effective branding

Proven Strategy for Effective Branding

Your brand’s image is important. It must communicate the values and defining qualities of your business in a glance. Many of the most successful brands feature simple, memorable logos. What makes these brands stick? Effective branding can be achieved for your small business through proper strategy, field study experimentation, and feedback. I am going to share with you how to attain a simple, memorable logo that represents your brand, using the valuable lessons I’ve learned through the process of rebranding my web design business, Ivva.

Getting Started – With Strategy

As I mentioned, I also happen to run an affordable twin cities web design business. A bit different than Catch22, I provide very basic, effective web design services. Nothing special or extraordinary- just what many small business owners and solopreneurs need. Most of my customers generally need a simple website that looks clean, performs well, works on all devices, and gets people into the doors of their business. This is their main priority; they don’t need to pay a premium for top-tier web design and inbound marketing services. And that’s great! Acknowledging the core values and attributes of your business is the first step in creating a thriving brand. Ivva is a low-cost, high-growth web design business. I wanted to easily communicate this with a new logo, so I answered several questions (outlined below) that would help accomplish this.

Lead Your Brand in the Right Direction

Ask yourself these questions and answer thoughtfully. They will help guide the direction of your brand.

  1. What is the purpose of my business? To provide low-cost web design & marketing solutions for small businesses.
  2. Who are my customers? Owners of very small businesses who want to grow their presence online without paying a high price.
  3. What qualities am I trying to communicate? Simplicity, affordability, growth and effectiveness.
  4. What story do I want to tell my customers? “Expanding your presence online doesn’t have to be expensive or stressful! I can provide a simple solution that will help grow your business. Your business is in good hands.”
  5. How can my logo represent these qualities? Simple, friendly font. Maybe a leaf symbol or upwards arrow to represent growth? A unique color scheme that suggests simplicity, growth, and creativity. Nothing fancy!
    Here’s a GREAT resource that demonstrates color schemes and their characteristics for logos.***Be creative with this part. Think of unique symbols that relate to your business. Use appropriate colors that encourage certain feelings from consumers.

Whether you are hiring a designer or designing a logo yourself, these questions are important to answer!

Keep it Simple & Memorable

The attention span of internet users is now about 8 seconds, according to a recent study. This means you essentially have 8 seconds to capture the attention of your potential customers online. If they cannot understand your logo in a few seconds, it will not be remembered. The same goes for person-to-person interactions.

logos-branding-ivva

What qualities do some of the most memorable logos share? Here are some statistics from a case study of the top 100 logos in the world.

  • 93% of the logos are simple enough to be viewable in smaller sizes.
  • 95% of the top brand’s logos use only one or two colors.
  • 41% of the logos use text only (stylized type).

Key point: Keep it simple.

After answering these questions and progressing through these steps, I drafted a few versions of a logo for Ivva. Once I was satisfied with the designs, I headed to the streets. And yes, I mean that literally.

Initial Logo Concepts:

ivva

Experimenting with Logo Concepts

This next part is called experimentation. This is where I took each logo concept for my rebrand and applied it to a very simple formula. The goal in mind was to understand the way people think through a field study, in order to ensure my logo was effective in easily communicating my brand.

Conduct a ‘Field Study’

First, I downloaded a copy of the new logo onto my phone (another option is to print the logo on a sheet of paper). I then began walking around in public and started polling. This can be done in the city, at work, at school, or wherever there is a concentration of new people. I would introduce myself to a random person, hold the new logo in front of them, and ask them to read the logo and describe it out loud in just a few words. I allowed them several seconds to speak, and recorded their response. After repeating this many times, I evaluated the collection of responses.

What does this accomplish?

This method tests how effectively the logo communicates the core values of my brand in a real setting. It allows outside sources (my potential customers) to quickly review my logo and provide feedback, so I can cater the design to their expectations. The great part? It’s both accurate and free! The more samples you take, the more responses you will be able to analyze. This creates more opportunities for you to improve your branding.

The Incredibly Important Role of Feedback

Through gathering feedback, you are determining the first impressions of your logo on future customers. This first impression is key. What do you want your potential customers to think when they see your logo? Look back on the questions you answered above. If the common consensus of the polling was exactly as intended (in my case, the person said ‘Ivva’ and pointed out the leaf in my logo to represent growth) I would keep working with that iteration of the logo. If the responses were generally confused, or not accurate to my business, I would scrap the logo concept and try a new one.

I repeated this for many different logo ideas, eventually creating a result that both communicated my brand effectively and was easy to remember. This method allowed me to confidently decide which iteration of the logo was the simplest & most memorable.

The Result: ivva web design marketing

What’s Next?

Now, you’re probably thinking I’m crazy for doing this, but it works. There’s no better way to understand the way people think than to test your concepts with REAL PEOPLE. Often times, small businesses miss out on a crucial part of building their brand- gathering feedback! During your field study, If your logo did not properly identify the values of your brand, repeat this process until your results reflect the brand you’re attempting to convey. It may sound redundant and time-consuming, but the results will be exactly how you want them to be. I wish you luck in your process towards effective branding.

Key Points to Take Away:

  • Evaluate the goals of your business
  • Keep your logo simple & memorable (remember, you only have 8 seconds to capture the attention of your future customers)
  • Test the effectiveness of your logo through a field study
  • Gather feedback, analyze, revise your logo, and repeat

I am always available for questions and feedback. You can contact me directly by clicking here.


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Posted by Peter Schultze

Inbound marketing intern and web designer at Catch22. I’m an entrepreneur at heart - completely hooked by the digital world. Get in touch with me at Peter@catch22marketing.com.

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