When was the last time you considered your business’s brand? Visual branding is an essential component of a company’s overall marketing strategy, and its importance for motorcoach operators, tour operators, convention and visitors bureaus, destinations, and travel partners cannot be overstated.
Customers respond to the way your business looks, even if they don’t realize it. Investment in a professional, timely, and clean branding approach will pay off for your business tenfold. Here are a few tips to make sure your branding is helping you stay ahead of the competition.
Make Your Brand Timeless
Your brand should stand the test of time. Following trends or fads with your branding might look good in the short term, but it’s likely to appear dated a few years down the road. Choosing a branding approach that looks modern—not simply trendy—will ensure that your business looks relevant without resorting to gimmicks.
It’s important to note that making your brand look timeless does not mean that it can never change. In fact, a brand overhaul every five to 10 years is an essential part of effective marketing.
Your branding won’t do any good if it doesn’t remain consistent. That means maintaining the same visual package across all platforms: social media outlets, printed materials, vehicle wraps or graphics, website, business cards, etc. Mismatched branding can confuse customers, and it can subconsciously have a negative effect. Clients won’t associate your business with professionalism if the logo on your website is different than the one on your Facebook page, or if the wrap on your motorcoach doesn’t match the tour program that passengers are leafing through during their ride.
Always Use a Style Guide
Style guides are extremely important for maintaining your business’s visual brand. A style guide is a document that details specifics of the design and branding, such as colors, typefaces, and image sizes. A style guide lists usage rules for things such as logo specifications, precise color codes for digital or print media, and body copy and heading designations. It’s the best way to help your branding remain consistent at all times, especially if you plan on using contractors for design work in the future.
Hire a Professional
Don’t make the mistake of attempting to overhaul or improve your branding without the help of a professional; it will be well worth the investment to hire a professional graphic designer. Whether you choose a freelance designer or a larger design firm, allowing the professionals to envision a branding approach and bring it to life is your best bet for obtaining an effective and advantageous brand.
Visual branding may not be the first thing on your mind, but it’s very important for remaining relevant, dynamic, and professional in the eyes of your customers. Invest in great branding now, and you’ll see dividends pay off in the near future.
Jim Moul is a freelance writer based on the East Coast.