Can you imagine a brand without a name, a logo, some colors, and a distinctive visual identity that makes it different from other companies? Honestly, we cannot.
Branding is one of the fundamental concepts of contemporary marketing and has to do with all the aspects that define a brand and make it distinguishable.
An effective branding strategy offers the company awareness and conveys values such as sustainability, reliability, and inclusivity to customers and users.
One of the essential elements of branding is the logo. The right logo—aligned with the appropriate colors, personality, and tone of voice—can sustain a strong brand and make it stand out among potential imitations.
A bitten apple will always remind of Apple, the Golden Arches—independently of the background color—of McDonald's, and a blue bird of Twitter. Consequently, Apple evokes elegance, innovation, and a minimalism, the same way Twitter suggests the idea of quick and brief communication, spreading across the world in a few minutes.
Although the logo is not the only aspect of branding, it represents a crucial step in building a solid brand.
How can you build a strong brand?
We decided to sum up the main steps in six points, each facing diverse but equally significant topics.
- Define who you are and who you are addressing
This step starts the branding process and should not be considered trivial. One of the worst risks of neglecting it is finding yourself with a logo incapable of representing your company or even linked to values and services that do not belong to your business.
However, remember that changing a logo can be a good solution as companies evolves and so does their image.
Google, MasterCard, PayPal and even Apple have repeatedly changed throughout the years!
- Outline the style you want for your logo
Here we are, at the decisive moment. Even though your logo stands for your company, as any symbols, it does not need to describe your business in all its aspects. One of the most frequent mistakes is designing a logo that completely embodies everything the company does. Its objective is representing the business and not all it offers.
First, you should know that there are different types of logos:
- Abstract logo marks: not conveying a specific meaning, as in the case of Google Chrome.
- Mascot logos: using a character to present a product or service, as it happens for Duracell.
- Emblems: usually round and with a royal tone, think about Starbucks.
- Lettermarks: graphic representations of the name or its initials, like HP or eBay.
- Pictorial marks: icons, like Twitter's blue bird.
Moreover, a logo can also result from the combination of two of these types. For instance, Starbucks has both a textual and a graphic part, resembling one of those back-to-school stickers.
Our advice? Experiment, have fun, and rely on a professional to unfold your brand's potential.
- Choose a color palette and define an image
When choosing the colors for your logo, visual identity, website, social media, or packaging, consider that they help communicate your brand's nature and often accomplish that subconsciously.
As they might significantly impact your brand, these choices require thorough and deliberate planning. If you pay close attention to familiar brands, you will realize that there are recurrent types of colors. White tones evoke order and simplicity, blue ones remind calmness and reliability, green shades are common in eco-friendly brands, yellow ones inspire optimism and good mood, and grey tones suggest professionalism and experience.
Furthermore, each color entails a series of adjustments based on your company values and what you want to convey. Green, for instance, could be lime, forest, sage, or mint green. Therefore, there is so much more behind a simple color.
Similarly, your visual identity should try to express all this, finding coherence and harmony with the other elements.
- Find the perfect font
Even if your logo does not contain text, choosing the ideal font or a few of them is critical.
One of the first things to remember when picking a typeface for a website or flyer is readability.
Then, you should consider it in connection with your logo: they are supposed to be harmonic, support one another, and be coherent with your brand identity.
- Do not forget the final touches
No, that is not a wrap yet! There is often room for improvement: a second look after some time could help you see your work differently and suggest some changes. There is nothing wrong with going over what you have done and adding some final touches.
- Think about the different versions of your logo
Every logo should come with a manual listing the variants on the basis of dimensions and context of use. You might need to print it on a small scale, add it in a third part's colorful website, or use it for banners and Instagram stories. The possibilities are endless, and you must provide your team members and external collaborators with a detailed guide if you want to apply them correctly.
Next step: Trademark registration
Once everything is ready, the following step is registering your trademark. You can either do it by yourself or rely on professionals. Anything has pros and cons, and choosing one direction is not easy.
Autonomous trademark registration allows you to reduce costs but requires you to take care of all procedures and papers.
For instance, In Italy, you must apply for registration at the Chamber of Commerce or follow the online procedure on the Italian Patents and Trademarks Office platform. The risks are submitting an invalid trademark without knowing it, ignoring some aspects of the process, making mistakes during the application, or lacking the tools to appeal against refusals and opposition proceedings.
The only downside of trusting an expert is the due fee for their service. On the other hand, the professional will handle everything, explain potential pitfalls, find accurate solutions to potential legal problems, and make you save time.
The legal requirements for trademark registration are highly specific, and compliance is mandatory. For instance, the logo needs to be:
- Licensed: in line with the law, not containing visual signs against public decency, respecting copyrighted materials.
- Honest: it should not deceive customers concerning its nature, quality, and origin.
- Original: unique and distinct from similar trademarks already authorized, avoiding generic terms linked to products or services.
- New: although it may seem obvious, a logo cannot be identical or akin to an already registered one!
Are you building your brand and need some support? Reach out and tell us about you. Rest assured: not only does Nitage assist companies with branding, but it also takes care of legal registration with qualified experts.