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    Branding basics: Communicate your brand

    Branding basics- communicate your brand

    By Mirella Marie

    This is Part Two of designer Mirella Marie’s series Branding Basics.

    Once you define your brand, you need to communicate it. This is done through a brand identity. An identity supports your brand to convey its values, products and services, and the overall experience you provide your clients and customers. It is one of the most important investments you can make for your business.

    What does a brand identity do?

    • Communicates to your audience on your behalf
    • Differentiates your business from competitors
    • Establishes consistency
    • Influences perceptions
    • Attracts the right audience
    • Inspires people to take action

    What does it lead to?

    1. Brand trust and loyalty
    2. Increased and improved brand awareness
    3. Stronger credibility
    4. Higher profitability
    5. Motivated employees
    6. Positioning as an industry leader or expert

     

    What does it involve?

    Effective brand identity is achieved through the consistent use of strong visual elements to create distinction and differentiation. These are the five fundamentals of a brand identity:

    Logo 

    At the core of every identity is a logo. A logo is used to identify a company, product or service with the use of a graphical mark, symbol or words. It should not literally describe what your business does, but, rather, identify it in a way that’s recognisable and memorable. In order to do this, it must communicate in its simplest form. Ensure that your logo is not complicated or cluttered — it must be legible and readable at 25% of its original size, without loss of detail. Do not include your tagline or any other text in your logo.

    Consider the following:

    • What kind of message do you want to convey?
    • Can your logo be simplified even further?
    • Does it differentiate from your competitors?
    • Is it legible and readable?
    • What makes your logo memorable?

    Typography

     Typography is the art and arrangement of type that makes written communication readable, legible and aesthetically pleasing. Typography adds tone, subtlety and even context to a message. For example, using a heavy, bold font may be suitable for a builder, but may not be suitable for an architect.

    Consider the following:

    • What type of message do you want to express?
    • Which fonts will best achieve this?
    • Are those fonts overused in your industry?
    • Does they suitably portray your business?
    • Are they legible and readable?

    Colour

    Colour is one of the most important considerations of a brand identity. It conveys messaging and emotion, and has a fundamental impact on readability, legibility, attracting people’s attention and maintaining engagement. The colours in your identity must have a purpose — if you want to use your favourite colour, ask yourself if it is the right one for your brand. For example, bright red may not be suitable for a masseuse. Warm colours (reds, oranges, yellows) evoke different psychological and emotional responses to cool colours (greens, blues).

    Consider the following:

    • What kind of message do you want to communicate?
    • Which colour(s) will best achieve this?
    • Are those colours overused in your industry?
    • Are they legible and readable?
    • Are they suitable for your brand?
    • Are they eye-catching?

    Tone of voice

    A brand’s tone of voice provides an overall narrative for the brand to speak to its audience. It must complement and communicate your brand’s personality. If your voice is direct, your writing, content and engagement should be brief, clear and succinct. If your voice is outgoing, your writing, content and engagement should demonstrate a responsive attitude to your audience. You must use the same voice across all of your brand’s touchpoints to achieve consistency. If you are outgoing on social media but direct on your website, it will cause confusion.

    Consider the following:

    • What tone of voice will speak directly to your audience?
    • How will you use it to maintain engagement?
    • Are you speaking in a language they will understand?
    • Are you able to incorporate some of your own personality?
    • How do the tone of voice of your favourite brands resonate with you?

    Imagery

    Humans are highly visual — we first learned to communicate through pictures before words (hence “a picture is worth a thousand words”). Images such as photos, illustrations, and icons are used to visually describe your brand, products and services to your audience, so it is crucial they are clean, clear and easy to recognise.

    Where possible, always hire a professional to create your brand’s imagery and avoid using photos taken on a smartphone.

    Consider the following:

    • What do you want to express with your imagery?
    • How will you use it to reach the right audience?
    • Is it memorable?
    • Is it clear?
    • Is it of a high standard?
    • How do you feel when you see other businesses using low quality images for their brand?

    These five fundamentals must be consistent across all your brand communications, including your website, social media, print materials, templates, ads, newsletters, apps, etc. It is this consistency that what will help make your brand memorable.

    Remember, your audience is overwhelmed with choice. Presenting your brand with a cluttered logo, unsuitable typography, inappropriate colours, conflicting tone of voice, or low quality images may see your audience turning to your competitors.

    Your brand identity is the very first thing people see before even engaging with you, therefore you have one chance to make a lasting impression. The way something is presented will define the way people react to it.

     

    Mirella Marie is the owner and creative director of Vertigo, a Melbourne based graphic design studio specialising in brand identity and design. She is also a contributor for Women of Graphic Design, a project examining the work of female designers around the world. Join her on Instagram @studiovertigo.


    Posted by: Emma Clark
    Categories: Advice and Tips, Marketing and Social Media Basics, Starting a Business | Comments Off on Branding basics: Communicate your brand
    Posted on

    Regional creative: Tracy Lefroy, Cranmore Home

    CWC_2016-01-21_georgia-phase_insta-graphic_template

    By Jasmine Mansbridge

    For my guest blog this year I wanted to look specifically at women who are running a creative business from a regional location. One lady who is doing this, and with great success is Tracy Lefroy from Cranmore Home. I knew of her business even before I began looking for prospective interviewees and I was blown away to discover that she is based on a farm in Western Australia.

    So, just as I was, I am sure you will be inspired by Tracy’s story.

    Where are you based and what business are you in?

    Cranmore Home is a curated collection of Australian-designed and ethically-sourced homewares, art and fashion. The online store is complimented by a brick and mortar store located in my hometown of Moora, Western Australia, 180km (a beautiful two-hour drive) north of Perth.

    Have you always lived in a regional/rural area?

    I have spent the majority of my life living in WA’s beautiful Wheatbelt and Midwest region. I grew up in a very small place called ‘Irwin’ which is near the coastal town of Dongara, 350km north of Perth, just 10 minutes from the beach and with three sisters to keep me on my toes…. It was a pretty ideal childhood.

    Like many country kids, I headed off to the city for high school and stayed on for Uni, where I completed my Honours in Agricultural Science at the University of WA. I greatly enjoyed some ‘obligatory’ overseas travel before moving to Northam in the Wheatbelt for work.

    In 2005, I was the youngest recipient to be awarded a prestigious Nuffield Scholarship, which took me to some amazing places around the world. Since then, I have been farming with my husband, Kristin and his parents at our property ‘Cranmore Park’ near Moora.

    How long have you been in business? Has it become easier, or harder as time has gone on?

    The seed for Cranmore Home was planted in 2010 shortly after my husband and I moved into our beautiful old farmhouse. Three babies, three years and a once-off pop-up shop later I launched my website and in 2014 opened a retail space in Moora.

    I started this business because I am passionate about Australian food and fibre and the manner in which it is produced, AND I saw a massive gap in the homewares market for a retail outlet that championed our amazing home-grown designers and artists.

    I had passion, a great premise and a strong business background but absolutely ZERO retail experience! So I always knew it was going to be a steep learning curve and a lot of hard yakka (I am a self-confessed workaholic). What I didn’t expect was the amazing array of opportunities for me to grow my business- I am currently developing a trade/commercial arm of Cranmore Home, which is super exciting for my little business.

    So to get back to your question…. It’s definitely not easier, but it is not necessarily harder either. Cranmore Home is this amazing vehicle for pursuing my passion and the more I put into it the more rewards, challenges and crazy experiences it throws at me.

    What has been/is your biggest challenge?

    With three young kids, I juggle Cranmore Home around family, farm, friends and other life commitments. Like any working parent and partner, the work-life balance situation is constantly being tweaked but I am getting better at taking a breath, stepping back and knowing that while I cannot “do it all” right now, I can do my best at each facet of my life.

    Business-wise, freight is the biggest cost challenge as I offer free Australia-wide shipping. It is just not cost-effective to freight stock across the Nullarbor to my showroom in Moora only to send it back to customers on the East Coast. As a result, I now have warehouse space in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth where stock is sent direct to my customers.

    What are you most proud of?

    My three gorgeous kids! I’m also incredibly proud to be a farmer and business owner that champions Australian design. Having the honour to represent incredible designers + makers whilst living and breathing farming, has been such an honour and something of which I am very proud.

    What would you do differently in business if you had your time again?

    Eeek, I am an eternal optimist so my sights are firmly set forward, I am not great at hindsight. But I have learnt a few expensive lessons in my first few years of Cranmore Home. One of the areas I am trying to improve upon is really targeting and refining my advertising spend.

    Where do you see yourself ten years from now?

    Wow, in 10 years my kids will all be at high school, which is scary and makes me a little teary! Life will be so different but, there is nothing like three sets of boarding school fees to keep you motivated in your business.

    What are you looking forward to most in the next twelve months? 

    We have an amazing ‘Winter Workshop’ planned for July. Now in its third year, the Winter Workshop is a dynamic event, with the format changing yearly. This year I have such huge ideas… now to get them to happen!

    I learn so much from collaborating with the Cranmore Home designers and it is such a rewarding experience being part of their creative process. The Winter Workshops is an opportunity for my clients to be able to experience this same creative excitement and fulfilment plus be exposed to the beauty and heritage of ‘Cranmore country’, the WA wheatbelt.

    Can you offer anything special to CWC readers?

    I sure can! I would love to extend a special CWC offer of 15% store-wide here at Cranmore Home (only excluding Heatherly Beds). Just enter CWC15off at checkout to redeem.

    Have you got anything you’d like to plug?!

    I have just started a fortnightly newsletter to bring my customers behind the scenes of Cranmore Home. It features sneak peeks of new products, subscriber-only discounts, first dibs on advanced orders and takes clients ‘behind the brand’ to get to know the amazing designers and artists that I proudly represent.

    To sign up just fill in the pop-up window when visiting www.cranmorehome.com.au

    What is your favourite social media platform for your business?

    I am an Instagram addict!!! @cranmorehome and @cranmorehomesale allow me to converse directly and instantly with clients, designers, journalists, bloggers, etc.

    I am a very visual person and a firm believer in the phrase ‘a picture says a thousand words’. Instagram allows me to express the motivations and inspirations behind Cranmore Home.

     

     

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    Posted by: Emma Clark
    Categories: Growing a Business, Interviews with Creative Women, Regional | Comments Off on Regional creative: Tracy Lefroy, Cranmore Home