What Does Your Brand Look Like?
Kristian Segelken, Creative Director
If you had to describe the look of your brand in just a few words, what would it be? Clean and colorful, natural and neutral, or maybe somewhere in between? Finding the look of your brand might seem like a daunting task but the good news is you don’t need to be an artist with a capital “A” to figure it out.
You might already be wondering, “why is having a ‘look’ for my brand important?” The short answer is: a lot of reasons. It will provide consistency across all of your social media and advertising. It will tell your fans and customers what your product tastes like or how it feels before they try it for themselves. It will separate you from your competitors. The term “visual language” is apt as it communicates information about your product without the need for words. Say you have an organic snack product, you might like to use natural colors and wood textures to illustrate that feature. A different brand might use bright colors and clean lines to show the more playful side of their product – the options are endless. Also, consider your target audience and what they would like to see or what they are used to seeing.
Developing a look for your brand can be difficult, especially if you’re starting from scratch. On the bright side, while it might take a knowledgeable team of photographers and graphic designers to bring your brand to life, you don’t have to be a creative professional to determine what you like and what you don’t.
There are plenty of brands that have come before yours and they too had to figure out what their look was, so start by looking at other brands! As the popular saying goes, “good artists borrow, great artists steal.” Flat out plagiarism isn’t the objective here, the idea is to find content that you like and let it influence your process. At Cool Nerds Marketing, our creative team is always seeking out content that inspires us. (We affectionately refer to it as #inspo.) It might be helpful to start with similar brands in your field. Remember that finding the content you don’t like can be just as helpful as finding the content you do like, and don’t be afraid to look outside your field as well. There’s no rule that says you can’t be inspired by a sneaker ad and adapt some of those elements for your beverage brand. Colors, materials, lighting, and composition are just a few examples of elements you can look for. Maybe you would rather include more illustrations than photos, that’s fine too! The idea is to use imagery to paint the best possible picture of your product.
It’s easiest to browse social media looking at posts and ads that catch your eye. I also like to use Pinterest because it allows me to create different boards for content I find interesting. I’m particularly fond of my “Product Photography” board where I collect commercial photography ideas and even some photography tips that I haven’t tried before. You can create your own board for your favorite content or even a mood board that consists of color palettes, fonts, etc. “Branding color palette” and “branding inspiration” are great searches to start with – just know that you might encounter a lot of “trendy” design elements along the way. (Will the world ever move on from millennial pink?)
If you’re still feeling unsure about your creative direction, take a look at a few Pinterest boards put together by our team at CNM. Once you find a direction you like, we’ll be here to help you make it happen!