Build Your Brand
Written by Benjamin Friedman, September 2nd, 2016
Creating your own brand is one of the first steps to creating a successful organization or business. It's the first impression that people will get upon seeing you or your organization. Once you decide on a style it can become all your own, and people can come to know and discover you based on your style or look.
It's critical that you decide on a strong brand, one that uniquely identifies you in an unmistakable fashion. When developing our brand for Axolsoft we took quite a few considerations into mind. We would like to share some those with you in hopes that you can develop a solid brand as well.image credit snifty @ openclipart.org
To begin with any brand, you'll be needing your name. This can be both the trickiest and simplest part of the process. Picking the perfect name (one which is not taken by any others and can be distinctly identified from existing brand names) can be troublesome. These days the sure volume of up and coming brands as well as existing ones creates a bit of an issue. Most times you will find that the name you like has been taken already. At one point, before we decided on 'Axolsoft' we had been deliberating on 'Snowflame', only to find it was taken by a cocaine powered super villain.
Chances of you having a similar issue are highly unlikely, but nonetheless do your research. If you find that searching up a name brings up already known information on another business, product or character, you should consider another name. The effort involved in trying to build up a brand against an already existing name can be difficult, and most likely will carve out from your potential users and customers. Performing a simple google search can often let you know whether your name is contested or not. Searching and finding that the name returns various obscure documents or references is usually a good sign that your name is relatively available.
Picking a Logo is the next big step. Usually this falls in close step with your style as well, since picking a logo not only decides on a look but also a color scheme. Make sure that your design conveys the aspects that best define your organization, such as strength, intelligence or responsiveness (we may have discribed our logo a bit there). However, don't take our thoughts to heart, it's up to you and your team to decide on what look is best for you.
This touches on a critical point, build your brand. Do not (and we cannot stress this enough) base your brand on the successful aspects of another. You will almost undoubtedly fall in behind the brand you mimicked and may be perceived as, at best, an alterative, or worse as a copycat. It's critical that your own ambition and idea for your brand remain as unspoilt as possible. The general public will almost always perceive a unique brand (no matter how odd it may be) as superior to a non-unique one. The general feeling of "oh, this is new!" conveys a positive connotation that can infer progress and even superiority to existing brands.
In a similar regard creating a distinctive brand creates a public feeling akin to that of the the underdog effect. A condition where, when given a choice between groups to root for, an individual will generally pick the group perceived to be at a competitive disadvantage. Now we don't want your brand to be literally at a competitive disadvantage, but coming out with a distinct brand in a sea of rinse and repeat can help generate public interest in your favor.
Now we mentioned the color scheme before, but haven't really detailed how important this can be. Color conveys emotion. Creating a brand is creating a work of art, and although you can't control what the public thinks of your work you can sometimes influence the general response. A simple dichotomy, as an example, would be between the colors blue and red. Blue is generally thought of to convey a sense of calm and trust. On the other hand red is frequently viewed as a color of passion, strength and courage. Each of these colors can also have a negative response, such as cold for blue and defiance for red. You can find a little more about the psychological properties of color here.
Only you can know what look, colors and style will best fit your audience. This is the final point we'll mention, knowing that audience. Building up your brand requires you have a goal for that brand in mind, and familiarity with your target audience can help you achieve your goal. For most this is accruing a dedicated following of individuals, however which individuals will you be targeting? Doing market research into your potential consumer or user base is critical in designing your brand. Keeping such thoughts as "What do they want?", "What do they value?" and "What do they dislike?" are all key to developing an effective brand. We advise taking the time to research your potential market thoroughly and to know what may appeal best and what doesn't.
To wrap all this up, it is important to know that it is up to you and your team to make all final decisions. It is perfectly reasonable to do something that defies what your research suggests simply because it doesn't align with your own views. The real issue is knowing when and how frequently to do this. Using your own opinions as too much a guide will be perceived as excessively headstrong and defiant, whereas pandering to other's interest may leave you to be perceived as too far along the opposite.
Overall make sure you follow your own ideals, while thoroughly vetting them against in depth research to inform you on your ultimate brand choice. Remember, it's going to be with you for a while, so what do you want it to be?
Questions? Corrections? Concerns? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org