This year, are you thinking of launching a new business or maybe looking at a change of direction. Have you been in business for several years but looking to up your game? Clean, simple and distinctive branding WILL get you noticed. A strong brand will help you attract your ideal clients and show the world how serious you are and that you mean business.

There are too many “get rich quick” business approaches out there – the sort that jump on the latest band wagon and use all the latest buzz words to try and attract people to their business, but all they are interested in is boosting their bank account and portraying their own self importance. I have heard “how have you been so lucky in business” it’s not luck it’s bloomin hard work!

Where have all the brand values, honesty and relationship building gone. When I first started out as a Graphic Designer in 2006 I could never recall so much bullsh*t being slung around – but then again, we were not so lucky to have so many online platforms to promote and share value at a click of a button for free – now I am showing my age!

Look at The Apprentice for instance, in the beginning it’s all about the ego of the contestants – which is what makes the programme (I love it by the way), but as the series goes on we all see the candidates’ true colours and this is where being authentic and creating your own distinctive brand style comes in to force – and of course what Lord Sugar sees all along. You need a brand that will set you apart from all the wannabes and create something that is true to you and your purpose.

So how do you make sure the money and time you invest in creating a distinctive brand identity will pay off?

Get you notepad at the ready and start writing down what you want your brand to say about you and your business. What is the key message you want to be recognised for and how can this be aligned and weaved in to your brand?

A few thoughts to consider:

  • It needs to reflect your values
  • Give an honest service
  • It needs to resonates with your ideal clients – The ones you would LOVE to work with
  • It needs to be distinctive enough to set you apart from your competitors
  • Most importantly it needs to be REAL – Which is the point I am making in this article. If you get it right the first time it will save you time and money in the long run.

Here is a few don’ts:

  • Don’t compromise quality over quantity
  • Don’t make promises you can’t keep
  • Don’t buy on price, always buy on recommendation and experience
  • Don’t lose sight on who is important – remember it’s about the client not self promotion
  • Don’t be a taker – always be a giver – give VALUE
  • Don’t be all talk and no action.

Most importantly, stay true to your purpose and deliver consistently every time! That’s a brand that people will love, like and trust and refer to time and time again.

How to create a distinctive brand in a nutshell

Showcase your brand through distinctive imagery that reflect your true personality. Understand the psychology of colour and how colours can be used to create an emotive connection between you and your target audience. Select fonts that will enhance your brand identity that add character and tone. Use pattern and texture to give your brand extra flair! Be consistent through all your online and offline media so people will start to know, like and trust you.

Being confident in you branding and marketing will resonate through to your clients as well as prospective clients. A consistent brand leads to you becoming more visible, by being more visible it will take you and your business to the next level. No one likes being visible with an inconsistent ‘wishy washy’ brand that has no message or meaning.

Make 2017 the year you focus on the real person behind the brand and give your business purpose and your brand a new lease of life and personality.