5 ways to step up your brand in 2017

By Adobe Spark
Trends and insights

From time to time, we invite industry influencers to write a guest post on our blog. We turned to our friends from @AdobeSpark to share their design tips to help you stand out from the competition.

It takes only three to five seconds to form a first impression. If your business doesn’t capture attention at first glance, not only are you missing out on brand recognition but on sales too.

If you haven’t felt your brand is quite at the level you envisioned, use the new year to step it up. From messaging strategy to visual content creation, here are five ways to make sure you’re delivering consistent, on-brand content in 2017.

Build your brand message around your "why?" 

People want to feel like their purchase matters. When they connect with a brand, they tend to connect more to a particular attribute or promise that made them feel good. Focus your brand communication around the "why".

For instance, which sounds more purpose driven?

a) Our office chairs are sleek and comfortable.

b) Made from 100% recycled materials, our office chairs are great for the environment as well as your back.

Even if Option B is more expensive, customers are likely to choose their chair because that brand statement conveys that the chairs are quality while being environmentally conscious.

Remember it’s about helping people connect to your brand in ways that go beyond your product or service. Build that emotional connection and you will stand out from your competitors.

Maintain brand consistency

Having a consistent aesthetic to your brand is essential to build recognition. Both your brand voice and visuals need to align. If your copy has a spunky, opinionated tone and your visuals have a soft vintage feel, you might be missing the mark. This process may be daunting, but it’s well worth it to leverage your brand growth. Brand consistency needs to be universal through your website, social media, advertising — every avenue your brand uses. The most important elements that help you communicate consistency are:

a) How many fonts you use: Keep your fonts to no more than three. Having too many will take away from your message. Make sure that what you use is legible, especially in smaller dimensions. You may choose to add more fonts to your collateral but only implement it for specific campaigns that require a slightly different aesthetic.

b) Your brand colors: Color is often a misunderstood brand tool that many dismiss. Color is actually quite powerful and helps captures people’s attention. Too many colors not only harm your brand recognition, but they can actually repel your audience. There is purchase power in color. In looking at the most recognizable brands out there, we know their colors: Coca-Cola is red, IBM is blue, Starbucks is green, and so on.

c) Your brand voice: The tone in which you communicate – both verbally and written –  needs to translate into each medium.

d) Create branded templates: Develop templates that will save you time and establish consistency. Using Adobe Spark saves you the headache of creating templates for every social media outlet with its intuitive resize function within the app. We’ve got you covered with new templates below. Access more templates here.

Leverage video in 2017

Not all trends are worth following, unless it aligns with your brand and/or there is a major shift in the industry. In 2016, brands saw more engagement through video than photographs. So, how can you tell your brand story on Twitter with more than 140 characters? Use video.

Adobe Spark not only helps you make stunning social media graphics, but you can easily create videos too. Upload video clips, images, add narration, and layer text to tell an animated story that’ll stop thumbs in their tracks.

The earlier you adopt video into your Twitter strategy, the higher your chances are of getting traction in 2017.

Here’s an example of a video an indie food publication made to bring one of its famed desserts to the screen:

 Ceramist Jessica Niello White used Spark Video to take potential customers inside her studio:

Get creative with your content

Sharing your brand story can be tricky. But if you start to leverage your visual content in a way the builds curiosity, humor, or excitement, you could increase your exposure. Here are some remixable design templates to get you started:

How about trying a visually connecting Tweet? These designs clearly connect to one another yet work as individual graphics. Tweet these one after the other so people can see the continuity.

Remix this template to make it your own  

Ask a fill-in-the-blank question. This can help you get insight on what words resonate with your target audience, plus it can be very engaging.

Remix this template to make it your own   

Did you know that you can create animated text using Adobe Spark? It can add curiosity and requires less content than a video. Try remixing these examples:

Remix this template to make it your own

Review and adapt

Branding is a constant action, not just a one-time job. As your business grows, it’s important to evaluate what has worked and what needs to change. Part of this process is based on customer’s responses. You may discover that certain aspects of your brand connect with your audience more than others. Having a conversation with your audience can also help you see what is working and takes the guesswork out of the process. Once you gather that information, cycle through the process from steps 1 – 4 above and review again. Applying these steps will set your brand up for success in 2017.

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