Your brand identity is more than just your name or your logo. It’s everything about your business: your goals, motivations and mission, and how you interact with your customers at every point of contact. So it’s very important to craft a visible identity that accurately represents your brand. If you’re starting a business and in need of branding assistance, you’re in luck. There’s never been a better time for DIY-ing an effective brand design.
There’s a plethora of online software out there, from free to paid. They’re designed to be easy to use, and often offer paid services along with their free software, in case you end up needing a professional touch. But say you’re determined to DIY your brand, how can you use that software to create a harmonious, effectively-designed brand?
Branding Your Logo
A logo is a pretty no-brainer place to start building a brand. It usually comes right after — and sometimes right before — settling on a name for your business. The logo is the main representative of your brand as a whole. A good logo needs to be at least four things:
But what if you’re not exactly a creative genius when it comes to things like logo design?
This is where a lot of online software really shines. A logo software such as DesignMantic lets you plug in your business name and then gives you a range of possible options. You can search by industry or by color, and the logos are adaptable. Even if you don’t find a logo that absolutely fits your company in the catalogue in the software, you may very well find the inspiration you need to create your own.
Branding Your Business Cards
Logos and business cards often go hand in hand, since business owners frequently use their logo on their card. But there’s a little more to it than that. Your business card should continue to speak for you long after you’ve left the potential customer. So there needs to be all the important information, such as contact info and specialized areas of service, as well as your website and social media contacts.
Sites like Vistaprint are famous for their business cards, offering a range of pre-set options, some of which are pretty appealing and may work well for your business as they are. If not, and you need a card that is a little more specialized, most online software platforms allow you to upload a photo and walk you through formatting both sides of your card, to ensure that you have included all the necessaries.
Branding Your Website
Effective website branding is absolutely one of the most important parts of building your brand. Your website is where everything comes home to roost: it’s a way for your customers to reach you. A place to display what you have for sale. A place to schedule services or show a portfolio. A place to tell everyone what your company is really all about.
It’s your company’s home, and it definitely needs to be designed in a way that matches the tone and personality of your business. But just as not everyone is proficient at designing logos or business cards, not everyone knows exactly what to do with a website, either. In fact, building a site can be intimidating, even overwhelming, if you don’t have any experience with it.
That’s really part of why online branding software was created to begin with: to take away the onus of inexperience and walk us DIY-ers through the process painlessly. Practically the only thing that you need to be responsible for when building a website with online software is the content. Unless you’re hiring that out to someone, no one’s going to create the content for you. And content is an important part of branding: create well-written, compelling copy, include CTAs, and make sure to stick to the proper tone. And don’t neglect spellcheck and good grammar!
Beyond the copy itself, most online software will take you step by step through the process of building your site. And working with one software for all of your branding helps to ensure that you end up with a harmonious, on-message brand!
Emily Woodward is a digital marketing executive who follows her passion for writing via freelance work.