Branding Your Business Way Beyond the Logo
Here within the walls of the Bareknuckle headquarters, we’re damn passionate about branding–about building great brands. Some might call us branding geeks, but we like to think of ourselves as branding nerds (and on really good weeks, poindexters).
Being the brand squares we are, we get a little irked when we hear of companies who offer “branding” only to give their clients a logo … it’s like nails on a chalkboard to our branding ears. To our core, we know that branding is just so much more. More than a logo. More than slapping a logo on all sorts of things. And more than crafting a tagline about what a business does.
Branding consists of a whole slew of good-for-your-business stuff, stuff that builds an entire being, a story around your business. It’s naming your business, crafting its messaging, creating its visuals, designing a logo, and then consistently putting it all together to make one cohesive brand.
#1 – Naming the Business
First, you’ve got to have a name for your business. A name is truly a first impression. Think about the first thing people will see about your business (in addition to, probably, your logo)–your business name.
When choosing a business name, a strategic and well-thought-out approach is key. Here at Bareknuckle, we have a process that we follow with all of our business owner clients. Let’s lay down those ground rules.
First, we define criteria that the business name must meet. For example, if the client we’re working with is a high-end tech company looking to head steadfast into their industry with high energy and an edgy personality, the naming criteria would include something like …
- It’s got to be techy
- No fluff, no B.S., it’s got to be straight to the point
- It has to be easy to remember and easy for our audience to spell
- And it has to scream energy and an upbeat personality!
Once the criteria is defined, we can start playing around with names and ideas, brainstorming as a strategic team until we find THE ONE. When we have a name that we’re dead set on and our client agrees, we’ll move on, building a brand around that name and all that it is.
#2 – Brand Messaging
Brand messaging is consistent messaging that’s put out to your audience, messaging that’s written in your tone, your voice, in your brand! All of this personality, stories, and how your brand is defined all comes about from the interviews we have with the decision makers of that brand. What are their goals and what do they see their brand developing into? What is their energy like and who is the company trying to attract? And how does all of that play into who that brand is at its core?
For us here at Bareknuckle, our brand messaging is magnetic, it’s honest, it’s BOLD BOLD BOLD. We speak the truth, we’re a little on the edge, and our energy is high and lively. When we talk about branding, marketing, or with our clients we’re really talking about it, through and through, with high energy and honesty.
The number one rule of brand messaging is that it should never stray away from the guidelines your brand has set for itself. Your brand should clearly define how you say things and what you say, and then your audience will always know what they can expect from you. They’ll get to know the real you (as in the you of your brand), and when you have regular customers who know your brand to its core, that’s when you know you have loyal fans!
#3 The Brand Visuals
Nope, not your logo yet. We’re talking about all the elements, colors, treatments, and energy that begin to tell your brand story visually and set that same tone your messaging follows. Visual components come about from the name, tone, personality, and messaging of the brand. The visuals will align with each of those components and begin to tell the same story visually.
Brand visuals can come in the form of …
… A color palette
… Various font choices
… Photography guidelines
… And visual elements
#4 – Now It’s Time For a Logo
The logo’s last … always! And here’s why. That tone, that voice, all of that messaging, and then those visual guidelines had to be crafted before a logo can even be thought up. A logo and all of its variations are made up of all those previous branding components, put together into one small but powerful visual.
Your audience is likely to see your logo first (it’s the face of your brand!), so it’s got to be meaningful. Every line, word, custom drawing, and component are derived from the brand work done up this point.
Yes, we get that the logo is generally the big reveal to our clients but we know (and explain to them … and now you) all the hard brand work that goes into their business before the logo. It sure is a comprehensive branding process, and that’s how we like to do it!
Put It All Together, You’ve Got Yourself A Brand!
Dah dah dah dah, when you put all of those pieces together, you’ve got yourself a strong brand. The name, the on-brand messaging, those visuals components, and, of course, the logo, they all work together to make a full, comprehensive, helluva brand!
Like this branding process? It’s comprehensive, it’s thorough, it’s us … and it can be you. Chat with the Bareknuckle crew over a Free 15-Minute Call to kick off your branding process, and get that mighty brand that will help your business thrive.