I don’t know about you but I like to break the rules. As soon as I’m given a restriction I start thinking about how I can get out of it.
That’s because to me, the most memorable campaigns are often the ones that upset the apple cart. The ones that step away from the corporate noise and play by their own rules.
But when it comes to branding your business, there are some things you just can’t mess with. Fundamentals that all good marketers agree on. Flout these laws and you may as well fire a shiny bullet into your own toes.
So here are my top 3 commandments from the Branding Bible. Can I get an Amen?
Being vague doesn’t win customers, it confuses them. That’s why having a clear message is essential if you want to make a real connection. Tell people what you’re offering and what they need to do next. And do quickly before they choose to shop somewhere that doesn’t start the conversation with ‘we partner with our clients and strive to help them achieve their true potential by continually exceeding expectations’. Shudder.
Don’t swap the blue stripe on your business for red just because red is your new favourite colour. Don’t use Helvetica on your home page when the style guide says Arial. If you decide your brand name should be written in capitals, MAKE SURE IT’S WRITTEN IN CAPITALS EVERYWHERE. Seriously. Before sending, publishing or uploading anything, think about the big picture and make sure you’re telling a consistent story. If you don’t, your business will look unprofessional and your customers will be confused.
You can be brash or humble, formal or familiar, but you can’t be everything. You have to choose a side. The best way to get it right is to study the way your audience communicates and let these insights inform your brand messaging. Use language intentionally and strategically. Then refer back to my previous point about consistency and stick to the brief.