At a time when civilians are traveling to outer space in a private rocketship, Bollywood music makes an appearance at an Apple event and brands are rolling out campaign after campaign to stay relevant, branding exercises have acquired a seat at the very top of the marketing ladder. To stay ahead, not only do brands have to position themselves uniquely but also keep their target audience engaged. Creating a brand design strategy that strikes a chord, especially with evolving customer preferences, can be challenging.
Here are five mistakes you must avoid while building the foundation for your brand’s design language:
Mistake 1: Rushing on the trend drive
A word to the wise: don’t start the branding exercise without complete clarity about what your brand stands for. Branding is an evolutionary process, and once you know the answer to this question, everything will fall in place. No one wants their brand to look outdated but what’s trending today might not have the shelf life of timelessness you need. Make sure your brand strategy aligns with the unique essence of your brand.
Mistake 2: Not focusing on your brand’s personality
Swinging from one brand personality to another can be confusing for your target audience and often even your employees. They’ve probably started to associate your brand with certain elements—a color, a font, an icon, style of writing, perhaps. The key to keeping your audience hooked lies in making the personality that you have built shine. Try to build on existing language so you’re not breaking existing associations and recognition patterns. Be cautious about making any changes that could result in a lack of trust from your customer. That being said, if something isn’t in sync with your core brand, don’t shy away from bidding it goodbye.
Mistake 3: Not being authentic
As a brand, it’s essential to be authentic and consistent across all consumer touchpoints. If you’re projecting yourself differently every time you speak, it can be extremely confusing. More so, it’s crucial to be consistent even in your internal communication to help build employee trust and make sure they are invested in your brand.
Mistake 4: Neglecting relatability for your target audience
Branding today is all about storytelling. It’s not just any story, it’s every customer’s story. No brand would exist without its customers—they are your key stakeholders. Understanding your customers’ problems, and weaving these paint points into your brand mission and vision, is what will help you succeed. You must articulate your purpose in a way that resonates with your target audience if you want a win.
Mistake 5: Not testing the pixel-perfect logo
Your organization’s name and logo are your foundational artifacts and assets. They pack in so much meaning within them: deep personal meaning and soaring founder aspirations and inspirations. Large corporations constantly invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in their logo designs because a strong logo is your top differentiator. Don’t hold back; let your creativity flow: sketch, vectorize, mock-up, and finally adapt the piece perfectly to pixels. Whatever your budget, it’s critical to put your logo concepts to the test with a focus group or a survey before launch, as even the most expensive designs might fall short.
By: Shreyasi Singh, Founder & CEO, Harappa and Archit Raj Thapar, Design Head, Harappa.