People make New Year's resolutions every year: to eat healthier, work out, be more productive, get more organized, get rid of clutter, change bad habits, be more consistent, and so on... New Year's resolutions are all about how we can make ourselves better people and realize our personal potentials and goals. It's a new year, but with the same old resolutions...
But, what about your business? Let's take the focus off of our own waistlines for a moment, and focus on the waistlines of our businesses. The ones we actually WANT to grow.
Maybe your business needs some New Year's resolutions... get in shape, some self help, be more productive, get more organized... get rid of clutter... Maybe your business needs to create a stronger presentation... consistently.
Maybe it needs a new "look".
Today, with the bevy of multi-media available, a business can easily get lost in the crowd. A strong business stands out and demands attention from their target audience—in all media formats. A strong business has a strong identity and parades it across multi-media. In today's visual society businesses rely heavily on visible recognition to raise awareness, and to help create a platform for validation. So, what are some resolutions that can best help you grow and strengthen your business to reach its goals this year?
Who are you? Start with your logo. A good logo is a well thought out and regonizable symbol that represents your business, and only your business. It is not a stock image, or a $25 knock off. It is a personal, unique, and authentic expression, that will ONLY identify your brand. A good logo is memorable. It is your unique signature, and a reflection of your identity. It is the place to begin your visual media development, and it will be the root for all of the stems of your media presence. One can not stress enough how important a logo is. It's value is often underestimated and dismissed. Many businesses try to cut corners by ignoring the value of their logo/identity as an asset, and instead invest the least amount of time, money and effort in developing it. But that is a big mistake. The logo is the CORNERSTONE of a business's entire identity and visual media. It should not be taken lightly.
Every business can benefit from having a strong and ubiquitous visual brand and presentation. Businesses today need to have both an online presence and a print media presence. Contrary to belief, the internet has not deemed print media unnecessary. They are both equally necessary because they both have a different raison d'être, and target markets differently. Print and digital media complement one another because they offer different capabilities. One is bread and the other is butter. Businesses need to brand themselves across multiple media formats to create top-of-mind awareness (TOMA), and they should take advantage of all of the options available today. Rather than putting all of the eggs in one basket, spread them out a little. The biggest risk a business can take in marketing, is to only focus on one type of media at a time. And what if those eggs don't hatch?
Maintaining visual consistency isn't as easy as it looks. Colors, placements, alignments, structure, fonts, images, and different media formats, are some of the things that affect and challenge the strength and elasticity of a visual brand. This is why a unique and memorable identity is extremely important. With the multitude of media channels available today, a brand identity is stretched and stressed and twisted in all sorts of directions. It is important to create cross-media materials that are visually consistent in order to maintain your brand identity. An experienced creative consultant that understands both print and digital media, and knows how to develop and translate a brand identity across multi-media formats is an incredibly important ally, and coach, to have.
The best brand identities need some spiffing up every few years. Trends and fashions change and evolve. Even slight tweaks can freshen up and update your brand identity without changing the integrity of the brand. Re-assess your brand identity every three to five years. At three years you might need some small tweaks. At five years, you may need a facelift. In addition to your look and feel, new media is popping up constantly. It might also be time to stretch your brand into another format.