The number one thing a marketer should have in their arsenal is a fantastic product. A product that they believe in and that will truly benefit their customers. However, with the web & social media, chances are the customer will see your brand before meet you. Having solid branding is no longer a luxury but a necessity in staying competitive with the market. Putting so much time & money in to both, you don’t want your marketing message to conflict with your brand message. So what can you do to make sure the messages match and your branding isn’t hurting your marketing efforts? Well first you can start with the checklist below.
Marketers & Designers should not be strangers. Is their constant communication between your design & marketing department? The designer needs to understand fully what the overall message is of a product or service, so their brand reflects that. It’s also helpful for marketers to clearly identify their goals & their strategies so designers can create and design the most effective materials.
Behind the Brand. Does your marketing team know what your branding represents? Marketers should fully understand the meaning behind the brand. What the logo represents, why the colors were chosen and why certain fonts were chosen. The understanding of these elements will help with showing customers how much thought and planning has gone into creating a strong & recognizable brand.
The Perfect Match. Do all of your branding materials match? It’s not enough to have your business card match your logo. Any and all handouts should be branded to match. This could be as simple as creating a universal color scheme that unifies all materials or incorporating your logo into the design. You can also design specialty marketing materials that stand out. Some examples include: custom stickers & decals, QR codes, unique shaped business cards and creative mailers or flyers. The more freedom you give your designer the more creative they will be. In turn the marketer will have an easier time getting their message to stick in customers minds and not be lost in the shuffle of other companies.
Mixed Messages. Does your branding match what you are selling? For example: if you are marketing cutting edge websites but your website looks likes it’s from the 90’s, you are not going to impress potential customers. If you are marketing yourself as a modern company don’t use Comic Sans on your flyers. It’s really important that the personality of the brand and the marketing message work well together or you are going to have confusion and a disconnect. Clearly defining your brand personality can eliminate any gaps between branding and marketing messages.
People buy with their eyes. Are you underestimating selling visually? Use as many images as possible. Use examples past work, make sure they are large and visible. Make sure all images are of good quality and everything you show does not only have solid content but is visually interesting as well. Try incorporating infographics into your marketing-people can easily understand large amounts of data if they are shown visually.
Show the process. Is your company transparent? Do customers understand exactly what to expect from you and your business. Videos are great for this. Don’t just show facts and figures, explain step by step what they can expect. Don’t be afraid to show images of “works in progress” or concept work. Helping customers see beyond the end product will really open up their understanding of the process and therefore they will develop more trust in you & your team.
Be social. Are you neglecting your social media platforms? Every marketer should know how important creating and maintaing a social media presence can be. But don’t neglect the look and design of these platforms. Make sure your logo is clearly visible on all social media and that the design matches your overall branding. It also makes you easier to find and less likely to cause confusion. Social media is all about visibility so make sure you put as much effort into that design as you do all other marketing materials.