Many times, people think that branding ends after the brand identity is established. In fact, the logo, color palette, and other basic brand information is just the beginning of the design process. Touchpoints are the items that use the brand identity to promote the business. This can include business cards, a website, icons, stationary, signage, product design, packaging, and any other collateral that the business might need.
It's important that while designing the touchpoints, you keep the brand identity firm and at the forefront - you want all your collateral items to enhance and build upon your brand, not confuse it. Everything needs to work together and communicate the big idea of your business.
Many online business don't think they need stationary, as they operate mainly by email. But I always recommend at least having a business card and basic stationary design. This way, you're prepared for networking opportunities or to meet a client in person. It's also nice to be able to to send actual mail or a nice note during a project.
You want to keep your stationary design simple, but eye-catching, especially in a creative field. Business cards are a great way to stand out at a conference or event and it's important to consider the card material, color, and finish.
Product design and packaging
If you're in a product-based business, it's important that both your products and your packaging match your overall brand. (You can always design your brand around a product if you already have one.) This ensures that your product looks good and fits with your business strategy - and it can help you sell more.
When I design a brand, I'm almost always designing collateral items as well. It makes a lot of sense to design at least the most important collateral items along with your branding so that you have those in place for your first clients. Some of the most popular collateral items include Welcome Packets to help you explain how you work, marketing material for events, social media graphics, and blog post graphics. I've also designed t-shirts, packaging, merchandise, resumes, and menus.
Each and every touchpoint is important to the overall brand - even if it seems like just a small thing. In order to build trust and brand recognition, consistent branding is important. Of course, there will be times when you want to think outside the original box - maybe you're launching a big new project (I am!) or adding a new branch to your business that you want to stand out. In those cases, a designer can help you use the brand identity you have already established and expand it to cover your new venture, while still maintaining the brand recognition that you've built.
Along with The Branding Process outline, I'm going to give you a look into how I use this process to design a brand step-by-step from initial consult to launch. Because I don't want to share any of my client's amazing brands before they are complete, I'm going to be walking you through the design of a business I created: Harvest, an eatery and market.
For Harvest's touchpoints, I created both merchandise, in the form of bags, shirts, mugs, and gift certificates, as well as staionary, including business cards, a menu design, and packagining. Each item uses the fonts, colors, and logo (or alternatives) to build upon the Harvest brand.
Each of these touchpoints builds upon the others to create a consistent brand identity. Other touchoints could include a sign for the store, class information, produce and merchandise displays, and graphics for social media. As the business grows, these items and others can be added as needed and use the items already designed as a starting point.
Lemon and the Sea is a brand and website design company located in Richmond, VA. I specialize in making the branding process personal. I work with creative women who have a heart to serve others grow their businesses so they can focus on what's most important - family. I work closely with small businesses to help them dig into what makes them unique, share their vision, and build a business that genuinely represents who they are.