Author: Gemma Costello is a marketing specialist currently working in the tourism industry and has published widely, including internationally, on the subjects of sales and marketing, business development and digital marketing/social media. Find Gemma on Twitter @GemmaCostello4
Does your Brand have what it takes? Did you achieve Brand recognition amongst your customer base with your online and offline advertising in 2019? If not, perhaps now is the time to consider revamping your Brand toolkit for 2020. It might just be the step you need to take, to hit the mark this year, and boost your bottom line.
If you’re serious about building your brand, then the first thing you need to do is define the criteria that shapes that brand – your logo, tagline, imagery, font and colour palette as well as your mission statement and core values. Any inconsistency in the experience your customers have of your brand, from channel to channel, could potentially lead them to disconnect from your brand. A customer lost once is difficult to win back again.
This is why having a Brand Toolkit is so important – because it defines the ‘rulebook’ for your brand, so that your team know, for example, to always use ‘Century Gothic’ and not ‘Arial’ when working with designers to design brand collateral such as brochures, flyers etc.
Let’s take a more detailed look at each of the components of a Brand Toolkit:
Rise Above the Parapet With Your Mission Statement
According to Hubspot, ‘A mission statement is, in some ways, an action-oriented vision statement, declaring the purpose an organization serves to its audience …. Ultimately, a mission statement is intended to clarify the “what,” the “who,” and the “why” of a company.’
Some of the most effective mission statements are the simplest, for example TED’s mission statement is ‘Spread Ideas.’ Google’s mission statement is a little more detailed – “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Yet in both examples it is clear that a few carefully chosen words capture the essence of what each business does. This is what you should be aiming for when you write your mission statement for your business.
Show What You Stand for With Your Core Values
Hand in hand with your mission statement are your core values. What does your business stand for? What principles define how you do business with others and how you treat your customers? In the words of Grace Mohr writing a blog post for Mackey Advisors, a business needs to ‘live their values.’
Something To Think About?
Perhaps now is an opportune time at the dawn of a new decade, for you to encourage senior management to ‘revitalise’ your Mission statement and Core Values to appeal to your customer base more. Worth considering, particularly if your Brand has been established for a long time.
If you are considering revitalising your Mission Statement and Core Values for this year, consider what values are relevant to Consumers in 2020. The environment, global security, the economy, the latest technological developments and how they impact on society – these are all worth taking into consideration when developing the Mission Statement and Core Value for your Brand. In this way you can inject fresh energy and impetus into your business by making the issues that matter most to Consumers, the focal point of your Brand.
While your Mission Statement and Core Values define the way in which you do business in the eyes of the world, the other elements of your Brand Toolkit – your logo, font, imagery, tagline, colour palette etc., ensure that when a customer encounters your Brand they can immediately associate the Core Values and Mission Statement with your Brand through Brand recognition.
Make Your Mark With Your Logo
So, once you’ve established whether you are going to revamp your Mission Statement and Core Values or not, the next thing you need to take a look at, is your logo. Your logo is something that customers need to be able to identify immediately with your business – and remember, for the next time they encounter your brand, whether online or offline.
Your logo is the visual cue to the customer that they are ‘in the right place’ when they encounter your brand -it is part of your credentials after all. Working with a designer to design your logo can be a time-consuming process, but is well worth the investment if you want to get it right. For those on a tight budget and who already have a little bit of expertise with design, Wix offer a free logo design maker.
According to Canva some of the trending logos for 2019 included ‘semi flat’ logos, ‘gradient’ logos and ‘80’s inspired’ logos. What will 2020 hold in store for us? Canva predicts in this blog post that some of the logos with the biggest ‘Wow’ factor for the New Year will include; responsive logos, minimalist logos, ‘mint’ coloured logos and logos using motion graphics and video. Which type of logo appeals to you? To be absolutely sure if you’ve hit the mark with your target market, test out your logos on a focus group first and gauge how they react to them.
Let’s take a look at the tourism industry. According to Colette Pomerleau writing on 99designs.ie, hotels that target business professionals should aim for a ‘modern yet classic feel,’ in their logo design, while boutique hotels should include an icon of some sort that identifies their hotel with the local area. Getting behind the ‘psychology’ of your logo and what kind of response your logo elicits, is the key to launching a logo that will resonate with your customer base. This is why using a focus group to test your design is so crucial.
Create a Memorable Tagline
Your tagline is what sells your business in a few short, carefully chosen words. It needs to be memorable; it needs to have a call to action and it needs to trigger the kind of reaction in your customer that makes them want to buy from you. According to Nikki Gilliland writing on econsulancy.com a tagline ‘is a key phrase or set of words that communicates the essence of a brand, and one that is designed to stick in the minds of consumers.’ Nikki goes on to cite one of the most effective taglines in the Skincare industry: – ‘L’Oréal: because you’re worth it.’
You know you’ve made it as a Brand with your tagline when the average person in the street starts to quote your tagline in everyday conversation with friends. This is exactly what happened with L’Oréal after their intensive advertising campaigns around this tagline in the 1990s. It resonated with women as it appealed to their intrinsic sense of self-worth and encouraged women to appreciate their own unique beauty. This concept had universal appeal.
Use A Consistent Font
The font that you use throughout your marketing collateral should be consistent throughout. Your customer needs to be able to identify a particular font as being synonymous with your brand. If you deviate from this and intersperse inconsistent fonts randomly on your website, brochures and other marketing collateral, it will look unprofessional at best and at worst, be off-putting to your customers. Choose a font or a set of fonts, that is representative of your brand, that suits your logo and the overall look and feel of your Brand and stick with it.
Investigate The Psychology Of Colour When Choosing Your Colour Palette
The psychology of colour is big business these days. This is because more and more marketing professionals are coming to realise that the choices they make, in terms of colour options for their marketing collateral, can have a major impact in terms of influencing customer decision-making. The decision whether to buy or not on a customer’s part can boil down to something as simple as whether the Brand colour scheme is blue/green or red/black – depending of course on the product involved.
According to Amelia Marshall, writing on Canva.com, ‘Labrecque and Milne highlighted how certain industries frequently use particular colours. For instance, they found that blue is used in over 75% of credit card brand logos, and 20% of fast food brand logos. Red, meanwhile, is found in 0% of apparel logos—but over 60% of retail brands.’ Clearly the fact that these particular industries have chosen these specific colours for their Brand must indicate that they have a certain degree of effectiveness in influencing the customer’s motivation to buy from them.
On a blog post on Markhat.com, the author described how the colour ‘blue’ is such an appealing colour in tourism – particularly the blue and white combination for ‘sand and sea destinations.’ The author cites the example of ‘Sandals, a Luxury All-Inclusive Resort, [which] uses blue predominately on all its websites. Blue and white are their prime colours. …. it is also the colour of their Sea and Sand Vacation Destinations. Aside from representing Caribbean holidays, the blue and white combination has the highest score of trust of all colours.’
To further reinforce the importance of the psychology of colour in tourism, Joe McClain writing on Tourism Review News states that ‘While black represents exclusivity and glamor, good for luxury hotels, yellow gives off a warm and friendly vibe good for family fun. Green indicates nature and health, making it a great colour for an outdoors travel agency, but red, which symbolizes high activity, may be better for city travel.’
It is worth taking the time to research the appeal of certain colours for your customer base before revamping your colour palette or deciding upon your colour palette for the first time. It could yield real dividends for your business.
Invest In Professionally Taken Imagery
Part and parcel of any good Brand toolkit is a selection of good imagery that can be used time and time again to market your Brand. It is worth investing in commissioned photography for this purpose. A few professionally taken and high-quality images are worth more than a hundred poor quality, unprofessional shots.
Are you ready to relaunch your Brand Toolkit for 2020?
Will 2020 be the year you create your Brand Toolkit for the first time or the year you revamp your existing Brand Toolkit completely, if you are already an established business? Whatever you decide to do, bear in mind the fact that the start of a new decade is the ideal point in time for taking this kind of step. In the last century, the 1920s were known as ‘The Roaring Twenties,’ – how will we label the 2020s? The business that successfully identifies the chief characteristics and trends of the next decade and which tailors its Brand toolkit accordingly, particularly its Core Values and Mission Statement, will be the business which is best positioned to take advantage of the bright possibilities that this new era will hold.