9 Building Blocks for Creating a Powerful Brand

Use these 9 key building blocks to create, strengthen and evolve your company or product brand. Each carry weight. Each add to the nuance and depth to your image as a whole. Consider each when building your brand. They should all support and add to your identity as a whole.

  1. Product or Service: At the core of your business brand is the product or service you offer.
  2. Name: A powerful brand has a memorable name. The best are typically short in length, have an interesting illiteration, are fun to say and/or inspire confidence in the company as a whole.
  3. Logo: When people think about brands they typically think about the company or product’s logo. A strong, memorable logo is important, and is usually the foundation for a brand, but it is just one element.
  4. Tagline: While the logo says who you are, the tagline says what you do, what sets you apart.
  5. Color Palette: Most brand palettes are built off the brand’s logo colors, but not always. Perhaps the logo merely inspires a palette of bright colors, or pastels, or jewel tones, utilizing the logo colors as the base. Alternatively, the palette might be a single color.
  6. Fonts: Limiting your fonts to 2-3 font families that are used consistently across all your media supports and strengthen your brand.
  7. Voice: Your voice is the tone set in your copy across all media. It can be friendly and casual, professional and direct, clever or funny, even raunchy or sarcastic. Whatever your brand, it’s voice should match in tone.
  8. Imagery: This can include graphic elements, photography, video, illustration, animation and icons. Imagery adds depth to your brand.  Whatever your brand, the imagery that supports it should be consistent across all media.
  9. Brand or Identity Vehicles: Where you promote your brand can be as important as the brand itself. Print, web, social media, radio, television – these are the vehicles that carry your brand.

Why Should I Blog?

When working with a new client on their website, I invariably ask if they would like to include a blog as part of their site. Most would not.

“Why would I blog?” and “What would I write about?” are questions that often come up. Along with, “I don’t want to do that.”

But wait, let me tell you a little bit about why you might want to.

Most new clients are building a website for one reason only: to grow their business. They want new business, new customers.

For the small, local company, blogging is a great way to do just that. Why?

First, blogging on the topic of your business demonstrates that you are knowledgeable and have expertise in your chosen field. It builds trust with your audience. In fact, they more they read, the more that trust grows. And everyone prefers to do business with someone they trust.

Second, the more you blog, the more you improve your SEO. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and it’s the stuff that helps you get found on search engines like Google. That’s because search engines like fresh content, and a blog provides this.

Third, you can use your blog to provide important information to your customers, like how-to’s and reference materials.

I’m Stuck with a Bad Logo – Now What?

Way back when you started your business you didn’t have a lot of money, so you cut a few corners on your logo. Either you designed it yourself (and you’re not a designer) or you bought a pre-made logo from one of those $99 logo websites or possibly you hired your cousin’s sister-in-law’s kid ’cause she’s “good at art and stuff”.

What do you do?
Having a bad logo will definitely hold you back when you’re looking to take your business to the next level. You may not even realize you have a bad logo, but you find that you can’t seem to gain traction with your brand.

There are two approaches to changing your logo, each with their own merits and challenges.

The first is to toss the old one and start from scratch. The advantage to this approach is you get the strong, targeted logo you wanted right away (assuming you hired a good designer).

The problem with this is that maybe you have a lot of clients who won’t recognize you when they see that new, splashy, completely different logo from the one you had. With this approach, you’ll also need to launch a campaign to existing customers telling them all about your new look. And depending on what you offer, you may need to reassure them with copy like, “brand new look, same great service.”

Depending on how big your company is or if your reach is wide, this could be an expensive endeavor. You might need to send a printed direct mail piece in advance letting them know about the upcoming change, and follow up with a second after the launch. You’ll want to announce it in emails and on your website and on your Facebook page if you have one. You might even need to include new tv and radio spots, if you’ve advertised there in the past.

The second option is if you have a good idea, but a bad, or dated looking execution. You can evolve this type of logo over time, making small changes over the course of a year or several years. This solution doesn’t require the big announcement and expense of the first option, but it requires patience and an ongoing relationship with your designer.

When is a bad logo a good thing
Does your logo look dated and cheap? If you’re in the discount business, or sell cheap products, a bad, dated logo can actually help you. That’s because it’s conveying just how cheap you are, which is what we call a selling feature.

Ultimately, you don’t have to put up with a bad logo. The sooner you change it the sooner you can start building and positioning your brand exactly where you it.