Marketing

Brand Building: Is your visual identity unique?

BY Vera Lim 22 Sep, "15

We’ve talked about the role of storytelling in branding strategies, about how to construct a brand strong enough to break through the clutter of the internet. Now, it’s time to move on to building a strong visual position, which will further reinforce your brand identity as a whole.

We sat down for a chat with our design team about our brand. After all, they’re the ones who define how TradeGecko’s brand identity is represented and implemented across a range of platforms to ensure maximum exposure, impact, and identifiability. We’ve outlined some best practices for you to consider for your own brand.

Logo

Above all else, your logo should be unique so your brand is identifiable from a mile away. It should also be:

  • Simple: Make sure it’s instantly recognizable.
  • Memorable: The subject matter of a logo is of relatively low value – since there is often no one-to-one link between the symbol and symbolized.
  • Timeless: What looks good now should look as good in the years to come to create a consistent brand identity.
  • Versatile: It should work in different contexts – from grayscale to color, from name cards to billboards.
  • Appropriate: Keep it appropriate for your industry. E.g. what works for a toy store would not work for a bank.

In addition to graphics, typography also plays a key role in a good logo. You could create a custom typeface or adopt an existing one, but always keep it classy and simple.

TradeGecko logo

In our case, our logo reflects our brand. It features the namesake of TradeGecko: a lizard (a gecko to be precise, that we affectionately call Moko) in our brand’s colors (green). The simplicity of the design ensures that it also works well if printed in monochrome, or if it’s a white logo on a green background.

For the font, we’ve customized Ubuntu to better reflect us. Ubuntu is a font that has a “contemporary style and contains characteristics… that convey a precise, reliable and free attitude.”

When it comes to naming the company, keep it short and sweet. On the internet, it’s all visual. Too many words can make your company’s name look like a mouthful even though it has the name number of syllables as a single word, due to all the white space. Your company’s name could be poetic, but if it’s too long to be taken in at a glance, your effort goes to waste. If anyone has to ask you “how to spell that”, it’s not a good name.

You’re also now in the social era. As you come up with social media campaigns you will have to create hashtags that will often include your company name. Keep that in mind while naming your brand, because #nobodylikesalonghashtag!

Consistency

Companies evolve over time – just like Google did. They’ve changed their logo numerous times over the years, from color changes, to removing shadows, and finally, this year, they changed its font.

When these changes take place, always remember consistency is the foundation of building your brand’s style guide. You want to make sure only certain colors, fonts, and spelling are used to create a cohesive brand identity.

This can be something as simple as the brand name: What letters should be capitalized? Should a hyphen separate the individual words?

Also, a consistent color scheme strengthens your brand identity. Setting a color palette and building a color usage guide also helps to maintain consistency, ensuring that your colors represent the spirit of your brand.

For TradeGecko, our accent color is a particular shade of green which echoes throughout our brand – from name cards, to our blog… and even our office doors!

All these make up the public face of the company, so once you’ve made a decision, always standardize it across the board. Go through old articles and posts to ensure that everything is the same to establish a sense of continuity.

Building emotional connections

Once your business hits a certain size, you’ll to differentiate your company from your competitors and create a tangible identity. In making your product stand out in the market remember that your product’s identity will influence the user's’ experience, and here again, design plays a big role.

TradeGecko deals in inventory management software, and it’s our design team’s job to add something interesting and fun to liven up the user’s experience of inventory management. Using Excel involves staring at endless rows and columns, leaving the user fatigued and never wanting to see another spreadsheet again. Our TradeGecko design team focuses on simplicity, incorporating as much colors and white space as possible in order to avoid becoming too overwhelming.

Perhaps our mascot Moko is the best representation of our logo and ideal user experiences.

Moko TradeGecko Mascot

And so, in the words of Alex Smee, one of our design team rockstars who takes Moko on his adventures (and also the artist behind our amazing wall mural):

“We created Moko to reflect how we see ourselves as a company, the opposite of bland and corporate. It allows us to speak as TradeGecko through our marketing materials such as social media and emails, and retain the voice of an individual. It was also just for fun at first, to make something that can develop into a unique personality that everyone in the office can think of as “ours”. For example, most of us have Moko stickers on our laptops, and there is also a huge mural on one of our walls that shows Moko climbing along the skyline of Singapore!”

We know you’ve created your company with lots of hard work and care. Make sure that love translates into making your brand unique in the market!

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See Also:

11 simple ways to improve your eCommerce mobile site
8 common marketing mistakes people make with their eCommerce store
How to take your fashion label from concept to profit? Ask The Fashion Darling

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