Let’s play a game.

Close your eyes, and think of three likeable, well-known brands. Now, say one thing that you would associate with each brand.

If you thought of Apple you probably envisioned their iconic logo or their sleek and simplistic designs, or said to yourself, “Think Different.” If you thought of Nike, you probably thought of Michael Jordan or the classic “Just Do It!” motto.

These things are all aspects of a great brand, and not reflective of the actual product sold; this is the difference between a product and a brand.

The strength of your brand greatly affects the strength of your success. The world’s most affordable and desirable product would flop if it were associated with a weak or dislikable brand.

So, what is it that makes an effective brand? Here are a few things to keep in mind when branding your company:

Recognition

Being able to pick out a brand from a lineup is the first step in gaining a customer’s loyalty and repeat business. A good way to set your company apart from the clutter is with an easily recognizable logo. Make sure that your logo is simple and original—having a logo too loud or too similar to an existing brand can cannibalize your marketing efforts.

Appropriate tone

The “feel” of your branding sets the tone for the client-company relationship during initial introduction. Make sure that the tone you’re setting matches your customer’s reasons for interacting with your brand. If you’re aim is to attract a younger crowd, create a brand that seems “hip & trendy.” If you’re aim is to create a 5-star restaurant, create a brand that is sleek and sophisticated. An individual seeking a fancy restaurant would be put off my obnoxious fonts or loud colors, while a hip teenager would be put off by dark, professional looking tones.

Consistency

Your logo, storefront, website and other visible collateral should incorporate a similar color scheme that sells the feel you’ve chosen for your company. Once you’ve established who you are within the industry, it’s important to keep your brand moving in that direction. While repositioning your brand for strategic purposes is sometimes unavoidable, it is important to originally make an informed strategy for presenting your brand and communicating with your target audiences.

Effective brands are not born overnight. In fact, the biggest and most successful brands have come about as a result of years of professional research, strategy formulation and trial & error. The first step in ensuring your brand is headed in the right direction is to have an established inbound marketing firm analyze your visual branding and brand presence, both online and in the minds of your relevant target audiences.

Get a free Branding Audit from Digital Flavor for an online marketing analysis to see how successful your brand could be today!