The Importance Of Branding For Profit And Nonprofit Businesses
When it comes to building your business, it is necessary to create a brand that will encompass all aspects, qualities, and goals of that business. A brand is the identity of your business, and it is used to help it stand out among a crowd. The brand of a company is normally the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a popular company you like. Whether it’s the name, tagline, mission statement, or design aspects such as a logo, having a strong brand identity is crucial. It is what separates that company from other similar ones; therefore it is one of the most important aspects of any business.
Building your brand from the ground up can be a challenging task, but with our help and guidance we hope you can begin to understand the importance of branding and how to define that brand specifically for your business. Everyone’s branding will be different, but there are some important things to know no matter what type of business you have.
Does a good tagline for your company really make a difference?
Along with our rebranding comes the facelift of our tagline. Currently our tagline is “Growth by Design.” It’s simple and sweet while getting the message across. But as we are now growing into new territory involving more than just design work; we need a little revamp.
What makes an influential tagline? Think about some of these notable slogans the most notable taglines throughout history:
- Wheaties: The breakfast of champions. (1935)
- Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes: They’re gr-r-r-eat! (1950)
- California Milk Processor Board: Got milk? (1993)
- Nike: Just do it. (1975)
- Wendy’s: Where’s the beef? (1984)
Keep in mind that these classic and memorable taglines seem to be no longer than 3-5 words. Explaining the essence of your company in 3-5 words can be very tricky! Try to focus on the benefit of the product or service you are providing. Put some emotion and funk into the message you want to come across. No one wants to hear a dry, boring, soul-sucking tagline. Where’s the fun in that?
There are a number of tips out there to help you come up with the best tagline you can, that will make your company shine. For example, check out this article from Inc. magazine. In addition, you can find tagline generators out on Google, there, which can help you come up with suggestions if you are drawing a blank.
While you want your tagline to be fun and quirky, the most important thing it has to do is catch your potential customers’ attention. Your tagline should tell people what you do in a way that will make them remember you. Don’t worry so much about being cute or trendy. Just make sure your tagline describes your company and is memorable. Don’t ever forget that if a buyer is clicking on your website, he or she will stay for a very short period of time. If your tagline doesn’t draw that person in, and tell them what you do and what you are all about, chances are that visit to your site will end very quickly.
When you’re trying to come up with your tagline, think about what your product or service is, and what benefits it offers to customers. Incorporate those benefits into the tagline so people will understand not just what it is that you offer, but why they should want it above all of your competition.
Keep your tagline simple. The shorter, the better. People won’t remember something that’s too long. Try your best to stick to the 3-5 word rule. Also, it is best to avoid clichés. You want to be remembered for your product or service, not because you have a silly tagline.
The ultimate goal for a tagline is to engage the public or intrigue them to a call to action. You want the public to go to your website, pick up the phone, or email you about your business. In short, your tagline is what makes people come to you!
Here are some samples of slogans or taglines we are considering. What do you think?
- The antidote for creative marketing materials
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How To Define A Successful Brand For Your Nonprofit Organization
A cohesive and easy-to-understand brand identity is a necessity in making your organization stand out from the crowd — but that’s easier said than done. So how can you define a successful brand for your nonprofit?
Let’s begin by defining what you want to convey through your brand. In order to decide exactly what you want your customers and donors to understand about you at first glance, you need to define your mission, goals, culture, and what makes your organization unique. You can use the following questions as a guide:
- What are you passionate about?
- What do you offer your customers, clients, or those you serve?
- What qualities do you associate, and you want others to associate, with your organization?
While you think through these questions and any others that you can think of to help you define your brand, make sure to include the things that differentiate you from other organizations. Emphasizing your differences from other organizations is another major factor to consider when creating your brand. Is there a specific service that makes you stand out? Is it your team or the method by which you work? Consider presenting these distinctions, the things that make you unique, at the forefront of your brand identity.
Representing your specific organization and all the factors that make you unique is a big part of your brand identity. However, you’ll also want to make sure to emphasize the following best practices for nonprofit brands: emotion, trust, and authenticity.
Emotion Engages People
While you want your brand to represent you well, it should also engage people and motivate them to act. In order to do so, you want people to first and foremost care about the issue or issues you’re passionate about. Emotion motivates people to act more than facts or logical appeals, so making sure your brand encourages an emotional connection is incredibly important. Using expressive images, engaging stories, energetic colors, and emotive language are just a few ways you can inspire emotion — and action — among potential donors, customers, and volunteers.
Unique, distinctive qualities should vary from organization to organization, but two aspects every nonprofit should seek to emphasize are trust and authenticity. Nonprofits often focus on their work first, leaving their image and presentation to fall by the wayside;, and though this is understandable, building a trustworthy presence is an investment that’s well worth the time and money. People need to believe you can deliver, so it’s important that nonprofits present themselves as well-organized and legitimate. Creating a uniform brand identity is a big step forward in creating trust with viewers. In order to further present yourself as trustworthy, consider showcasing your organization’s team and methods, and ,if you can,building up an impressive board of directors and funders.
Finally, a good brand identity should emphasize authenticity. You want each individual who interacts with your organization to know that you understand the issues and you do good work. Show your expertise, talk about the issues, and highlight your work and knowledge on your website. Try to have a balance between appealing to viewers’ emotions, encouraging them to care about the work you do, and providing information and facts to build trust and legitimacy.
Creating a brand is a worthwhile,even necessary,element of any successful nonprofit. If it is done well, your brand can convey all that you want consumers to know about you, your work, your passion, your expertise, and the little (or big) things that make you stand out.
Why Does Your Nonprofit Need a Brand?
Branding is a buzzword in the marketing community, but much less known among the nonprofit sector. This puts many organizations at a disadvantage because branding is actually crucial for nonprofits. A well-constructed brand can help you stand out among a sea of other nonprofits and communicate who you are in a single glance, letterhead, or interaction. Branding will help not only help your brand, but can get people to care about the issues you’re passionate about.
Let’s start with the basics:
What is a brand?
A brand is your most valuable asset. It’s your identity that showcases who you are and what makes you different, and with a good brand identity comes an edge in the competitive market. Branding done right is clean, recognizable, engaging, and adds legitimacy to your organization at first glance.
Many people think of branding as just a logo, and while logos can be a part of branding, it’s much more than that. Your brand is your identity, and it includes visual style as well as your goals, your values, and your whole personality as an organization. It’s how you want to identify yourself as a nonprofit, and how you want to come across to anyone who interacts with you. Deciding on your brand identity — your goals, your mission, etc.— pervades every interaction you have, including promotional materials, your office, invoices, and even down to how you answer the phone when someone calls.
Why do nonprofits need branding?
There is a multitude of reasons a good brand is an incredibly helpful and necessary asset to any nonprofit, but the bottom line is that a brand will make you stand out. Branding is discussed much less in the nonprofit sector than in the private sector, which means a cohesive brand will give you a boost above others in the industry who haven’t taken that step. Though some may consider a nonprofit’s brand less important than its mission, your brand and your mission are meant to work together to promote and attract donors to your organization.
Since an organization’s brand captures its identity, it should always be consistent across phone calls, personal interactions, websites and all other media.. Uniformity in your brand will convey a consistent message, letting customers know what they can expect from you at any given time, making you look trustworthy and professional. If branding is not consistent, a nonprofit can come across as fractured and unorganized, which has the potential to hurt your organization. A unified representation of yourself will strengthen your legitimacy, give you a competitive edge, and let potential customers, donors, and volunteers know who you are.
Your message is important, and good cohesive branding can convey this message at first glance. When it comes to funding, attracting volunteers, and getting your important work done on a larger scale: an engaging and professional brand identity is key to make your organization stand out among the crowd.
No matter if your business is a for profit or nonprofit, it’s important to create a brand that stands out amongst the competition. A huge part of that branding is your logo. Creating a logo that makes a statement is crucial because the logo is normally the first thing people see and, when done correctly, it will increase brand recognition even when it stands on it’s own.
How do you want your company to be known? Make your logo count
As some of you may know, we are in the process of rebranding ourselves to match our new-found growth. Business is booming and it is time for a facelift! Here at David Taylor Design, our job is to help clients promote themselves through the latest and greatest design advancements. When push comes to shove we seem to be getting a taste of our own medicine in the facelift process.
At this time we are addressing the establishment of a new logo that matches our awesome new vision. If you are going through the same process, we are here to help walk you through the first steps. This process is very important because a company only has one or two shots at branding/rebranding in its lifetime. If a company continuously changes logos due to poor design strategy it can cause mass chaos with the public’s identification of who you are and what your company does. Confusion from consumers results in loss of sales. We don’t want that, now do we?
Let us begin! A few questions you might ask yourself would be: What makes a good logo? How do you make your logo stand out from competitors?
If you are going through the same process we are, here are a few points to discuss with your team before speaking with a designer for a direction, if you don’t have one already:
- Company perception from clients and other businesses
- Company tagline (if you don’t have one already)
- Mark vs.Text treatment
- Color treatment
Let us start off by going over how your company is perceived by the rest of the world. What will be the first impression you want potential customers to have of your company? Funny? Loyal? Experienced? Strict? Creative? Unique? Does your company represent a product? Service? Are you virtual? All of these questions need to be addressed before knocking on a designer’s door. These adjectives play a key factor in stimulating the creative direction for your new logo. You want to make sure that the designer is aware of the vibe and feel you want to portray to your customers or stakeholders.
As you can see, there are many factors that come into consideration when establishing a new logo for your new or existing company. But never fear! David Taylor Design is always here to help! We can hold your hand through the rough transition into new branding. Call us today at (973) 988-1786.
When it comes to logos, what is the difference between a mark and text treatment?
Text treatment seems to be the forgotten stepchild when people think of logos. Most people seem to jump on the idea of needing a mark or symbol, but ignore the other option of having text treatment. Never underestimate the powers of text treatment! Adding text treatment to your company name can represent your company just as well, if not better, than a mark can. Just look at Coca-Cola! On the other hand, sometimes designers use a combination of text treatment and mark to form a supernova logo for you company.
Text Treatment: What is text treatment? Text treatment, in simple terms, is the customization of fonts to portray a message or feeling. There are an infinite number of font shapes and styles, which can make it very difficult to sort through. Not to toot our own horns but toot-toot! You’re in luck knowing a great creative services team to help you sort out your options for text treatments.
Note that some of the top Fortune 500 companies utilize text treatment as their logo. For example, FedEx, The Home Depot, P&G, Costco, MetLife, Publix, Walgreens, and Coca-Cola all use text treatment. Did your mind just explode from shock with a realization that you don’t HAVE to have a mark?!
Here is a sample of some of our work with utilizing text treatment:
Marks: On the flip side, using a mark for your company’s logo can be a crafty and clever way for representing your company to the public. It will be recognizable from a distance or glance as to who you are and the business you represent.
Here are some samples of our work making marks for our clients:
Whether you choose a mark, text treatment, or both, we find that there is a hidden secret to the utilization of negative space. Some of the greatest companies manipulate negative space to portray a subliminal message. For example; FedEx: note the hidden arrow between the E and the X, which subliminally represents fast delivery! Your mind was most likely blown again. You’re welcome.
Whichever method you choose, the idea is to get prospects talking about your website–and coming back again and again to do business with you.That’s the goal we strive toward when creating your logo.
Choosing the right colors for your logo
Colors, colors, colors. Warm colors? Cool colors? Bright colors? Dark colors? How do you know which colors are most appealing to your audience, clients, customers, or investors? If you want to sell your products or services, knowing the answer to this question is crucial. For example, think of some of the logos you know best, and think about their colors. What if the golden arches of McDonald’s were suddenly purple? Or if the red and blue Pepsi logo suddenly changed to orange and green? It just wouldn’t be the same, would it? Customers know brands based on their logos, which are very often a certain color.
It’s important to choose colors based on the image you want to convey. If you think about the logos you know well, colors have a great deal to do with those brands’ images. Here are some examples:
Red brings about an image of power and excitement. Coca Cola has used red in its branding since its beginnings. No wonder it is one of the top soft drink beverages in the world.
Blue is known for its calming, serene effect. Blue cans also relate to the mind, making it an appropriate color for communication. It is used widely among social media brands like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Yellow is often used to denote fun and friendliness. Besides the McDonald’s arches, mentioned earlier, Ikea also uses yellow in its logo, to lure customers into the store, which will be a fun experience.
Green is an earth friendly color. Recycling logos are often green. Starbucks, which prides itself on its environmental responsibility, uses green in its branding.
Pink is a very feminine color, and can be seen as either sweet or sexy, depending on the shade. Think Victoria’s Secret for the sexy side, and My Little Pony, line of toys and clothing for young girls, on the sweet side.
Brown is known for its warmth and dependability. What could be warmer than a steaming cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter night? When it comes to corporate brands, what’s more dependable than UPS? Customers can count on those brown trucks and brown-uniformed workers to get their packages where they need to be when they need to be there.
Black is associated with power. Think of the American Express Black card and such powerful brands as Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent. They all signify power, and they all use black in their branding.
So now that you know what all of these colors mean, how do you pick the one that is best for your brand? Keep calm and color on! Choosing the right color for your new logo can be a very, very daunting task. Here is a tidbit for experimenting on a rough idea for what you want your branding colors to look like. If you haven’t heard about it, Adobe Kuler is the place to start.
Kuler has a huge variety of options of color palettes! You can select your base color and it will automatically populate suggested complementary colors. (Note: be sure to select the circle with the white arrow to represent your base color). Here you can select analogous, monochromatic, triad, complementary, compound, shades and more! It’s a great tool for those who are color-challenged. It shows you which colors work best together, and what combinations to avoid when picking the colors for your logo, website, and marketing materials.
Keep in mind there should always be an accent color when establishing a logo or new theme to your marketing materials. This is so that the accent color will look and match beautifully when highlighting important information on your website!
If you want the color palette to be simple, we suggest picking at least two main colors with one accent color. On the contrary; if you are having difficult minimizing your color choices, try to limit them to 3-4 favorites.
Note that Kuler can be used as a starting point when creating your color palette for marketing materials. And remember, you will want to keep the same color scheme throughout all your marketing pieces.
Once you have a rough estimate of color selections; send it our way to be refined and designed into your new logo or other marketing collateral!
How to get a logo design that people will remember
When it comes to logo design, There seem to be just as many themes to choose from as there are colors in a color wheel. Retro? Futuristic? Old fashioned? Artistic? Contemporary? Where do I begin?!
Don’t be scared! David Taylor Design has over 20 years experience and we are always here to help walk you through the process! In this post, we’ve outlined some tidbits and points of consideration during your logo design journey.
Let’s begin! Establishing a theme is one of the first steps. We suggest you select a creative services team to help you sort out the logo design direction or theme that meets your company’s needs. Getting your logo right the first time will play a big part in establishing your company for years to come.
In the early stages of the process, discuss the following questions with your team members in order to help find descriptive words or phrases to send to your creative services team:
- What industry are you representing? Logo designs should speak to your industry. For example, a pet sitting service might have more fun and whimsical logo, while a law firm might have something a bit more on the serious side.
- What message do you want your company to represent that is different from your competitors? Your logo design is the first look that a potential customer gets at your company. You want to stand out and be memorable. Think of things like the Nike Swish and the Apple computer logo. Most people recognize those logos immediately, even before a word has been mentioned about the company.
- Has your company been around for a long time? If your company has been in existence for a while, you want a logo design that will convey that longevity to your potential clients. You will want something that is recognizable and lets your customers know exactly who you are and why you’ve been around for such a long time.
- What is the vibe and message you want to portray to your clients or potential investors? You want your customers to get to know you for the type of company you are. Whether it’s fun and light-hearted or professional and serious, you want a logo that will convey that vibe, and let your clients know exactly what you are all about. Take Wendy’s fast food chain logo, for example. Above the name Wendy’s, there is a little girl with pigtails and bows in her hair. This paints a picture of an easy carefree meal that is fun to eat. Most people consider burgers and fries to be a meal of that nature. On the other hand, the Mercedes Benz logo is a classic, professional looking logo to signify a car that is classic, timeless, and often driven by established executives.
The answers to those questions will be the key to finding your theme. They are important because the correct answers will help you and your design team devise a logo that is attention-grabbing. Thoughtful answers to these questions will help you get the exact logo design you are seeking, one that will bring customers flocking to your site.
The descriptive words or phrases will play a big part in establishing a logo design theme. For instance, if you are looking to represent a strong, loyal, and dependable financial firm; you might go in the direction of having thicker text treatment which symbolizes the durability and strength of your firm. For example, our client Robert Ratish represents Ratish Law. He did not need to establish a logo, but we needed a way to identify his company name. We used text treatment to portray the theme of what his law firm represents; professional, reliable, and established.
Knowing your target audience and honing in on the message and vibe you wish to portray to the public is the road map for the next steps.
Once you’ve chosen a logo, carry it over to all of your marketing materials, your website, and anyplace else where potential clients may be looking at you. If you present a clear, memorable image that prospects will recognize, they are sure to turn into customers!
Why Your Nonprofit Logo Is Crucial to Your Success
When it comes to a company’s identity and expression, the logo design says everything that a customer needs to know. A crucial part of a company’s branding, the company logo serves as a visual mouthpiece for the brand itself and can be the “make or break” factor for any organization, including nonprofits. To help understand just how important a logo is to an organization, Inc.com explains its overall value and suggests that a good logo doesn’t necessarily mean breaking the bank. In fact, the article even points out how both Nike and Twitter created their iconic logos for less than $40.
The face of your organization and anchor of your brand
Since your logo is the face of your organization and anchor of your brand, here are 6 six rules to follow as you create your company logo:
1. Your logo should quickly convey and match your organization’s mission.
While this may seem like a difficult task to embark on, conveying your organization’s mission is simpler than you might think. For example, a logo for a family-friendly nonprofit would not include sexually explicit material or anything suggesting alcohol consumption. Tying your logo to the organization’s mission is as simple as asking yourself what the message is that you are trying to convey for the customers you have in mind. Understanding that your logo is the true face of your organization should assist in the direction your design team takes.
2. The logo should be simple.
It is important that when your creative team is designing the logo, they plan to keep it simple. Organizations like Coca Cola, Master Card, and Dell are all fine examples of just how far simplicity can go when creating a logo for your brand. Your logo should be easily recognizable but unpretentious at the same time. Don’t know where to start? See this beginner’s guide for how to make a logo if you need some extra inspiration.
3. The logo should be memorable.
Complex put together a list of the most iconic logos of all time. A quick view of this list shows that things such as the color and the simple nature (very important!) of the design are excellent ways of grabbing a customer’s attention. For a nonprofit, grabbing the attention of potential volunteers and donors is crucial to its success. If you are having trouble developing a logo, Entrepreneur.com provides a few tips on getting started.
4. Avoid gimmicky fonts.
Picking a font might seem like an insignificant piece to developing a good logo, but it matters much more than one might think. Choosing a business font for a children’s nonprofit could grab the attention of the wrong clientele, while there are even certain fonts that are inadvisable for any business in general. UCreative.com has created a list of tips for choosing the right font for your logo.
5. Create different logo versions with both light and dark backgrounds and in a variety of sizes.
Everybody loves options, which is why it’s acceptable and encouraged to creating a logo in various color schemes. Since you may be promoting your nonprofit across several platforms, including the right color scheme for that specific platform will have a better chance of reaching your targeted audience in a more effective way. If your team is struggling with developing a color scheme, then Creative Bloq offers helpful suggestions.
6. The logo should be easy to understand at a glance
While there are certain advertisements that benefit from making customers stop and think, the logo should be straightforward. Since the purpose of the logo is company identification, leaving the customer confused about what they just saw is the opposite direction that your company should take when designing a logo. Your team should focus on a simple design that in some way associates itself with the name and mission of your organization.
As you can see, there are a lot of aspects that go into developing a strong brand for your business or organization. It’s imperative that you understand why you need a brand and how to incorporate all of these specific elements into your branding strategy. The next step in really creating a strong brand is web development. This may not seem like the logical answer, but it’s imperative to make sure your online presence matches the brand image you’re trying to achieve.
One question web-development companies often get is: “How important is my website for my business?” Here’s the quick but important answer: very.
The question is fair since web-development services haven’t been around for very long, relatively speaking, and many successful businesses thrived for decades without a web presence. But due to rapid technological innovation in recent years and consumers’ quick adoption of that technology, web-development services are extremely important to your brand strategies and your bottom line.
Think about it: What’s the first thing you do when you have a question, want to try a new restaurant, or you want to buy a new product? More likely than not, you’ll start with an online search. No matter what product or service a consumer or business needs, the vast majority of research is done online, which means that companies need to meet consumers there or they’ll lose out on business. Here’s why web-development services are so important for your brand:
Importance of your website
A clean, intuitive, mobile-friendly, up-to-date website can mean the difference between a new client or customer buying from you or going to your competition every single time someone visits your website.
But just being online isn’t enough. Your website is the first impression most prospective clients or customers have of your business. Professional web development services are vital to making that first impression a good one.
Need for a fresh site
Your business might be thriving and cutting-edge, but if that’s not reflected in your website, it won’t come across to potential customers. Websites that are clunky, difficult to use, or not mobile friendly will lose business. If your website is out of date or difficult to navigate, that reflects poorly on your business as a whole.
But don’t get too worried about making a bad impression—the opposite is true, too: If your website is well-designed and easy to use, potential customers and clients won’t have a reason to go elsewhere for what they need.
Need to be fast
Page load speed is also a huge way to gain—or lose—business. Potential customers and clients are used to finding what they need at the click of a button, and if your website is too slow to load, too difficult to find, or too hard to navigate, many of your website visitors will take their business elsewhere. Research shows that website visitors are 32% more likely to leave your site when page load time increases from 1 second to 3 second —and a 5-second load speed increases that number to 90%. Using website development services to update your website and improve page load speed can increase your chances of keeping visitors on your site, and getting more business.
Easy to find
Another reason website development is vital to your overall brand strategies is that modern, up-to-date websites are actually easier to find online. Search engines like Google prioritize modern websites that are updated often, load quickly, and are optimized for mobile devices. That’s right: Updating your website with the help of professional web developers will actually make it easier for potential customers and clients to find you, and for you to get more business.
Matter of trust
There are a number of reasons why web-development services are important for your brand, but they all come down to this: Customers and clients trust modern, well-designed websites that are easy to use, and they don’t trust sites that are out of date. This means if they trust your website, they trust you. Updating your website is one of the best changes you can make for your business. With the help of a professional web development firm, it’s pretty easy, too. So don’t hesitate to improve your website—your bottom line will thank you!
If you have any questions about web-development services and how to create strong branding strategies for your business or organization, please contact our team today.