Branding & Design
Updated: Nov 22, 2019
I’ve recently started serving the Founder Institute as an EIR (Entrepreneur in Residence) for the Atlanta chapter and we had a discussion on Branding & Design for neophyte founders. We walked through how startups can forge name recognition and begin carving out a lasting home in the marketplace. As a younger entrepreneur myself, I found a lot of value in revisiting this topic as it applied to our own brand. Using Gimme as a case-study, let’s walk through how we are working to showcase our strengths and unique features in the unattended retail marketplace.
Brand is more than a name and a logo. It’s identity.
So, who are you? Think back to your customer discovery. Think about who you are as a founder.
Let’s look at Gimme as an example. Our customers wanted products they “just got” and made sense the first time they used them. Vending operators spend years honing their intuition and typically achieve success by trusting their gut. For our name, we went with something approachable, something our audience would “just get.”
We knew we were entering a market littered with unchanged and tired brands. Our brand would be bold. We want to stand out. We are keen being seen as ambitious, energetic, and assertive. For our primary color palette, we chose a vivid red and stark greys.
The needs of our industry had been so poorly served by the incumbent tech suppliers and their products, that we knew we had to annihilate the old. However, we also want to show respect for the origins of our industry and where our customers are coming from. For our logo, we designed it to be an evocative bridge between old and new. We designed it to resemble the silhouette of a “five-wide” snack machine.
Now, let’s move the conversation from us back to the founder. Once you’ve considered your audience and what you would like them to think, feel, and do as they interact with your brand, it’s time to pick a name.
Startup founders thinking about their own brand and design would do well to go back to where we started: Think about your customer discovery. Think about who you are as a founder.
As a founder, one starting place is to think of 2-3 syllable, made-up words that are unique, memorable, and have an available domain name. Some of the examples in the Atlanta Ventures portfolio: Pardot, Terminus, Sequr.
Once you have a name we can move into your visual identity — let’s explore your Style Guide! Consistency is paramount for building your brand. The world is cluttered. Be consistent so people recognize you when they see you in different places. This requires attention to detail.
For your logo, I suggest something simple with less than three colors. Keep in mind it may be rendered to fit as a tiny website favicon, an App Store icon, all the way up to a 15 foot projection on a trade show wall!
Consider how you’re willing for your logo to be rendered. Dropbox recently re-released their logo in a rainbow of color options. With Gimme, however, we only permit our logo to be printed in three color variants and are sensitive to sizing, spacing, placement.
Will your business have an app? A website? Any printed materials? Match the font in your ads to your website and app, so if people see your business card, flyer, or Instagram post, and end up searching for your website or app, they recognize you when they get there!
Be advised: not all fonts are free to use commercially. Many fonts are the intellectual property of someone else and you have to buy a license to use them in your own product. The good news is, there are a number of websites now that make that easy.
The color you pick is the basis for what your audience feels when they interact with your brand. What does color mean for your brand?
Original Post: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/branding-design-cory-hewett/