the experience

The 3 brand identity essentials every small business needs

When you’re first starting up, it’s easy to think a quickly whipped up but pretty logo is all you need but as I’m sure pretty much half of my client base will tell you; you need so much more.

Your brand identity is not just about a catchy logo or a fancy colour palette; it’s about conveying a clear and consistent message about who you are and what you stand for. This is where the magic lies in stopping your dream clients in their tracks…

One: Your brand purpose and values

The number one element everyone who is starting a small business overlooks; your Brand Strategy. A good strategy is designed to get you out of your own head and into the heads of your client – only then can you create visuals perfectly aligned.

The foundation of a strong brand identity begins with understanding your brand’s purpose and values. What is it that drives your business beyond profit? What principles and values guide your decisions and interactions with clients, employees or suppliers? Your brand purpose goes beyond selling products or services; it speaks to the “why” behind your business.

A brand strategy should cover:

  1. The problem(s) your business solve(s). Identify the pain points your product or service addresses.
  2. Your target audience. Understand your ideal customers’ needs and preferences.
  3. Your brand values. Identify the core principles that drive your business’s decisions.
  4. Your key differences. What sets you apart from the competition? Highlight your unique selling points and strengths.

Only once you have a clear understanding of your brand’s purpose and values, you can create a brand identity that resonates with your audience.

PS. If this is something you’re struggling with, I offer a Brand Strategy session as an add to both my Elevate and Soar packages.

Two: More than one logo variations

No, a single logo in JPEG format is not going to serve your business. Your logo is arguably the most critical visual element of your brand identity. It’s the face of your business and the visual ambassador that represents your brand everywhere.

A brand intending to go places should have:

Multiple variations of your logo
This should include:
1. Different orientations (portrait, landscape, stacked differently)
2. Versions with + without your tagline
3. Different file formats; EPS (vector), PNG + JPEG
4. All of these variations should be provided in every colour of your final brand palette.

On average, my clients receive 50+ logo file variations ensuring they are covered for the growth of their brand and importantly, have a variation to hand for every eventuality. No more trying to cram a square logo into a landscape shape!

Logo Icons
Mini versions of your main logo. This might be in the form of a monogram or illustrative but should always compliment the main logo.

As with the main logo, it should be provided in all of the variations above.

Three: The visual aesthetics: AKA the power of a strong and cohesive look

A complete brand identity isn’t just a couple of logos, it’s the entire visual aesthetic of the brand and it’s the secret sauce behind a cohesive brand.

Here’s what should be included in your full brand identity:

A colour palette
Choose a colour palette that reflects your brand’s personality and values. Colours have a psychological impact, so select them thoughtfully.

The fonts you use in your branding materials should align with your brand’s tone. Whether it’s professional, friendly, or modern, the right typography helps convey your message effectively.

It’s a common misconception that your fonts should only be that which are used in your logo, a well designed brand uses a hierarchy of fonts to cover and often, your logo font is used sparingly, if at all. Your heirarchy should include:

Heading styles
Sub-heading styles (if applicable to your brand)
Body font

Layout and design
Maintain a consistent layout and design style across all your brand touch points, be it your website, social media, or print materials. This helps reinforce your brand’s visual identity.

To wrap up

Your visual identity should tell a story about your brand, convey its personality, and align with its values and that can’t happen without strategy, logo variations and a visual aesthetic. If you’re still not convinced, here are three reasons why a logo will elevate your small business.

Becky x
Welcome to the BLD Blog

Hello! I’m Becky. A brand identity & website designer for passionate & ambitious small businesses. This little corner of my website is dedicated to sharing the 15 years of experience I have with brands, websites and of course running a small business.

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