How do you know if your branding and business identity are any good? What makes a ‘good brand’? Find out what you’ve got right and what might need working on.

As I always say, design for the sake of design is a waste of time. Design has a job to do. Brand design and business visuals, from your logo to your video set up, all need to help your business make money.

Along the way, depending on your product or service, you’ll create transformation in your clients’ lives and businesses, you’ll connect with like-minded people to make the world a better place, you’ll educate, support, empower, inspire, entertain…but ultimately you will want to make money. That’s business.

So what makes a good brand?

How do you know if your designer is creating an identity that is more that just a set of pretty graphics that you like? And if your are a DIYer, the same requirements apply.

Your brand needs to score high in these 6 areas:

Distinctiveness: does your brand stand out from the sameness of your marketplace or industry? If your logo or brand identity is easily mistaken for someone else’s then you’re treading on dangerous territory. Sameness is the killer of a good brand.This is why you should always ask your designer whether he or she is buying your icons, illustrations or even the logo, or whether they design everything from scratch for you. Yes, there are online marketplaces that a ‘designer’ can buy ready made logos….you may find your exact logo or illustration on someone else’s business.

I design all my logos and illustrations myself. It’s my super power! And helps your brand look really distinctive

Relevance: does the design support and reflect your business goals, your values, your marketplace? There is a difference between having a brand that surprises and a brand that sticks out like a sore thumb.I always create a Customer Persona Mood Board before designing anything because I need to ensure the brand I design fits within the aesthetic world of their ideal client, while still being distinctive.

Memorability: do people recognise your brand or associate a specific element with you and your business? Recognisability is crucial in our over-saturated marketplace. If asked, what would people say they remember about your brand identity? Could they pin point something?Many successful businesses have a key identifier; maybe a colour (think Tiffany) or a sound (think Intel) or an illustration style (think Roald Dahl’s books)

Flexibility: does your branding work across all of your marketing and customer touch-points? Do you have a version of your logo that works in small spaces (your logo icon on a clothing label) and in larger formats (as street signage or banners)Can your branding work both physically and digitally. If you wanted to expand your range of products and services, or create a series, does your brand have the flexibility to do this?

With my VIP Expert clients, I will sometimes design an umbrella brand which is a visual container for their full suite of offerings (eg multiple courses or programs) and allows them to add new products and services in the future.

Depth: how do you communicate to your audience and your prospects? People connect with brands and businesses in different ways – some are drawn to the look, some are drawn to the information, some connect more with the vibe.Make sure your brand extends beyond just a nice logo; you need to intertwine your visuals with your offerings, messaging & marketing content. Use a combination of written, graphic, video and audio content where possible.

Experience: Your brand is a living experience – it’s not static. You interact with clients, you create new content, you improve your offerings, you grow, you meet new people, you find new paths. Not to mention the internal journey your customer goes on when working with you.What is the overall experience of your business? From the website down to how the office phone is answered; it’s all part of the brand experience.