PicMonkey is tops.
Canva is awesome.
But they could be doing real damage to your brand management.
Over the last month I’ve noticed a huge increase in small business owners make the move from PicMonkey to Canva to edit photos and create their own images for sharing on blogs and social media. But while these programs are absolutely brilliant for creating visual snapshots, they can also have a negative impact on your business.
The one common issue I’ve observed as a direct result of using these programs?
A decline in brand management.
What is a brand?
Your brand is an intangible asset.
It’s more than your logo – it is also your company colours, your language, your tone, your imagery, your font, your physical persona, your slogan, your beliefs – all of the elements that, together, create an experience for the consumer.
It’s the psychological response of clients generated by the sum of all points of contact with your brand, and it determines exactly how your business is perceived.
What is brand identity?
Your brand identity is where all of the elements of your brand – those factors that influence the personality and identity of your business – are integrated. This can be a combination of a specific colour palette, logo, icon, typeface and even language (I have a colleague who says she thinks of WriteCopy every time she hears the words ‘kick ass’, which is pretty cool!).
Brand management is consistently displaying those elements that construct the ‘myth’ of your business. They key here is ‘consistently’.
How your brand management is being compromised
‘Top-of-mind’ awareness is the goal of a branding strategy, and this is achieved through consistency. The danger with straying from this? The gradual erosion of consumers recognising your brand when they see a particular colour, image or piece of language.
This is where I have been seeing a lot of activity with the use of free editing tools, such as Canva, that provide templates. Although customisable, many users are seduced by the existing imagery and don’t amend it to leverage their brand. As a result, ad hoc images are posted which, when shared, fail to reinforce the identify of the business.
Important side note – I should also say that there are many who are doing an awesome job of brand management – check out Sparta-PT who leverages her brand beautifully using a combination of professional graphic design and tools such as Canva. It’s all about your approach!
So how do I use these free tools and still avoid brand dilution?
Here are a few tips:
- Ask your designer to develop a few templates that you can use in Canva – they can design the background and concept, and leave appropriate space for you to amend text as required.
- Ensure you are consistent with your use of colour – if you know your specific colour information, always be sure to use it! If not, there are plenty of free eye dropper tools that identify and label a selected on-screen colour for you, but they are (naturally) not as accurate as knowing your specific colour code.
- Ensure you are consistent with your use of font – I try to always use my brand font when preparing client proposals, etc, as well as when playing with imagery. And always remember your message – does the font match the message? Using a ‘comical’ font for a funeral business, for example, just doesn’t gel!
- Be careful with your use of imagery – there are plenty of free images on the web, but do they align with your brand?
We wear our physical brands like badges, to help define us. The trick is consistency. Sending the correct brand message will not only develop an ongoing emotional and psychological response from clients, but also ensure you remain top-of-mind.
Do you use tools such as PicMonkey and Canva? What are some of the greatest challenges you face with managing your brand?
Latest posts by WriteCopy (see all)
- The essentials of writing a smashing business proposal - August 6, 2015
- The facts you need to know about Google’s ranking of mobile-friendly websites - April 23, 2015
- Ten things you need to know before working as a freelancer - April 20, 2015