This weekend I attended a friend’s wedding. For most of us ladies this is how it goes when we get a wedding invitation. First thought: What fun, can’t wait to go. Second thought: What am I going to wear?
From there, we go through the usual process of looking through the closet, or going out to purchase something new. For this weekend’s wedding I found a fabulous dress that was perfect for this late afternoon summer wedding.
What makes your outfit and your brand identity feel so great?
- It’s appropriate. Your favorite Saturday-night-out clothes may be your dark jeans and a soft t-shirt. Your favorite outfit for an important business meeting is your suit that makes you look sharp. You favorite summer wedding outfit might be a pink floral print dress. You feel great because you’re wearing the right thing. Not too casual, not overdressed, etc. and every detail, head to toe, looks great.
The same goes for your business identity. Think about where you’ll be presenting yourself. Who are you trying to impress or fit in with? If all of your competitors have very conservative logos will your customers take you seriously if your identity is more light-hearted. It’s always a balance between fitting in and distinguishing yourself.
- It fits perfectly. An outfit is only perfect if it’s fits your body. If you’re pulling at a too-tight blouse, or feeling like your suit sleeves are too long, you’ll fidget and feel self-conscious. However, clothing in the right size with the right lines to fit your body type will make you feel great. It can’t just look good on the hangar, it’s got to fit you.
For your logo, think about the actual applications for it. If you’ll be embroidering it on apparel, don’t use gradients. If you’ll be submitting it for publication in one-color newspapers, make sure it works in black and white. Think about the applications for the logo, and not just the logo in a vacuum.
- It shows off your best self. A great outfit and a great logo should present almost an idealized version of yourself. You know when you look at clothing in an ad or a catalog and think: “Who wears that?” That’s not what you should be wearing. It should feel perfect for you, and not someone else.
For your brand identity, you also need to figure out what you and your company are comfortable with. Do you want to be a trend setting, a trend follower, or do you try to remove yourself from trendiness? Some logos are classic and timeless, others will look out of date quickly. But overall, you probably want to look pulled together and professional. Some people and businesses like to appear more unique or quirky, others prefer to blend in.
- It builds your confidence. One reason we decide to go out an buy another dress or suit is to make ourselves feel great. We know if our outfit isn’t the right type for the occasion, or doesn’t fit right, we’ll be uncomfortable. Spending some money on a fabulous outfit will make us look great, appear more successful and feel confident.
Spending some money to work with a professional designer can have the same affect for your business. We have clients who talk about the fact that now that they have a professionally designed web site, or a standout logo, they are more confident about making sales calls. Your business looks established and ready to work with other successful businesses.
If you’re a small business owner, think about your own brand imagery. Does it make you feel proud of your company? Does it fit who you are and the types of clients you wish to attract? If you feel anything other than fabulous every time you pull out your business card, or send someone to your web site, it’s time to rethink your brand identity.