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DESIGNING FOR BRAND AUTHENTICITY AND RESONANCE, Bounce Ahead

Designing for Brand Authenticity and Resonance

Think about some of your favorite companies. What do you like about them—great service, special offers, the right selection of products or services? All those things are important elements of a companies’ brand authenticity, but if you think a little longer you might also decide that the way they communicate and how it is presented—verbally and visually—is another reason why they’re near and dear to your heart.

In this article, we’re going to focus on the visual design that shapes and colors your brand’s identity and carries it through on everything from emails and web pages to brochures and videos.

The key takeaway is that consistency is key for great brand design—and for building trust with customers. If you got a fun email full of humor and brightly colored photographs from a company one day, and then got an email with a serious typeface and black and white illustrations from the same company the next day, you wouldn’t really know who you’re dealing with.

One way to determine what your brand should be is to think carefully about the products and services you offer, your target audience, and your organization’s core values. And of course, give a lot of thought to the experience; the feelings and sentiments you are trying to convey to your reader through your brand.

If you’re the Chief Marketing Officer of a pharmaceutical company, for example, you might decide to use calming colors like blue, green, and gray, along with a positive, action-oriented voice to promote a sense of authority and compassion. You might choose clean, simple typography to convey the idea that you’re a modern, innovative organization. And to emphasize quality care, you might feature images of caring professionals helping diverse patients.

If you’re the Marketing Director of a local bank, on the other hand, you’ll make different design decisions to emphasize stability, trust, and convenience, as well as community and relationships. And if your audience skews older, you may consider a conservative approach with typography, imagery, and voice. But if you’re targeting Gen Z and Millennials, you may want to develop a more contemporary look and feel.

Once you make these decisions, you’ll want to make sure you carry them through all your communication channels, from brochures and web pages to emails, social media and company newsletters. If all your communications aren’t “on brand,” you might be confusing customers and turning away potential business.

Here are some quick tips to help bring your brand design in line with your customers’ expectations and desires:

1. Use design to bring your mission and vision to life.
Start with your most important brand statements and figure out how design can capture the essence of your business in a visual way. Do your mission and vision evoke warm or cool colors? A simple or more elaborate typeface? Photography or illustrations? What design elements would most appeal to your target audience?
2. Make your brand design easy to understand.
You don’t want to overwhelm people with your design; keep things simple instead. Stick to two or three primary colors and a short, memorable tagline. Try to create a logo that communicates your brand without needing any additional words. And don’t crowd your communications with too much text. Use white space in a way that guides people’s eyes to the most important points. With more room to breathe, it’s easier to translate your design to different formats and channels, especially smaller ones like mobile.
3. Create design guidelines—and enforce them.
One of the easiest ways to create design confusion is to lose control over your design and who creates materials for your company. By establishing brand design guidelines, you establish rules for everything from fonts and photography to color and capitalization. However, many companies develop elaborate brand guidelines and never use them. People just ignore them, especially when they don’t know how to access them or if they’re in a hurry to get something out the door. Make sure your brand design guidelines are readily available, easy to follow, and that there’s someone in charge of making sure that all the designed communications that come out of your organization have a consistent look and feel.
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Consistent, well-executed brand design is crucial for building great relationships with your customers. By carefully aligning your visuals with your brand’s core identity, values, and audience, you can craft a cohesive look and feel that reinforces your mission at every touchpoint.

With a commitment to authentic, on-brand design, you can shape customer perceptions and stand out from the crowd in meaningful ways. Your investment in brand design will pay dividends by solidifying relationships and driving business results.

If your design isn’t as cohesive and consistent as it should be, or if you need a team of experts to execute projects you can’t handle with your in-house team, we’d love to help you create something awesome. Please call on us

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