[intro]In this Guide, you'll learn all about how to create branding for your business and how to use it to it's best potential not only on your EKM online shop, but a whole host of other places too. [/intro]
There’s more than creating a logo to make a brand. If you’re still struggling creating a logo of your own, or you’ve already had a logo created but not much more, you need to define the aesthetic style of your brand; by this we mean standard colours and fonts that are employed to make that brand truly unique to you. If you look at some examples of household named brands, you’ll recognise that the logo is always accompanied by the same colours, which helps subconsciously reinforce that brand. For example, McDonalds’ famous Yellow Arch is always against a red background and Asda’s logo is always bold white capital letters against a bright green background.
Your colour scheme
It’s recommended that you select no more than four colours maximum when formulating the look of your brand, and ideally, less than that. Brands with less colours involved in them are more impactful and a lot easier to recognise. If you’ve already had a logo designed for your EKM online shop, you may want to check it to ensure that it meets these guidelines, and if not, amend it until it does so.
When you’re deciding what colours you would like to use in your branding, it’s important to select the right shades and note down the hex codes for each. If you’re not sure what a hex code is, it’s a unique code assigned to colour that begins with a hashtag ‘#’ and is followed by a combination of six letters and numbers. This Guide on our Support Centre explains more about how to find the hex codes for different colours to ensure that the colour scheme of your EKM online shop matches your branding perfectly.
Logos and Glyphs
You may notice that many household brands have different versions of their logo, and these are for use in different places. One version of the logo will consist of the company name and will as a result, be a horizontal image. The second version, which is usually square in shape, will feature just a symbol or a single letter from the original logo, and this is what’s known as a glyph.
In terms of online shops, a glyph is commonly used as the Favicon and as the profile image on social media, whilst the logo image is used in the header of the homepage and all other pages. If you’ve had a logo designed for you already, but you don’t have a glyph version, it’s worth getting in contact with your designer to have one created. On the other hand, if you don’t yet have a logo or a glyph, this Guide will take you through the different resources you can use to have these created for your EKM online shop.
As an example of what you need to have created, click here to see EKM’s Brand Guidelines page where we’ve documented the brand colours, all of the different versions and specified the rules that must be followed for our logo to be featured elsewhere.
Protecting your Logo
When you have created your branding, you may want to have it copyrighted. This is very affordable and can be done via The UK Copyright Service website. You’ll need to click here to register your work, and the FAQs (frequently asked questions) page can be found here. Obviously this depends on the name of your EKM online shop, but if it involves the use of a name, title or phrase and you’re not sure if you can copyright it, you may want to view this page which should answer your questions.
Even early on in the life of your EKM online shop, once your branding has been decided, finalised and produced, you need to consider getting some staff branding together, even if it’s just yourself and you have no staff yet! This is so that when you create photos and videos to promote and embed on your EKM online shop, you are wearing branded clothing which looks a lot more professional than ordinary clothing and creates the illusion of your company being a lot ‘bigger’ than what it actually is.
A simple branded t-shirt or polo shirt is very cost-effective, and can be worn to events to raise awareness of your brand. This is especially encouraged if you take our advice in the ‘Business Networking’ part of this Toolbox and regularly get involved with events, charities and causes in your local area, as you can easily add your branding into photos and videos just by standing there. This will help cement your brand in people’s minds.
Another very cost effective way of raising awareness of your brand and your products is to brand your vehicle. If your car is in acceptable condition - that being clean and well maintained - then you should use your own vehicle as another advertising platform for your products. Whether you have a physical shop or not, advertising the domain name of your online shop and your logo on your vehicle can:
- Encourage new customers to your online shop;
- Encourage new followers on social media;
- Provide an eye catching backdrop when you’re using it in within photos and videos;
- Enable you to reach a wider audience;
- Advertise your brand within the local area (where you’ll be seen a lot);
- Make you look a lot more professional when you turn up at events.
In terms of branding, you don’t necessarily have to paint or vinyl wrap the entire vehicle. Obviously, you can if you want to, but if your budget is minimal, then you can brand your vehicle with custom-made vinyl stickers. If you do your research online, there are many places online that can produce vinyl stickers of a specific size for you which are both weatherproof and won’t damage the paintwork of your car.
A branded vehicle and a branded staff member driving that vehicle automatically make an impact and look professional wherever they go. Obviously, when you’re driving around in your own branded vehicle, you need to remember that you represent your company, and so you need to drive safely. Park your vehicle in prominent, high traffic areas where possible and if you expect to travel any long distances, don’t be afraid to use your branded vehicle for some social media content.
At this point, you should have:
- Defined your colour scheme, logo and glyph;
- Protected your logo if necessary;
- Purchased some branded clothing and considered branding your own vehicle.
[contact] If you need our help with your EKM online shop, contact your Ecommerce Expert or the Customer Support Team, who will be able to point you in the right direction. We're open from 8am-6pm weekdays and 9am-5.30pm weekends. If you'd like to suggest a feature or an upgrade on any of the EKM platforms, please let us know on the EKM Suggestions Board. If you have a non-account specific question to ask the EKM Team, join us in EKM Community. If you need some inspiration for your EKM online shop, listen to our podcast on iTunes and Spotify.[/contact]