Why Consistency Is So Important to Branding

You’ve probably heard it before, but in case you haven’t: it’s important to be consistent with your branding to have it be most effective. What does consistency mean? From a designer’s perspective, it means: Using the same business name, logo, and/or logotype. Typesetting the name and other elements in a fixed fashion. Choosing a couple of typefaces and using them all the time. Read these tips about working with fonts. Choosing a corporate color, or color palette and using them as the dominant color scheme throughout your materials—printed or online. Using consistent visual elements across media. Some examples are: always using a certain style of photography; or always setting quotations in Garamond Italic; or always have one large color block at the top of the page. Creating “lock ups” for your elements. This means, for example, a certain way of setting the logo + tagline. These groupings become fixed. Creating design systems that are similar throughout all of your materials. […]

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How PayPal's Brand Affects the Brand of Your E-Commerce Site

PayPal is an extremely popular tool that allows small business owners to be able to accept credit card payments on their web site. Their payment processing service has a much smaller entry price point than setting up a full-fledged shopping cart and establishing a merchant account with your bank. If you’re only selling occasionally, or selling only low cost items it is often one of the most cost effective ways to set up an e-commerce web site and allow your customers to pay online using a credit card. How it works & some history Just to explain… Originally, PayPal was a way to send and receive payments by linking one’s bank account to one’s PayPal account and paying using PayPal itself. This would be an alternative to using a credit card. This service is still offered and is touted by PayPal as a way to “Pay without revealing your credit card or bank information.” However, what I described above, is […]

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Business Cards Dos & Don'ts for Start-ups and Veterans

If you’re in business, you need a business card. When you launch your business there are a lot of details to juggle, and a budget that can only stretch so far. But when you neglect your calling card you are showing to others that you don’t take yourself seriously. Here are few tips to keep in mind. Business cards for a start-up: Do: Get cards printed. There are many low-cost options from online sources, to paper you can run through your own printer. You need a physical card to start networking. This seems so basic, but some people think they can skip cards altogether. If you aren’t bothering with cards, you probably aren’t really bothering to set up a sustainable business. Don’t: Print too many or spend too much on the printing. It’s likely many details are still in flux—such as your address changing as you move from home office to rented space. Do: Spend your money on branding. While […]

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Write a Business Plan; Build your Brand

As I’ve started writing more and more about branding, and helping to explain the idea to others I keep coming back to the fact that building your brand is as critical to the planning of a new business as writing a business plan. Your business plan could be very thorough and formal, or something more simple, but nearly every business coach or expert will tell you how critical it is. The same goes with building your brand. A recent article in the New York Times has this quote: For startups and small businesses, branding can often take a backseat to other considerations, such as funding and product development. This is a mistake, as a company’s brand can be key to its success. Dollar for dollar, it is as important and vital as any other early steps. Dollar for dollar. That doesn’t mean you need to spend an arm and a leg, but it does mean that time & money used […]

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