Stand out from the crowd with a strong brand identity

But for a lot of small business owners, brand identity is a daunting prospect, with many unsure about the design process and how they can create the perfect image that represents their business.

“Think about the type of company you have and what you are offering,” says Pietro Pagani, Creative Manager at Vistaprint.

“To stand out from the crowd, your image doesn’t have to be bold, bright and all guns blazing – it just has to be right for you and your target audience.”

Brand identity doesn’t have to warrant a huge investment either. For small business owners, you can follow a few simple steps to make your company stand out from the crowd.

A cleverly-designed logo is something that makes you instantly recognisable. Some of the world’s top companies, such as Coca Cola, Apple and Nike have branding down to a fine art – with a logo at the heart of this.

“Start by choosing a colour to represent your business,” says Pietro.

“This is very important, as it can give off the right or wrong vibe for your company. For example, if you work in the creative industry, you may want something bright and quirky. Or, if you are a lawyer or work in banking, you might want to go for neutral shades. What works for one brand will not necessarily work for others.”

Designing your own logo can be a quick and easy process, if you have the correct tools. Vistaprint offers a free logo design service on its website and, in just a few steps, you can create a professional logo that works for you and your business.

Creating a strong brand identity is one thing, but reaching out to the potential consumers you want to target is your next challenge and one of the most effective ways you can spread the word is by putting your brand on a business card.

These can be handed out whenever and wherever you are and having a great design is key. The more people who spot your card and take notice, the more they will know about you and your products or services.

The next step is to add on vital information such as name, what you do, address and contact details. Make sure this text is readable and not too small that people are straining their eyes while trying to find your telephone number. The font also needs to be clear and simple and you can bold key words to make them stand out.

“The front of a business card is the first thing people see, but perhaps try and utilise the space on the back,” says Pietro.

“Use this to highlight offers of customer testimonials. You could even include a picture of yourself to put a face to a name, if it’s relevant to your business. If you work in an industry where trust is important, such as estate agency, this could work well.”

Pietro also points out that choosing the correct paper is also vital when designing a business card. Opt for a thicker paper to express quality. It will also hold together better, as cards get placed in wallets, on the fridge and shoved in the bottom of people’s bags, so they can’t be too flimsy. In addition to this, remember that a gloss finish will give your card a sleek look.

As the UK’s leading business card specialist, Vistaprint has more than 5,000 professional designs to choose from, so you don’t have to have in-depth design knowledge to produce a strong brand identity.

Infinite customisation options mean you can make your card truly unique and the “logo-creation” tool can help you create a professional identity for your business from the comfort of your own home. There are more than 650 designs to start to build your logo from and colours can be adjusted to suit your taste. Alternatively, you can upload your own design.

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