my audience? Do these colors create the feeling I want to convey? Keep in mind, simply stating a color name is not enough (in design). As you know, there are many shades of purple. The more specific you can be the better. To differentiate colors, designers use a color’s HEX #, which ensures the right color and shade is used.
4. ART ELEMENTS
Art elements can also be used to convey purpose. What symbols mean something to you or represent the product or work you are doing? Most often part of your logo, art elements should visually represent who you are and what you are about. It’s best to keep it simple considering where and how an art element may be used (like in your logo, on letterhead, on a business card, etc.). Ultimately, you want to be remembered. So choose something that is symbolic and meaningful in a style that matches the brand you want to create. Art elements don’t have to be complicated. They are just another subtle way to make your brand stand out from the rest.
It may be tempting to jump right into designing your logo and website, but unless you have taken the time to establish your brand, it might feel a bit like wandering in the desert. Distinguishing your brand, with intention, will help all the other pieces of your design fall into place. It will make your work with a designer flow more smoothly and will insure that you are all on the same page about the look and feel you want. No matter what you’re offering people, clarifying your message and articulating it clearly, both visually and with your content, are essential to creating a brand that will attract and engage your visitors.
So, in a saturated online world, how are you going to stand out?
Your brand is the best place to get started.
Before you go, click here to download your FREE Branding Worksheet to help you brainstorm.