Is there an identity crisis in your company?
If we were to ask most business owners this question, they would look at us like we’re crazy. A company is an institution, right? It’s inanimate – it doesn’t have an identity? It doesn’t have a personality…right? Well, if you’re in that boat, we get it. By definition, yes. Companies are an institution, not a person. But what are companies comprised of?
And who do companies do business with?
Real people with feelings, dreams, preferences, relationships, and ideas permeate every aspect of your business. How can you connect with them? People want to be treated as individuals, not as prospects, or leads, or generic records in a database. Robots can’t have a relationship with your customers no matter how sophisticated their software is.
Furthermore, your company does have an identity – a remarkable identity. You know why? Because you and your employees have a remarkable identity. That is why Resound Creative was founded. We want to help companies draw their identities to the surface and create a coherent and consistent brand.
Every aspect of your business – Your website, your email campaigns, your flyers, your slogans, and your advertisements – should stem from the core of your company. People don’t always fall in love with a product. More often, they fall in love with company values and culture. That’s what branding is meant to do.
So how can you communicate who you are to your clients and customers? How can you help them fall in love with you?
Resound would love to help you find your company identity. We call this phase of our branding process our “Brand Audit.” We learn about your history and your goals. We discover what makes your company tick from every angle we can find (employees, clients, competitors). Once we understand that, we’re able to identify your company’s values and personality traits in our brand development/definition phase.
Your company’s values are those things that are important to your company. Some examples might be: practicality, creativity, integrity, intelligence, friendliness… whatever it is that motivates and guides your decisions. And if we treat values as the inner essence of a person, then personality traits are the outward expression of who they are. Your company has residual traits that people use to describe you. Some examples might be: fun, wise, outgoing, passionate, or protective.
From your values and personality traits, we create a palette that expresses your identity, including logo design, icons, taglines, written copy, colors, imagery, typography, or even music. Then we piece all of these elements together into a “Remarkabook” – a handbook with everything you’ll need to implement your brand consistently.
Visual Guidelines and Logo
Humans are very visual. Patterns, colors, fonts, and logos will help people understand and remember you.
These design aspects should be consistent with who you are as a company and should be fueled by your brand. If you’re a hip, upbeat, frozen yogurt company, you probably shouldn’t use dark or subdued colors (unless you’re going for the Hot Topic crowd). The shapes in your text and materials should have movement and flow, instead of being boxy and solid.
Resound will research and select colors (usually four or five) that will feature prominently in all aspects of your design. We also select one or two fonts that will be consistently yours, as well as textures and patterns that personify your brand. This way, people begin to recognize your communications. They’ll open your email and automatically know, because of the design ingredients, that it’s from your business.
Your logo is the visual representation of your company. Look at these pictures:
You probably weren’t thinking “Oh! It’s an M! A seashell! An apple! and a green-nymph-thing….what is that even?” You were probably naming off brands. McDonalds. Shell. Apple. Starbucks. How did you know that? Because each of these companies has done a great job of incorporating their logo into the overall customer experience with consistency.
Ideally, people look at your logo and recognize your company. You don’t want a mix-and-match logo that incorporates a little bit of everything and communicates nothing. Or a logo that reflects a previous state of your company, and is no longer relevant. The question to ask is this: Does this logo express the brand the way I’ve defined it? Is it consistent with my values and personality?
If you can’t explain your logo, it’s time to change it.
How do you write like you? How would a new intern write an email to customers and still sound like your company?
That’s why one section in Resound’s brand handbook will include guidelines for writing content according to your values and personality traits. Say you’re a mom and pop bakery that specializes in friendly relationships with all customers. Say further, that your website sounds like it was written by a big corporation. For instance, on your “order online page”, you say:
“Place Order Here”
“What Can We Get You?”
You might think you’re building credibility by sounding more stark and “professional”, but customers will be surprised at the atmosphere when they walk in, and you’ll lose credibility. It’s better to keep your communications consistent through all your platforms.
When you nail down and define how your company writes, you can give those guidelines to any employee or contractor. They’ll write like your company, even if they haven’t known you very long.
Build Your Foundation
Help your customers fall in love with your company. Help them get to know who you are. Be consistent. The visuals should work with the logo, which work with your writing style to create the unified personality that is the face of your company.
Do you need help building a foundation? Shoot us an email.