We all know that a house is only as strong as the foundation it stands on; and if you want long-lasting results, building strong foundations that can endure anything is essential. The same logic holds when it comes to creating successful branding for new businesses or overhauling existing marketing. Investing in strong branding foundations will let your business grow and evolve in a way that is consistent and aligned with your brand’s objectives.
What are strong branding foundations?
Brand goals & positioning
The first step in creating a strong branding foundation is to establish clear objectives and goals. This will give you a focused starting point and place you in the best position to make any decisions regarding creative work, messaging, or other elements of branding that will follow.
Once you have established your goals, you need to decide on your brand’s positioning in the market. Who is your target audience, what unique value does your brand offer and how can you make potential customers think of you over competitors? This will be the beginning of developing your brand language and setting the tone for how you communicate with your audience going forward.
When creating a logo it must be created professionally from the start, all too often we see a client come to us with logos that are not fit for purpose, and worse, actively damaging to their brand. A professional logo will take into account the business’ needs now but also how it may evolve as the business grows.
Examples of this include:
- Creating the logo in the right format (a vector) so that it can scale up/down without loss of quality. Find out more about logo formats.
- Creating a monochrome version for when the use of colours are limited.
- Providing the logo in various formats for use in print and digital applications, for example, full quality SVG/AI versions for print and size-optimised versions for social media such as JPG and PNG.
- Clear brand colours so that all of your marketing material sits together as a family with consistency. These can be contained in a brand guideline.
- Colour references (CMYK/RGB/HEX) for use on digital but also different print processes to ensure colour consistency across multiple print options.
This professional attention to detail will ensure that your logo is created in such a way that it can be applied to a wide range of marketing activities without needing to remake it from scratch. Find out more about the logo design process.
The website design is an important step in the branding process and can be the difference between success and failure. A professional website design should reflect the core principles of your brand, such as its visual style, tone of voice, customer service values etc., while also providing a great user experience.
The design of the website should follow the logo and main branding but take into account other areas such as responsive design. This will allow the website to adapt to different screen sizes on a range of devices, this keeps your website relevant and usable as new devices are released.
The development of the website is also vital to a strong foundation. We build all of our websites using WordPress, this powerful Content Management System (CMS) gives an incredible amount of flexibility. Clients can login to the CMS and update/add content to the website as required without needing a developer to assist. This lets them adapt as the business grows but also encourages them to add new blog/news posts regularly which helps with SEO. As developers, we can utilise WP to provide continuous improvements to websites by adding new sections and features without having to start from scratch each time.
Examples of strong branding benefits
We first started working with Phil from Cycle Positive in 2019, Phil was just starting up his new business and came to us for a new brand and website.
For the logo design, we worked with Phil to create a logo that was simple but memorable. We created the logo as a vector and outlined his brand colours to ensure a strong foundation for his new brand.
Over the years we have helped Phil roll his brand out over various digital and printed material, from business cards and leaflets to the most recent project, a new banner for his market stall. All of this has been done using the original logo that has been able to scale and adapt to the different use cases, this ensures a consistent brand image. The logo already being in the correct format also reduces the time and cost of creating artwork meaning we can deliver results quickly.
We also created Cycle Positive a new, bespoke WordPress website when the business launched. The strong foundation of the development has enabled us to evolve the website alongside the business, for example, the addition of different services to the booking system and the creation of the used bike marketplace.
We work closely with Phil to update the content on the website regularly, keeping it up-to-date and relevant for his clients.
Using their 45th anniversary as an opportunity to celebrate and refresh their brand, we worked closely with Kain Knight to get their brand foundation in place and create a new website. Our first step was to bring consistency to their brand by creating a master set of logos to be used across all future marketing, this work paid off when it came time to expand to new platforms. Examples of this include the creation of a new Mailchimp newsletter template and social media graphics, both of which made use of the new logos and colour references.
We created a new WordPress website to utilise the new branding, this allowed Kain Knight and their partners to log in directly to the website and regularly add new content, something that was not possible with the old site.
Our work in creating a bespoke theme for them proved beneficial when the marketing aims of the site changed and as a result, the homepage needed to be redesigned. The flexibility of our build process meant we were able to accommodate this and other substantial changes to the site’s structure without having to resort to a site rebuild. This was particularly beneficial due to the amount of content being added to the site and various staff members having been trained on the use of the site and its CMS.
Pexhurst is a long-standing client, we have worked with them on a wide range of projects, from branding to their new website and reporting templates. We took the time to establish a full brand toolkit with various versions of the logo and colour palette options to ensure consistency for all of the marketing materials created. This was reinforced when we designed and developed their new website, we built this on WordPress with a bespoke theme that integrated a portfolio and interactive map letting users explore the range of projects Pexhurst undertake.
The flexibility of WP also allowed us to create a custom ‘intranet’ system for Pexhurst clients to keep updated on their project’s progress and receive documents all in one place.
Over the last few years, we have worked with Pexhurst to undertake a regular calendar of content and feature updates to the website, including job listings, customised landing pages, video listings and a refined testimonial featured slider.
All of the updates were made significantly easier and more cost-effective by having a strong starting point with our bespoke WordPress theme.
What can you do now to build a strong brand?
Building a strong foundation for new brands or during a rebrand is ideal, you have the opportunity to draw a line in the sand and move forward with a unified and consistent image. But it’s still possible to move towards this goal for ongoing projects, the first step would be to undertake a brand review and collate all of your marketing materials in one place. You will then be able to review the current status of all of your assets and make a game plan moving forward which prioritises the elements that are most in need of review.
Making sure you have the logo, corporate colours and brand guidelines in place will help keep all future marketing materials consistent. The logo should be in vector format and in multiple file formats for optimum use, if you don’t have this to hand, working with a designer to evaluate and plan in a logo review is a must.
If you need help with your brand identity, website or any other marketing material then get in touch and we can discuss how we can help grow your business.