B2B Branding: Convey Your Value with Help From the Pros
Most industry professionals know that a company’s brand reaches beyond just the logo. However, it can be difficult for most people to pin-point what elements make up a brand. The truth is, a company’s brand is a very personal thing. Chances are an agency’s interpretation of the words and idea behind your brand can totally differ from your original vision.
While working with a B2B branding agency, understanding what a brand is and how to communicate what your branding needs are can dramatically improve the creativity process on both ends. Additionally, familiarizing yourself with common terminology used in the marketing and branding industry will help bridge the gap in communication between client and agency resulting in the best results as quickly as possible.
What is a brand?
There are two major components to a company’s brand. The visual component is what can be seen – every visual element that gives identity to your business presence. There is also the unseen – the value, which is the emotional response people associate with your company. It is a promise between you and your clients that is communicated through your brand presence. The purpose of the visual component should be to communicate those values as seamlessly as possible.
Let’s break down some of the visual elements that contribute to a brand and how you can communicate your value through them.
Font & Typography
From our experience, typography and font choice are the single most overlooked aspects of a company’s branding. Typography can communicate value in many ways. The organization of your textual content determines if a potential client will spend their time reading about your company, or clicking away from the page.
Some companies go by the “one font rule” and use a single font for their logo, marketing materials and website. From a branding stand point, it is perfectly lawful to have multiple fonts as part of a brand identity (let’s just say no more than three). Font variation adds visual interest and provides a visual hierarchy to your text.
Different font families convey different values. Sans-serif fonts such as Arial and Helvetica are more modern and fresh, while old-style and transitional fonts such as Garamond and Times each communicate a sense of class in their own way. The font choice alone warrants its own conversation in most cases.
Note From our Graphic Designer: Don’t be a Comic Sans Criminal
As branding professionals we often have to guide B2B companies away from their “favorite” colors and redirect them toward colors that convey the emotion they want associated with their brand. When communicating with an agency, it is best to use descriptive words like warm (red, orange, yellow, etc.) versus cool (blue, green, etc.) colors, natural versus synthetic colors and bright versus dark colors.
Just like the font-choice, it is not a crime to include multiple (5-6) complementary colors as part of your brand arsenal. Ask your agency about some color combinations that work well with your primary font colors.
Note From our Graphic Designer: Gold, silver and bronze are not colors that belong in the color spectrum. To give us a better idea of what color you would like to see, please refer to a chart such as this one.
Whether it is stock photography or a private collection of your own photos it’s important for all of your imagery to be in line with your brand. Sometimes this means thinking abstractly about the value that you want to communicate and approaching image selection beyond searching for industry buzz words. If you would like your brand design agency to select imagery on your behalf for marketing collateral it is important to be as specific as possible. A good start would be to look into your value proposition and select a specific idea or message that you would like the imagery to convey.
These are just a few of the most prominent visual elements that make up a brand. When building out a brand it is vital to know that these elements not only have to look good but also tie closely with the value you want to communicate. B2B branding companies, such as KCD PR, usually have experienced staff on hand that will carefully walk through each one of these elements and often times key in on your precise brand identity better than you can on your own.
Whether it is building from scratch or revamping your current brand, a great amount of care and consideration is involved. KCD PR’s Ready to Launch program helps support a healthy brand development process and take care of everything you need from day one until launch day.