As with any field, there is some common lingo that is used by branding specialists as well. If you’re considering starting a new business or revamping your brand, here are some common branding terms and what they mean for your business.
Getting used to these terms will help you understand what your strategist or designer is asking you for. If you already have these things in place, great. And if you don’t, here’s your chance to learn and try to work on it for your business to have a more cohesive brand that is relatable and memorable to your target audience.
Common Branding Terms
The logo is typically the first design asset that is part of a branding exercise. When you come up with a brand name, the first step to establishing your brand is coming up with a visual representation of your name.
Your logo is what helps your client recognise you. It typically includes an icon with a text that makes it identifiable and memorable in any form or on any platform.
The alternate logo or submark, which I’ve discussed in the previous blog post, is essentially a secondary way of displaying your logo. Each brand logo may have one or more submarks, each of it optimised for different backgrounds and platforms while ensuring that it maintains the same look that customers can identify.
Every brand has a mission statement that focuses on the value to be provided to its target audience. The brand tagline is essentially a simplified version of this statement or ethos and may either appear under the logo or in a prominent place within your brand or marketing collateral.
Some examples of taglines include “Just Do It” by Nike or KFC’s “Finger lickin’ good”.
Having a tagline also helps your business and your entire team stay dedicated and focus on the mission that you want to deliver. KFC continues to provide us with good fried chicken, while just one look at an inspiring sports advertisement, and you think “Ah, Nike”.
4. Mood Board / Inspiration Board
At Poised Creative, mood and inspiration boards are referred to as your brand board. The “board” is a snapshot of your brand’s colours, primary and alternate logo, submarks, tagline, typeface or fonts, and any other custom icons or accents that you wish to include when designing your collateral.
This board – also known as a brand board – can be helpful when communicating your brand. It’ll help you keep all your assets consistent, and your customers can easily identify your brand from a distance.
Here’s an example of a board for a recent client.
5. Colour Palette
One of the things added to the brand board above is your brand’s colour palette. Think of an artist who holds a few swatches of colour in his hands before painting, or an interior decorator giving you a book of colours for your paint preferences. This is the same thing, but more focused on your brand. The final colour palette that you choose will display the colours used in your logo and other brand colours. Each brand has at least 5 colours to work around, and not all of them necessarily appear in the logo. You also need some contrasting colours to match different platforms or backgrounds.
6. Typeface / Brand Fonts
Do you like using particular fonts when writing, or when designing your posters? There are so many fonts to choose from and the person in charge of your brand collateral can’t possibly be going through all these fonts every time they design something for you. This is why each brand should have 2 or 3 selected typefaces (also known as fonts) that will appear in most of their visual representation, which also makes it easier for their customers to identify them.
7. Brand Collateral
I’ve mentioned collaterals a few times now. But what exactly is it? Your brand collaterals are physical or virtual objects created to represent or market your brand. Examples of brand collaterals include your business name card, documents such as letterheads or invoices, brochures, email signatures – anywhere you need to place your logo and/or tagline on.
This is a term often used by businesses that are already up and running and long established. Often, brands with older looking logos, brands with a change in the way they run, or brands which have changed their offerings, require a new and fresh look. This is when they go through a rebranding exercise to either uplift or match their image with what the market needs. Do you remember any big brands that have changed their logo in recent years? Google, Apple and even McDonald’s are just a few to name.
Read this: Are you ready for a rebrand?
Need help with your branding strategy? Contact Poised Creative today.