Sometimes I pull my imaginary collar away from me with the sweats when I see people asking for someone to just whip up a logo on Fiverr.
Though this is not always a bad thing. After all, it is possible someone accidentally brands themselves really well and a logo matches it nicely… But the odds of that happening aren’t that great, and my conservative nature would rather make sure I get everything right from the get go when it comes to investing (because your brand IS an investment).
So today, we’re going to be talking about 4 fundamental principles that anyone can follow to keep your brand relevant.
1. Connecting to your audience’s environment.
The majority of brands out there tend to focus heavily on what they do with a vision to “help solve the problem that their business was created for.”
When it comes to a business, this is a given. I mean, don’t countless brands already exist to solve the problem?
What people tend to forget is that branding is all about the human psychology, and it needs to not only align with what someone thinks a brand should be, but go beyond what is expected.
If we relate our branding environment to a social media algorithm, then only a few things will show up on a person’s ‘live-feed’, and everything else is lost with the rest of the information.
Being aware of your audience’s environment means understanding where your brand’s audience focus is, and what current events boost your brand’s demand and relativity.
2. Does the tone match up?
Tone is an important element to any brand communication. If a brand operates like a robot, nobody is going to truly connect with it. If we look at some of the giant brands out there and follow their social media we can see a trend to deeply connect with the audience base on a more “sarcastic” tone.
If the general audience of the giant is “mostly everyone” in a world developed on memes and sarcasm, what better way to gain respect than a responding in an unexpected (yet respectful) way.
The opposite can be said for smaller companies that the giants can’t truly emulate. On the opposite side of this, a tone could be more mature, progressive, thought provoking, RELEVANT. As a brand grows it could be more controversial, challenging and fun for their audience (again in a respectful manner), and as a giant starts to form it can begin to really connect on a more human to human level and what better way to do this than humour itself.
This is only one example that falls under the tone evolution, and the point I’m aiming to make here is that this intentional awareness can drastically affect the outcome and evolutions of keeping a brand relative through the tone you take on.
3. When you don’t look like your pictures.
This could definitely make for an upsetting impression on a first date… The same can be said with your brand collateral.
Social media tends to usually be the first mark of impression for most of your audience and network, and therefore it’s where an evolution of a brand can potentially begin. Your fonts in your images start to change, your photography, designs, colours and text.
This brings us back to the famous question – what came first? The chicken or the egg?
What came first, your brand guideline or your social media spontaneous beautifully Canva designed image?
As much as changing the aesthetic can seem like a good idea, we must first reflect on the collateral we start with. Having a strong foundation is imperative to keeping your brand relative and trustworthy in a competitive market.
Your brand should have a set of rules to follow. We create the entire branding experience for clients, but you too can put together a ‘cheat-sheet’ housing template that shows what you want your brand to look like.
Rather than evolving the front end of your brand first and then trialling ‘what works and what doesn’t work’, I encourage you to consider putting your own template together and collecting feedback before going out to the world.
You wouldn’t show up to a first date without your best attire on, so don’t put your brand through that awkwardness either!
4. And lastly, your website.
Okay surely you knew your website was going to come up eventually?
Most people neglect this piece, yet one of the main reasons when a business owner comes to us for a re-design or a new design, is because they are embarrassed to showcase their current website, or they know their clients will check their website.
To the contrary of this, people will say it doesn’t matter. If you are a start-up. If you are brand new to business. If you don’t have any new prospects, partnerships or people to sell to in your network. Then yeah what’s the point?
IF, however, you have a network. You are growing. You are setting the bar to new heights to match the growth of your brand. Then a website is a key fundamental to keeping your brand relative. Take our website for example. We were due for a fresh up 6 months prior to the current design, yet being so busy developing everyone else’s, time kept pushing us back until we finally scheduled in that time and blocked clients from using that time up!!
Why was it so important to us?
Our networks and the quality of our work has been growing, along with our reputation. More established businesses were noticing us, and our website started to decrease our relevancy in comparison. Our last website was amazing, but NOT to the new audience our brand is now aiming to attract.
Lack of keeping up with relativity affects growth. Period.
From simply taking the time to match our visual collateral, we were able to triple our incoming referred projects and leads, which we proudly refer back too.
On that note: Be very wary when a web design agency simply purchases a theme and uploads that very theme to “look” like a custom-built website.
This is a very common practice with smaller one-person bands or outsourced overseas agencies.
Aside from the deceit and lacking design quality, they will charge you an arm and a leg to rinse and repeat something that cost them $59!
Okay I know what the next post topic will be on 🙂
To sum it all up
There you have it. 4 short, yet comprehensive, brand relativity fundamentals that you should always be on top of.
Did you know that Spiral Orb Designs are renowned for utilising brand and customer psychology within our designs to differentiate us from the rest?
If your brand is in need of a reimagining or a revamp, check out our starter and concierge branding packages.
Until next time,
Branding Specialist & Founder of Spiral Orb Designs