Calling all Estate Agents: New Year, New Branding?
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
With the festivities and Happy New Year conversations well and truly out of the way, now is often a time when businesses consider starting to implement plans to achieve their sales and marketing objectives for the year ahead. Is 2016 the year to review your branding?
Time for a rebrand?
Rebranding can be a daunting task. However your brand is something that you should review regularly; consider our 2015 rebrand. In this case the old style was no longer a fair representation of the evolution of our business, yet the tweaks are subtle.
As a business grows, or just as times change, your branding should adjust to reflect this. A rebrand doesn’t require a complete overhaul, and just minor adjustments can have a major effect on how your brand is perceived.
The evolution of a brand
Don’t just take our word for it though, have a look at how four global brands – Apple, Shell, Volkswagen and Pepsi - have made iterations to their logos, and therefore branding, over time:
All of them keep one consistent style, such as an evolving visual or colour palate. These logos have now become icons in their own right, so the typeface has become less important over time. In fact Apple have changed theirs again since this image was first posted two years ago. They have now removed the bevelled drop shadow style to reflect current design trends, helping to reinforce their position as one of the most pioneering companies in the world.
Your Brand’s Identity
Identity is very important, especially so in a crowded market where demand is outstripping supply. You want to be instantly recognisable on the high street, therefore in an ideal world customers should be able to identify your brand at a glance.
To demonstrate this, take a look at these three colour palettes from well-known estate agency brands. Can you guess which estate agent they belong to? We’ve put them in order of difficulty, easy to hard.
If you managed to figure this little brain teaser out, it should demonstrate the importance and effectiveness of memorable, consistent branding. If you didn’t, the answers are at the end of the article* (don’t kick yourself!).
To define your brands identity consider the placement of fonts, colours and graphic elements. These three features are the holy trinity of a successful brand mark or logo. Ask yourself, do they work together? Do they reflect modern typefaces and design styles? Your brand values and target audience will also have a factor, you don’t want to alienate your employees and core business by a radical change that is not in keeping with a traditional, conservative brand.
Every business in the land, large or small, should have a set of branding guidelines to reinforce brand consistency. The guidelines should explain the importance of your brand and how to use elements of your brand, for whoever in your business and beyond has touch points with it. This is an extract of our logo guidance:
It doesn’t have to be a long and cumbersome document, simply a visual aide and point of reference for anyone who does any work that involves your brands assets. Guidelines should be succinct and include several artwork examples for visual clarification. What is acceptable and what isn’t?
For ease of reference, keep it in a shared folder together with all the brand assets and logos. Also print hard copies out that can be picked up around the office and taken to meetings to reinforce its importance.
Within the document you should clearly define the specification and appropriate usage of the following…
Any other printed or online materials you regularly produce
This document will act as a reference to how you display your brand to the public. It doesn’t need to include every single circumstance, but will help to ensure your brand is used consistently without mis-communication. For a great example, take a look at Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Brand Guidelines.
That’s our whistle-stop overview of what makes an effective and evolving brand. We leave you with a question (as if there weren’t enough in this blog already): What do you want your brand to say about you in 2016? Is it time to update your image?
*As for our branding identity quiz, the first colour palette was Romans, the second Savills and the finally Knight Frank. Did you get them all? Leave us a comment or tweet us at @KremerSigns.
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