You can increase the value of your company when you treat your brand as an asset. Typically people think of business assets as tangible things such as computers, furniture or company cars.
Your brand is also an asset. Unlike company cars and computers, this asset isn’t depreciated each year. Instead, it will increase over time as your company grows. You can protect this asset if you compile a complete brand kit.
Define Your Brand with a Brand Statement
Branding is more than just pretty colors, cool fonts or an attractive logo. True branding begins long before you put pen to paper, with an analysis of your customers and best prospects.
Who are they? What do they need? How do you solve their problem? And the most important question: What do you want them to think about you?
Once you understand who your customer is, it is easier to define in a few simple sentences what makes your company uniquely qualified to solve their problem.
Your brand position statement is an important piece of your complete brand kit.
Start with Your Logo
Your logo will be used on your website, business cards and in social media. It may also be painted on the side of a building, embroidered on a golf shirt or screen printed on coffee cups. To ensure it always looks the same wherever it appears, your brand kit should include a range of formats.
- Vector Version (AI or EPS) – These files are the easiest for a professional designer to work with as the artwork can be shrunk or expanded with no degradation in the quality of the image. This is the format required for any type of large scale printing.
- Web Version (PNG) – These files are small and load quickly on a web page. The transparent background allows you to place the logo on any color background or image. These files also insert easily into Word documents and presentations.
Don’t rely on your designer or a printer to maintain copies of your brand files. These are your assets. Make sure you have several copies of the original art files stored safely.
Control Your Brand with a Brand Guide
The visual elements of your brand include a standard set of colors and fonts. Used consistently in print and online these elements will reinforce your brand in the minds of customers.
Ideally, you should have two primary fonts and two primary colors. Typically these come from your logo. In addition, you will want to have two or three complimentary colors which are routinely used for accents.
When it comes to your fonts, you may find the decorative font in your logo is impractical for large blocks of copy. In that case, you will want to add one or two additional fonts to your brand package.
Document the rules with a brand guide. Having all your brand information in a simple one or two-page document makes it easy to create new marketing materials which consistently represent your brand.
If you are investing in new branding ask your designer to create this as part of the branding project. If you have existing assets, work with a professional designer to build a standard ‘rule book’ for your brand.