Creating a solid, well-defined brand is crucial to your business success today. Whether you’re a freelance designer or a Fortune 500 business, creating a compelling brand image is the best way to attain authority in today’s highly competitive business world. A successful brand strategy should communicate your values, develop a sense of trust, and unify your online presence to help potential customers easily identify your brand.
Even small business owners with tight budgets need to focus on online branding as we enter the New Year. Effective online branding allows you to build healthy client relationships, increase your client base, and establish yourself as a leader in your industry.
Are you looking to dominate the competition now that 2022 is behind us? Let’s dive in! We’ve gathered the most effective strategies and tips to help you end the New Year with a bang and start off 2023 strong.
How to Create an Online Branding Style Guide
When it comes to effective online branding, consistency is key. Whether you’re a small business or a large corporation with countless employees, you’ll need to communicate your brand requirements effectively to succeed in the highly competitive online business world.
How do you do that?
Create the best online brand style guide you can, of course! Your style guide should clearly outline your brand assets and create a consistent and professional brand message across all channels.
At BragDeal, we have helped countless clients create a style guide that genuinely speaks to the clients they serve and the business message they want to deliver. Before diving into creating an effective online branding strategy, let’s define the term.
What Is a Brand Style Guide?
The rulebook. Any successful organization’s key to unification, consistency, planning, and proper operations. A brand style guide is just that. In it, you’ll find everything that plays a role in the look and feel of your brand. Colors, fonts, logos, imagery, videos- all the small pieces that come together to create the bigger picture of who you are as a brand.
Your brand guide doesn’t just tell the world who you are as a business. It helps your designers, web development team, and marketing team understand the best way to present your brand to the online world. In the world of online branding, it guides all your content. From blog posts to client presentations, your brand style guide unifies all the moving parts of your brand to create a beautiful representation of who you are at the heart of your brand.
Brand style guides take time and effort to develop. Over the years, many brands have invested hours and hours in helping create the perfect representation of who they want the world to believe they are. Some of the most successful, highly technical companies have even rebranded in the last few years, as we understand the true power of successful online branding.
So, how do you create a successful brand style guide? As the most trusted Vancouver branding company, here are our best tips:
1. Create a Captivating Brand Story
Every successful brand is driven by a compelling brand story that captivates its audience and draws in loyal clients. What’s a brand story? It’s exactly that! It describes where you came from, who you are, and what you care about most. Your online branding story should communicate your company’s values while guiding your internal operations’ decision-making processes.
From one company to the next, brand stories should look incredibly different. However, one key component should tie them all together. Brand stories wrap up your company’s mission, vision, and core values in a complete package effectively delivered to your clients through your online branding strategy.
Regardless of what your story is, your brand story should be the first thing you establish in your online branding strategy. It sets the stage for what’s coming next and guides your online branding strategies.
2. Put a Significant Emphasis on Your Logo
Aside from your brand story, your logo is the single most crucial component of your online branding strategy. Why? With one look, your logo helps potential clients identify your brand, the products and services you sell, and the authority you’ve established as a company.
Your logo is the one thing viewers should immediately recognize as part of your brand. And only YOU! When done right, your logo should be unique to you.
How do you make your logo recognizable? For starters, you can work with a well-respected B.C. branding company to build an eye-catching image that effectively portrays your brand and is consistently displayed across all online branding sites.
Let’s think about some examples. Starting with one of the most recognizable brands on the internet-Facebook. Unless you’re living under a rock, you’ve seen the classic Facebook blue “F.” Believe it or not, this logo came with a lot of thought and effort. For example, the color blue psychologically creates a sense of trust, authority, and reassurance. When you see that blue logo, your brain is triggered to feel safe.
Additionally, your brand style guide should offer acceptable color variations of your logo. This makes it hard to go wrong with your online branding.
3. Build a Core Color Palette in Your Brand Style Guide
Years ago, brand colors were simple. Today, they require a lot more thought and consideration. When creating your online branding strategy, you’ll need to choose color schemes that add vitality to your brand communications. Where brand color palettes used to be one or two colors, today you’ll need to select palettes that keep your brand recognition intact.
To create an effective online branding strategy, clearly define your brand’s color palette. Start with a primary brand color and then work into finding complementary secondary shades. For example, Twitter uses a blue color as its primary brand color and shades of black, grey, and white as secondary colors.
Your Vancouver branding company will create a core pallet that covers the majority of your needs. You’ll have the HEX colors available for all your future marketing efforts. Be sure to share this with any of your design or marketing teams as you move forward in your online branding.
4. Choose Fonts that Match Your Brand’s Style
Typography is something many decision-makers overlook, but something that holds a lot of weight if done well. The fonts you use on your website, in your logo, and on your marketing materials will stick out like a sore thumb if not done the right way.
Enhance the online branding experience by applying typography consistently through your brand style guide. This means outlining what fonts should be used and where they should be used. Some companies even hire professional Vancouver web designers to create their own unique fonts.
5. Find Your Voice
What does a voice have to do with online branding? How else would you effectively share your brand message? Your brand voice should be considered. Spend some time working with a content writer to find a writing style that resonates with your audience and aligns with who you are as a brand.
Once you’ve found your voice, ensure it’s replicated across all marketing channels by spelling it out in your brand style guide. This ensures consistency across the board regardless of who is working on your online branding strategy.
Include one or two writing samples in your brand style guide to establish a pattern of consistency.
6. It’s All in the Picture
Finally, it’s time to capture the big picture. Everything about your imagery should circle back to the other components of your online branding strategy. Style, color, content- all of these components impact your image and data visualization, contributing to the perception of your brand.
Photography and videography styles are just as crucial as illustrative styles. Hire a Vancouver videographer with experience in branding, your style guide, and the specific level of complexity, composition, color schemes, style, and technical specs that fit your brand.
Whether you work with photos, videos, or illustrations, provide lots of examples and descriptions to ensure you create consistency with your brand.
Ultimately, online branding is about representing your brand confidently and effectively. Knowing the message, you’re trying to deliver and how to deliver that message is your first step in creating a successful online branding strategy. Now that you understand the importance of your branding guide, let’s move on to establishing brand awareness.
6 Tips to Successfully Establish Brand Awareness
Brand awareness is another significant step in creating a successful business today. Think about some of the most popular brands on the market today. Even if you don’t like Pepsi, chances are you know a bottle of the popular soda when you see it. That being said, what exactly is brand awareness?
What Is Brand Awareness?
Brand awareness is the process by which brands of all sizes create recognition for their products and services. Companies cultivate brand awareness using messaging, design, social media, and ads.
Brand awareness is a word that most companies understand, but most don’t understand its complexity. Ultimately, it’s establishing that your brand exists and that your clients have some idea about what your brand does. So, how do you set a strong sense of brand awareness?
1. Identify What Helps You Stand Out
To establish brand awareness, you’ll need to identify what sets you apart from your competition. How do you do that? You study your competition! A successful online branding company will help you understand how the competitors define their brands and how you can establish what makes you different.
Find characteristics you can call your own. The best way to do this is to identify an issue with the market and create a solution that connects to your brand.
2. Be Consistent
Like creating an online branding style guide, establishing brand awareness is about consistency. Find chances to engage with your potential customers. Create a consistent strategy across all channels. If your online branding strategy differs from one channel to the next, potential customers won’t understand what your brand is all about.
Create consistent messages you can share across all channels. Keep your channels harmonized. Your website, Facebook, Twitter, emails, and other social channels should all share a similar message. No matter where your customers connect with your brand, ensure they are greeted by the same message. Consistency ensures your message is amplified- helping your brand reach a higher level of success long-term.
3. Be Positive
Brand awareness is different from one brand to the next. For some brands, the focus is on the importance of being environmentally friendly. For others, the focus is on innovative products and trendy services.
With so much negativity in the world, it’s vital to remain positive regardless of your message. The last thing consumers want is a brand that delivers a negative message. This doesn’t mean your online branding strategy needs to be all butterflies and rainbows. Still, you’ll want to make people feel good.
4. Create an About Us Page
Creating an about us page on your website is crucial for brand awareness. The bios you write for Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter may be limited with brand awareness, but your website is a place to let your online branding strategy shine through!
Most branding strategies lead to your website. Creating a captivating about us or our story page is a way to humanize your brand and help potential clients connect with your company. Use this as an opportunity to explain why your company is different from your competition. Why should people feel good about shopping with you?
5. Strengthen Brand Identity by Unifying Your Name, Logo, and URL
Remember when we said your brand message should be consistent across all channels? The same goes for your URL, logo, and business name. You don’t want a name already used by someone else on social media. It’s hard to effectively create an online branding strategy if you can’t find easy ways for clients to seek out your brand.
Your business name, logo, and URL are massive brand awareness opportunities. Your business name should be memorable and deliver a message you’re hoping to provide. Your logo further reinforces your message. Your URL should be connected to your brand in a way that makes it easy to find you online.
6. Know Your Audience
Finally, it’s crucial to know your audience. You cannot effectively establish brand awareness if you don’t know how to turn the right heads. Talk to your branding company to help define your target audience before launching your brand. This will ensure you attract the right people and deliver your brand to customers willing to purchase your products and services.
You can take this even one step further by talking to your customers during your brand establishment’s initial phases. Invite your biggest customers into your office and ask them what best identifies your brand. Make sure these points are part of your online branding strategy. These common characteristics that easily identify you will ensure your brand awareness is seamless.
Building a brand is a process. An effective online branding strategy takes time, patience, and a significant amount of work to execute. Although you’ll generate brand awareness over time, it’s crucial to take the right steps to ensure you establish the right reputation.
Online Branding Tips to Enhance Your Company Image
When it comes to online branding, it’s more than just recognizability. You want to create an impact on your customers and send a message effectively. Your first impression sets the scene, but the reputation you build long-term ensures the lasting sustainability of your brand.
Here are the most effective ways to brand your business for success:
1. Identify Yourself Effectively
Catchy names and cool graphics are fun, but you’ll want to be a great storyteller to succeed in online branding. Your company name, logo, and slogan should all provide insights into what you do and your products and services. It’s valuable time and energy you can’t get back once it’s gone. Don’t miss this opportunity.
2. Make it Easy to Understand
Make it easy for people to understand what you do. Too many names are easy to identify and relate to but have no meaning. Find an online branding strategy that effectively publicizes your brand.
3. Stay Ahead of Customers’ Thoughts
Consider your customers throughout every part of the process. If you like a certain look and feel of your company, but are selling to clients who can’t relate, you won’t do an excellent job with online branding. Find a way to ensure your logo and brand resonate with the people you serve. Define your customers, then create a brand that speaks to those customers.
4. Find Your Why
Your business sells a product and service, right? But why? Of course, we all want to make money. But simply selling something that makes you money won’t motivate the average consumer to buy into your brand. Ask yourself- what difference will your products and services make in the lives of the consumer who buys them? Build a foundation of who you are and why you do what you do, and build from there.
5. Be Creative
The best approach to online branding is a creative and approachable one. Consider both your audience and your brand category. For example, there’s a reason you go to Banana Republic rather than Amazon for your clothes. The most successful brands adopt a creative spin without deviating from what their customers expect from their brands.
6. Think Long-Term
Consider how your online branding strategy will hold up over time. Communicating a trendy and cutting-edge brand is good right now but likely won’t last in the long term. Think about how you can create a sustainable brand that won’t be outdated in five or ten years. If you want to be around for a long time, you need to think in the long-term.
7. Maintain Your Brand
Repeat the same message across your marketing materials to ensure your brand is sustainable. For example, think about Nike. “Just Do It” is a long-term message that has been connected to the brand for generations. Nike’s current marketing strategies include their initial message with a new spin to ensure customers know who they’re working with.
8. Create a Value Proposition
Creating a unique value proposition is what makes you different from your competitors. Find a statement or a combination of words that describe your business effectively to consumers. Find a way to engage and relate with the customers willing and ready to buy from you. Find a way to really communicate your values to your customers. This will not only establish you as a brand, but it will also create a sense of trust with your consumers.
9. Work on Your Online Branding Presence
Your website is one of the most crucial components of your marketing strategy and establishes credibility for your brand. The first step in creating an effective online presence is to build a quality website. Work with a well-known Vancouver website development company to help you make an effective online presence. Once your website is up and running, use it as an effective lead-generation tool to drive website traffic.
Your online branding strategy should mean everything to your business. Once you’ve put your brand out there, you need to integrate your online branding strategy into everything your business does.
A strong brand is one that is remembered even when customers aren’t looking directly at your marketing materials. There are several effective ways to build and enhance your brand. Work with a successful branding company to ensure your future success. At BragDeal, we’re here to help. Contact us today to get started on your online building strategy and work with a branding company in Vancouver that can help you blast past your competition and reach the next level of success!