Investing in a brand identity

Investing in a brand identity

Q: What do an autism awareness charity and an accountancy practice have in common?

A: They both invested in creating a brand identity.

Autism Parent Empower wanted to raise awareness among families with children with autism letting them know that they could access key interventions locally.

Sigma Partner’s challenge was very different. They needed to communicate a change to the business name, as well as stand out in a crowded market.

Investing in a brand identity

Click here to find out how Autism Parent Empower’s brand identity evolved. Autism Parent Empower

Investing in a brand identity

Click here to find out how Sigma’s brand identity evolved. Sigma Partners

They both had very different challenges, yet the solution was exactly the same…

…to create a stand-out brand identity.

Creating a stand-out Brand Identity

A basic brand identity kit consists of a logo, business card, letterhead, and email signature. This basic set of materials can be extended to include: brochures, folders, flyers, website, exhibition stand and vehicle livery.

A successful brand identity is built around 9 characteristics.

Click here to find out how many of the 9 characteristics your brand has.

If you feel that your brand identity some attention, please do get in touch. You can call us on 01293 886805 or email ideas@turquoise-creative.co.uk

 

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Brand case study: Sigma Partners

Sigma Partners

It’s a competitive world!

The results of a Google search for ‘Accountant in <your county> returns pages and pages of suggestions. This just confirms how competitive the accountancy industry is. Add to this the emergence of cloud technology, accountancy practices need to adapt and add value in order to stand out from the crowd.

Out with the old…

We met a forward-thinking team of partners in July 2016, whilst they were still trading as Wilder Coe. At the time, they were going through a restructure of the business. The evolution meant a complete name change was required and a new brand identity design that could incorporate two parts of the new business; the accountancy practice and the payroll bureau.

Sigma Partners

In with the new…brand identity

The steps to create a brand were completely unknown to the partners, so they were extremely happy to be guided by us throughout the process.

The name…

Firstly, we needed to come up with a new name. The name needed to reflect the firm’s experience as qualified Chartered Certified Accountants and their long record of excellence. It had to appeal to their target market; budding entrepreneurs, established businesses and individuals in vocational fields.

During a fun and energetic meeting, which we facilitated, the partners decided on the name Sigma Partners.

The logo…

The next step was to develop a series of brand identity designs playing on the sigma symbol.

Sigma PartnersThe uppercase sigma is familiar to those regularly using spreadsheets, however, the lowercase sigma symbol is not so well known and this is what we incorporated into the logotype to create a subtle but memorable identity.

Sigma Partners

The colours…

Research reinforces how important colour is when developing a brand identity:

  • 60% of the time people will decide if they are attracted or not to a message – based on colour alone!
  • Colour can increase brand recognition by up to 80 percent.

The dominant colours for the Sigma brand are green and blue.

Green symbolises life, vitality, balance and energy. This gives Sigma’s clients the reassuring feeling that they are qualified to assist their business.

Green is associated with growth, harmony, freshness, safety, and the environment.

Green is also traditionally associated with money, finances, banking and ambition.

Blue is a calming colour that denotes security, confidence, intelligence and trust.

Deep shades of blue are a sign of expertise, further endorsing the comfort that Sigma’s clients are in the hands of a qualified and skilled accountancy practice.

Imagery…

To reflect the local area where Sigma’s clients are based, landscape photography from around Mid Sussex has been used on the website, creating an energy and balance to the brand.

Sigma Partners

Consistency across all communications…

The new logos have been implemented across all communication channels, including stationery, advertising, website, signage and social media.

The lowercase sigma theme can also be seen throughout the website.Sigma Partners

The future for Sigma Partners

Sigma Partners now has a clean modern image and a new face to promote to their target market. Their new brand identity underpins how they help small and medium sized businesses in the Mid Sussex area to plan their business, handling all aspects of taxation from self-assessment to corporation tax, assisting in financial planning, audit and provide business consultancy.

“ From the beginning, Steve was fully engaged with the project and completely understood what we wanted to achieve with the rebrand.

All of the design concepts he produced were excellent and produced a considerable amount of dialogue between the partners!!

His vision and creative input was excellent and also keep the project moving and on track, whilst also advising on other items around the rebrand. We are all delighted with the outcome.”

What does your brand image say about you?

In order to flourish and grow, businesses need to evolve, just as Sigma Partners has done. If you feel that your brand no longer represents your business and you would like an informal chat to see how you can refresh or completely change your image, feel free to call us on 01293 886805 or email us.

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How to build a stand-out brand identity

Creating a stand-out brand

Brand… excitement!

One of the most interesting projects that a graphic designer can take on is to design a brand identity. It is so exciting to create logo options based on market research and add a touch of design magic through the creative process. Then finally narrowing the design down to an approved logo and seeing it out in the world for all to view, is a very rewarding experience.

 

Brand… unified vision

However, most of the time, a logo is not enough. Large businesses with layers of management require a thorough brand identity system that provides a unified vision along with marketing tools that help build the brand.

 

Brand… identity kit

Brand identity is the combined effect of visual elements in your marketing materials. A basic brand identity kit consists of a logo, business card, letterhead, and email signature. This basic set of materials can be extended to include: brochures, folders, flyers, website, exhibition stand and vehicle livery.

 

Brand… characteristics

A successful brand identity is built around these
9 characteristics:

How may of these characteristics does your brand identity capture?

  • Unique business “look and feel” and on-brand message. Make sure that the way you write and talk about your business is unique and your graphics stand-out and cannot be confused with the competition. Brand identity core element
  • Repetition helps clients and prospective clients remember and relate to your business. It takes between 6 and 12 contacts with your business for customers to truly remember and connect with your business.
  • Consistent use of your logo and strap line on all marketing materials. To build a strong brand for your business, you need to have a unique visual design. This needs to be consistent throughout all of your marketing material.
  • Memorable devices make your business stand-out. You’ll be able to create a memorable brand through uniqueness, repetition and a consistent approach of all marketing material. Make your visual graphics memorable by creating a unique logo and brand styling.
  • Graphics with meaning make your business’s messages come to life via symbolic graphics, colours and typography choices. Meaningful text gives depth to your developing brand and more importantly, your audience will be able to understand the meaning in your graphics and text.
  • Clear graphics and text communicate your message in an understandable way. Make sure that your graphics are sharp, clean, simple and meaningful. Make sure all text expresses your brand and is in no way confusing.
  • Brand honesty is key to delivering your brand promise and doesn’t alienate you and your company… or even worse damage your client relationships and your overall brand.
  • Brand personality of your business helps you appear different and unique. Clients can immediately tell that all of your branded materials are coming from your business. If you’re the owner of a one-person business, your brand identity might resonate with your own personality. If your business is larger, or if you want to make it appear larger, you can create your own brand personality to connect with your potential clients.
  • Professionalism in all things, from the quality of your graphics, to the way your text is written (proofreading is essential!), to your personal presentation: the way you talk, dress and speak. Professionalism in customer service and in the way you treat people you meet is always important. Follow through on your offers and promises.

Brand… enhancement

When you include all of these characteristics into your brand identity, you’ll have a business look and feel that will really help your marketing messages to be taken seriously: one that will enhance your overall brand.

If you’ve considered these characteristics and feel that your brand is falling short and letting your business (and your customers) down, feel free to give us a call on  01293 886805 or email us.

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Your brand is more than your logo

Your brand is more than your logo. In a commercial context, brands are all about connecting customers to businesses.

your brand

Your logo and its ability to send out the right signals about your brand and what it represents is an all-important connecting tool in your business armoury. But it’s not the only tool.

To make that logo as powerful as possible and to give it an appropriate context, it’s essential to first identify and define the heart of your brand, its purpose and its cause. This is what branding means in the truest sense.

I’d like to share with you, exactly what that means for your business. 

There are five key points to consider about your brand:

1. If marketing is how your business goes-to-market, then your brand is your Marketing Director, informing the focus of all marketing activity. From the products and services through to your people, your environment, processes and support systems – it encompasses your entire business proposition! Marketing without brand clarity is like playing the lottery, characterised by the highs (when you get lucky) and the lows (when you’re not) and having no idea of what’s working and what’s not. It’s a frustrating and inconsistent approach which doesn’t need to happen. Is your brand’s proposition clear and compelling for your most valuable customers and advantaged versus competitors and reflected in all your brand does?

2. Brands are all about making the right connections for your business. The right connections allow your business access to the right customers, the right channels, the right prices, the right territory in the market. Is your brand set up to make the right connections? Is it better at making those connections than your direct competitors?

3. Who are your most valuable customers? What are their needs? How does your brand address these needs, so it becomes the best solution for these people? Brands (not blands!) are defined by their actions. They stand for something clear and valuable to some and stand out from their competitors as a result. A powerful brand can clearly project what it represents and why that’s valuable to those it wants to connect with.

4. A brand is a promise, it’s not a logo. What does your brand promise and does it keep to it every time? What is its sense of purpose and how does that resonate with your most valuable customers?

5. What is your strategy to create tribes of Raving Fans – customers who love what your brand does for them, so they not only do they keep coming back for more want more but will also, crucially, willingly and strongly recommend your brand to others. Businesses that successfully and profitably create Brand Fans typically grow 2.5 times faster than those businesses in their market that don’t. Now that’s worth having and exploiting!

So, there’s a lot more to ‘branding’ than that all-important logo. If you correctly gear your brand to your business, it will become one of your most powerful growth enablers and you should be using it for all it’s worth.

Is your brand working as hard as it could be to take your business to the next level? We’d love to discuss that question with you and explore what more could be done – why not get in touch!

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When is it time for a brand refresh?

What is a brand refresh?

Firstly, you are probably wondering what exactly is a brand refresh.

A brand refresh can be thought of as a facelift or renovation of your brand. It is not a total overhaul of your brand (that is always an option) but something far simpler.

Refresh_Rebrand

Why would you consider a brand refresh?

We all know that change is a fact of business life. Businesses evolve. New products may be introduced appealing to a new types of customers. So whatever size your business is you must adjust to reflect your changing business and stay one step ahead of the competition.

Branding is all about distinguishing yourself from your competitors. But in marketing, it’s not just about differentiation, it’s about setting your brand apart and standing out from the crowd. Is your brand an asset or a liability in that endeavour?

So, to change the way your company is perceived a few tweaks here and there to your branding will help.

By making simple alterations to your branding and positioning, you can:

  • Maintain your brand’s integrity
  • Inject a new energy into your business
  • Iron out any brand inconsistencies
  • Ensure your company’s image is current in an ever changing world
  • Generate a buzz among existing customers and employees

Many businesses are taking this route as it requires far less risk than a complete brand overhaul and can get you the results you desire.

Your business may already have a logo that works well, but things change with time and you need to make sure your business doesn’t become out-of-date.

How do you know when it’s the right time to refresh your brand?

If your business is facing one of these 5 scenarios, a brand refresh (or facelift) is definitely worth thinking about.

1. Is your branding out-of-date?

Your logo might have been revolutionary when you started your business, but now it has aged and your business’s image is suffering as a result. Take an honest look at your visual branding and assess whether it’s moving you forward or holding you back.

2. Have your products / services changed?

Is your brand messaging an accurate reflection of who you are and what you offer today, or is it outdated? Most companies grow and evolve over time to stay relevant. As an example, Starbucks originated in 1971 as a retailer of coffee bean roasting, and their brand identity up until 2011 featured the word “coffee” but over the years they have expanded their business to include espresso beverages, teas, ice cream, etc. which ultimately led to dropping “coffee” from their name.

3. Is your branding inconsistent?

Perhaps you use one version of your logo on printed materials and another on your website, along with all the various strap lines because you can’t decide which work. This can be detrimental to your brand. You need to be consistent or your clients won’t understand what you are offering and to make it worse, you may be seen as sloppy and unreliable.

4. Are you reaching your target audience?

Has your target market shifted since you created your brand, or maybe you have changed the audience your product and services are aiming at? In this case, a refresh will allow you to reach exactly the people you want.

5. Is your business preparing for growth?

If your business is adding in new product lines, or considering a merger, then this is a good time to reassess your brand and make sure it has the strength to carry your business through such changes.

If you recognise any of these scenarios and feel that it’s time to review whether your brand is a true reflection of your business, give us a call. We’d love to hear your story and perhaps we can help. Call on 01293 886805 or email us.

Click on the Alkira brand refresh to see more examples

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