For our business to be sustainable, our target audiences need to see us, listen to us, and trust us. But in this day and age of social media clutter and fast technology, how can we still stand out without looking like we are trying too hard? Or worse, just contributing to the mundane noise consumers face every day?
The key to standing out amongst competitors and keeping your business relevant is having a solid, foundational brand strategy. This strategy will inform your decisions on visuals, advertising, and more. Below are three quick but effective tactics to get you started on improving your staying power through strategic design thinking. If you’d like to work with us directly on your brand strategy, reach out and we can perform an audit and work with you on a bespoke plan.
Clarify Your Why
What is the story behind why you started your business? Sometimes, we can grow numb to the initial passions that propelled us into this journey. Brands with watered-down messaging give too many initiatives weight in their value system. Weak messaging will decrease your impact. If you are unclear on your central mission and exactly how your offering supports that goal, it is time to redefine your core values.
Workshop Your Visual Alignment
A tool you can use to ensure alignment with your brand’s mission is mood boarding. A mood board visually describes the atmosphere you’d like your brand to have. Put together images that communicate how you would like people to perceive your product or service. You can create a digital mood board by gathering ideas on Pinterest, collaging together images using Photoshop, InDesign, Adobe Spark, or similar software. Suppose you prefer things to exist in the real. In that case, you can also create a classic collage by physically cutting and pasting images out of magazines or creating a vibe tray: a tray filled with colour swatches, fabrics, metals, and items that encapsulate elements of your brand. As you develop or improve your brand identity design, check back in with your mood board to ensure that your business’s visuals align with how you want others to see your brand.
Housekeeping is just as important in your business as your home. Comb through your brand’s assets and remove things that do not serve you anymore. For example, maybe you somehow have collected six different fonts that you use within your brand. We often see this with businesses that use templates and do not fully curate them to match their visual branding. Hone into one primary font that you can use for headings and design elements, like buttons or words in quotes that you’d like to stand out. Choose one to two fonts that pair well with this. It is good to have at least one ubiquitous font found on most operating systems to have an easier time down the line. Once you have chosen your brand fonts, remove the rest from your roster and stay focused with your few. You can apply similar principles with colour, iconography, and more.
These tactics scratch the surface of the myriad ways you can sharpen your brand strategy and build a more sustainable image. At the Atelier, we share advice about brand strategy, visual design, and marketing. Peruse our other articles, and stay in touch with us on our socials and mailing list below to ensure you know what we know.