One of this year’s on demand topics is related to the startup industry and brand building. To elaborate, there’s an increase in demand for providers and services – from hosting to domain buying – that operate in eco-friendly manners.
This could only mean that startups are slowly conquering the public eye, giving entrepreneurs the chance to turn their dreams into reality and investors the opportunity for smart investments.
There is a high chance you will see messages such as these posted on a regular basis in entrepreneurial communities across the web:
A Word or Two about the Stage of Business
In regards to how startup businesses are evolving, an article on the Guardian covers expert opinions and realities. Words such as “remarkable ecosystem”, “the best place in the world”, “crowd funding”, “functioning businesses”, “digital technology”, “long term business success”, “incredibly brave” and “product-focused companies” describe and complement the real scenario for businesses across the US, the UK, Canada, Australia and major markets.
But before setting in motion the plan for conquering the world, a business should have a top priority: building the proper visual identity. More specifically, an identity that respects and values the Eco factor, especially since businesses have the ability to influence the environment and to make a change for the better.
Short Introduction to Visual Business Identity
The visual identity of a business can be perceived as one of the key elements that distinguish one business from the rest by reflecting the brand’s personality, its principles, standards and overall message.
It includes the company’s name, logo and corporate signage, colors, typography, specific signatures (social accounts, email, website URL, brand voice) that can all be used and applied on marketing material – be it traditional or digital. Let’s talk a bit about each of these five elements.
1. Company Name
Company naming is one of those industries that generates massive income. And that happens precisely due to the difficulty of finding the most appropriate name to describe your business.
The shorter, the better. Another best practice in company naming is to adapt it for a local, national or international stage. The name must be easy to read and comprehend.
According to FM Digital Group, current trends show that a significant percentage use English words, the number one reason being that everyone understands English. In some cases, single words manage to cover the overall message of the company. In other cases, a mixture of words is needed to create an impact.
2. Logo and Corporate Signage
There is no arguing as to why logos are important for a business. It takes less than 6 seconds to remember a shape and to attribute it to a name. Logos convey an identity in a simple shape that could be accompanied by numbers or letters.
It is easy to use it in printed material such as brochures, business cards, publications and stationary as easy as it is to use the company logo in digital media, web designs, mobile, social media and other digital templates.
Signage becomes important when the business grows and evolves into a corporation. The impact is larger due to size, 3D effects and probably the fact that it stands out from a visual point of view.
You often see corporate signage applied in international companies with offices all around the world. It has a powerful effect and its goal is to show the greatness of a corporation.
3. Company Colours
Colours can also be used to reflect a company’s identity. When these are shown in print or digital, a certain color can create the same impact as name, logo or signage.
Ideally, not only the key elements should keep a consistency in colours, but also in office interiors (a good example would be Google’s office color designs), in employee dress code (construction workers wear certain clothes with the logo of the company, corporate employees wear suits and ties with branded suitcases) and even in campaigns (an example is the pink ribbon for cancer).
Consistency in colours also helps build trust between the business and its clients and consumers.
Typography refers to specific fonts and styles used in documents, marketing materials (digital and print) and even in logos and corporate signatures. This actually helps in complementing the overall brand and in generating brand awareness.
Ideally, companies stay away from the typical “Times New Roman, 12” font and go for more interesting, creating fonts. Thankfully, there are so many fonts at the moment, anyone can pick a choice and combine to create original typography.
5. Specific Signatures
As mentioned earlier, specific signatures include social accounts, email, website URL, brand voice. We will be referring specifically to social media pages and account designs that combine the content and voice with images and other visual elements, as well as to a certain writing style.
Email signature can be included, as well as how we address to our recipients, how we create and spread the message and the email address design. For e.g., some companies use the first letter of the employee’s first name followed by the last name.
So if the employee’s name is Susanne Roberts, her email address would be SRoberts[at]companydomaindotcom.
The website URL of a company needs to have a certain look and read, as well. The shorter the URL, the easier it is to remember and to access.
Last, but not least, the brand voice or the way we communicate the message. This is a tricky one, because sometimes a too serious tone could ruin and scare brand consumers, while a too laid back tone or voice could damage the brand’s integrity.
Building the Eco Visual Identity
Eco visual identity refers to the company’s actions on the environment including recycling, waste consumption reduction, green activities (such as planting trees), eco campaigns and sustainability policies.
Here is an example of eco visual identity: business cards. Business cards are typically created using specific paper material which can be recycled.
This is where the eco visual identity comes in: companies should be encouraged to use recycled paper and then recycle old business cards and print materials or reuse them for other purposes. This reduces the number of trees being cut down every year.
Companies can also recycle or donate ink cartridges to support startups in the print industry.
By recycling different materials, companies can even create new opportunities for recycling businesses to grow and expand.
They can set in motion choices for a better tomorrow by protecting the environment, as well as build the proper eco visual identity for their business and brand.
So, is your business ready to invest in a proper visual identity, and go green to be seen?
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