Consistent branding not only increases brand recognition, it also saves you a lot of time. In other words, when seeing marketing materials and assets, customers should know straight away who you are without having to look at your name. We all know that the Swoosh is Nike and the Apple is… well Apple. Your brand identity must be strong and Canva is a great tool to help you achieve that.
Canva is a great marketing tool for startups and small businesses on a budget. It is intuitive, affordable and makes it very simple to create new marketing assets for your company. Canva is very easy to use, has a low learning curve and covers all the basics a small business needs.
When we say it is affordable, we are not kidding around. A yearly subscription to Canva Pro costs $120, far below the $600/year a Adobe Cloud subscription costs. The software lets you design your very own designs from scratch or use premade templates. Everything from social media posts, to newsletter, brochures and business cards, the opportunities are endless.
What consistent brand identity means?
Creating a consistent brand identity and a strong branding means making sure your brand is recognizable instantly. Your audience should not need to look at your brand name to know that your logo or marketing assets are yours. Creating a strong brand identity does not happen overnight and relies heavily on consistency.
If you change your color palette too often, it will make it harder for your audience to associate a particular color theme to you. Therefore, you need to keep your font, colors, image style, patterns and tone of voice consistent in everything you do.
Again, you want people to know it is you without having to look up your name. Once you decided on a branding that perfectly suits your business, it is critical that you maintain your brand integrity in everyday use.
Canva is really helpful in creating a consistent brand identity. Any marketing assets you need, they will have a design matching the required dimensions. While it may be tempting to use their premade templates, they make it harder to create a consistent brand identity. Indeed, they usually come with a specific font and colors. Unless you completely change the template to make it fully on-brand with your logo, font, color theme, stay away from them.
Key components of a strong brand
Your brand represents your company, the people within as well as your values and mission. Therefore, it needs to have strong foundations. Your branding and creative assets will be translating what your brand is about to your audience. Thus, you need to work on the former before starting to spend time (and money) and the latter. Below is a list of five key components of a strong brand:
- A clear why: Before you create a strong brand, you need a strong why. What is your brand about, what do you believe in, why is the raison d’etre of your brand? When you articulate what your brand is about and what it brings to the table, customers are better able to form an emotional connection with it. A great mission and statement shows what you are passionate about.
- A strong brand promise: What sets your business apart? What do you do better than other companies? How are you fulfilling your why with what you are doing? Your brand promise will set you apart from your competitors and convince your audience to buy your product instead of theirs.
- A specific target market: Picking a specific group to target allows to narrow down the effort you’ll do to reach that group. As a small business, you cannot stretch yourself to thin, target everybody without being able to offer a more personalized experience. Study that audience to ensure you’re in alignment with how they shop, eat, breathe, and maybe even sleep. Then will you be better able to answer their specific needs.
- A consistent brand identity: See the Swoosh, think of Nike. The iPhone, think of Apple. Those brands have stayed largely unchanged since their inception and that helps to foster a strong brand. Deciding on branding materials and consistently using them will help establish your brand.
- A clear marketing strategy: You need to know where you are going and how you will get to that destination. That is why you need business objectives and goals as well as a marketing strategy that will help you achieve them.
Now that you have the foundations of what makes a strong brand, we need to delve more into how to create a consistent brand identity.
Get down with branding basics
If you have already decided on a brand identity for your business, make sure you have covered everything that needs to be. If you are still unsure, below is a brief list of what you need to create a consistent brand identity.
- A memorable name: Your target audience must be able to remember your brand name easily. Pronunciation should be easy as well. Make sure the name you pick does not mean anything offensive in another language. Check that the name is available on all the social media platforms you plan to use so that you have the same username across all.
- Color palette: You need to pick a color palette for your brand. It should be simple, one to three colors. Knowing a bit about the emotions conveyed by certain colors can help you select the right ones. A lot of color psychology is intuitive and can help to create an emotional connection if your audience.
- Branded visuals: You will have to decide on a logo that is representative of your brand and makes it easily recognizable. People must match your logo to your brand without thinking. Other branded visuals include fonts, image style, social media banners, etc.
- A brand voice: How you speak with and to your targeted audience matters. Your brand’s tone of voice will help create a strong brand image, a specific brand persona and make it easier to connect with your targeted audience.
Branded assets with Canva
Canva is a great marketing tool when it comes to creating a consistent brand identity, especially if you are not a graphic designer or a pro at Photoshop. Although it is better to stay away from premade templates to create fully on-brand creative assets, you can still use those templates for inspiration. Below is a list of assets that you can create on Canva for your brand:
- Business cards
- Social media graphics
- Social media covers and banners
- Social ads
- Posters and letterheads
- Branded stickers
Now, how do you keep a consistent brand identity throughout all of those, ensuring that all members of your team know exactly what colors, font and designs to use? Well, that is our next point!
Canva’s brand kit
When you sign up to Canva Pro, you get access to the brand kit. It is a resource that lets you put all your branding assets in one place and help you keep your designs consistent.
You can add your brand logo, create your brand color palette that you will be able to refer to each time you create a design and upload your very own brand fonts. Not only will you have easy access to your brand assets, but your team will too.
You can indeed invite members of your team to access your brand kit. Therefore, they can also use your brand assets when creating new designs and produce designs that fit your brand. Indeed, when creating a new asset, you will have access to your brand kit on the left side of the screen, thus making it easier to insert a logo or use your font or color palette. It can be hard to always remember the color codes of your color palette. However having them saved in Canva makes everything much easier.
You can even create your very own templates, which you can then use later on for other designs or campaigns. Your templates will already be on-brand, with your logo, colors and own font, making it much easier and faster to amend for a new project.