You're starting a business and want to make it look like a million bucks. But where do you start? You can't just throw up some graphics or slap on your logo and call it a day. Knowing the right things to consider when branding your eCommerce business is essential for success.
Josh Catchpole is our in-house Graphic Designer. Josh started working with us years ago in the warehouse. After a while, we discovered that he had magical powers when it came to all things graphics and video, so eventually got to the place where he has the biggest, most powerful Mac in the office with the biggest monitor too!
Matt was in conversation with Josh discussing the basics of branding and the things you would need to consider when branding your eCommerce business.
What is branding
Branding is the personality of your company or business. A lot of people get sucked into the visual side of it, like the logo and the fonts. That's branding at its very simplest form. But good branding is more than that, it's the feel that someone gets when they see anything to do with your business. For example Red Bull are all over the place in terms of strategy, they’re sponsoring football clubs, they have TV adverts, they sponsor people to do charity events, basically they are just everywhere and with all their different outlets you still get the Red Bull feel, they have become way more than just an energy drink. It may not even be the first thing you think of with Red Bull anymore, if you took away their one product, energy drinks, Red Bull would still exist, and that’s the power of good branding.
Why you should brand your business
If you’re starting a small business then the branding is so important, it will give you something that you're proud of, it makes you proud of everything you do and everything you create and also gives someone you know from the outside something to latch on to whether it's, a look and feel or a sort of ethic behind the company. It's massively important for smaller companies and it's worth spending the time getting it right, it can develop but if it starts well you're halfway there.
The importance of consistency in branding
If you think about Spotify and Airbnb for example, they've changed their logos to fit with the times, but their branding has remained consistent in terms of the colours and personality - it gives something for people to hold on to.
When you’re thinking of creating your brand, invest time at the start to think about more than the logo. Think about the actual look and feel of your company. What does it stand for? What's the story behind it? What do people think about when they think about your company? This can be done at any time during the journey but actioning this at the start makes a lot of sense. Things change along the way, but there should still be a consistent story or feel behind the brand as you go along.
It’s important to think about how your branding will look across multiple platforms, like social media and your website. If you’re outsourcing a designer, a good one will give you brand guidelines, it tells you how to use a font, what colours to use, what fonts to use, where to put the logo on your website to ensure you get this consistent look.
How to create a logo that matches your company's values and culture
Your company's core values are where your logo should come from. Think about defining the values of your business, what is it you stand for? What is it you want to be known for? What's your legacy going to be in 10-20 years time? Start with the things that are important to you. Think of images and icons that could reflect that.
Some of the best logos subtly incorporate values of the brand. For example, Airbnb’s logo incorporates their key values - people, places, love and Airbnb. The simplicity of their logo is what makes it memorable, a sign of great branding.
The clearer your brand starts to become the clearer and more consistent your brand will be, you’ll start to feel the personality of the business. Remember, you always need to be considering the customer, what will resonate with you customer? What will your customer like? Don’t just think about what resonates with the CEO.
Looking at your competitor in the same field is really beneficial, because if they’re successful then they're probably doing something right. You want to create something that is standalone and original but at the same time it's okay to take inspiration from other companies within your field.
Tips on finding a good designer
When it comes to freelancers, you get what you pay for. If you're finding someone online making a logo for £20, it's probably not even going to be worth £20, so it’s worth investing. A good designer will spend a lot of time listening to you and understanding what you want. It helps if you get on with someone, because you're going to have a lot of conversations start to finish, and you'll be telling them what you like and what you don’t like - a good designer will be able to take criticism and push back a little bit.