Credible brand identity is a tremendous asset to startup companies. Look like the company you want to be from the beginning. It demonstrates serious commitment and marketing prowess.
Right Channel Speakers is a startup speakers bureau I’ve been working with recently to establish their brand identity. I already knew the principals of the company and they consulted me early in the process of developing their brand, including creating the brand name. They were very clear on the mandate for the company – deliver the right speaker with the right message for the audience.
The name Right Channel Speakers is derived from terminology relating to stereo sound equipment. It’s strength is that it cleverly conveys the promise of the right speaker and message. Right is a very powerful word. It reinforces confidence when spoken or read. A channel is a source. Right channel equals best source.
Visually, the brand identity is based on a sound system speaker to reflect the name. I explored many variations of this theme. The final logo employs the shape of the familiar speaker graphic used as a symbol in modern electronics. The challenge was creating a design with this shape that was unique and meaningful. The solution was to break the shape down into a combination of triangles. The resulting mosaic pattern represents a variety of voices and thoughts. The blues convey trust. The yellow element is the enlightening message.
If you’re building a new company, follow these steps to get your branding right from the start.
Define your brand
When you start a business, you have complete control of your brand. You know what you plan to sell but you need to define your company. What will differentiate you? How will you be positioned? What is your brand character?
Create your brand name
This is one of the hardest steps in starting a business. Although a name that communicates the essence of your company’s business is desirable there are many successful examples to the contrary. What’s a Google? It’s not even enough that your name expresses something about your company. It has to be unique in a world saturated with brands. Then of course there’s the elusive, exclusive .com url.
Design your brand identity
This is typically the stage I become involved in the branding process. A designer needs a great deal of information about your company to create a successful brand identity. A thorough brief that defines your brand, outlines your product or service and describes your market and customer is helpful.
Understand that design is a process. A good designer will explore many directions and present you with a range of potential solutions. It may require several exchanges to complete the final design. You will have more confidence in the result because of the alternatives you considered and eliminated.
Brand your marketing
Once you establish your brand identity you need to apply it – to your website, your stationery, your product, your signage. The most important thing is to be consistent with the implementation. Work with your designer. Too many companies send their logo off to disparate services that interpret its usage in their own way. The results can be catastrophic and defeat the purpose of effective brand identity.
Strong branding creates positive impressions and opens doors. Your professionalism can be judged as soon as you present your business card. The quality of your product is communicated by your packaging. Your sign alone can incite interest. Get your branding right. It’s important. Right from the start.