Touchpoints & Interaction: Develop Look and Feel

by | Jul 30, 2018

EXPAND YOUR VISUAL IDENTITY TO OTHER AREAS?

This article continues examining, in depth, the parts of the branding process that I introduced in my e-book, 17 Mistakes that Can Harm Your Brand. In the book, I outline five phases of the branding process:

Now that you have finalized your identityyou’re ready to move to the second part of the fourth phase—develop your look and feel. You might think that some of the initial work for this phase was completed for the visual strategy presentation.This isn’t necessarily the case, however. While some of the initial work might set you on the path, you need to see if the work that you created still falls in line with any changes or modifications made in the previous part.

Previously—especially during the Identity & Visualization phase—you focused on identifying the areas in which your brand will interact with customers. We’ve talked about touchpointsand how you need to keep them in mind as you set out to establish your brand. Developing your look and feel will allow you to begin to see your brand, as a whole, come together. No matter what brand you have there are essential elements you need to know and design for.

Business Cards

Most often the CEO of any business will place this at the top of their list of items needed, hence the reason it’s at the top of our list. The business card, however, while it’s one of the easiest touchpoints to create, is one that should be saved until later. You need to hold back the urge to start producing your business cards because as soon as you hand them to your team, they will start handing them out. When this happens at this stage it is often followed by something like “Here’s my card. Just keep in mind that the site isn’t up and running yet.” Your company has just been labeled as not ready. When you tell someone you’re not ready, you’re telling them not to think about you for a while. Is your email address even setup? All the points of contact mentioned on the business card need to be up and running before you hand them out.

Stationary

Your brand eventually will need to send out letters or correspondence. How will your brand look and interact in these instances? What sizes do you use? Letter size? Great—now is that American letter size (8.5″ x 11,” ANSI A) or is it standard European (8.3″ x 11.7,” ISO A4)? What about envelopes? Will you use a standard #10 envelope or does your brand warrant another type of envelope, perhaps a #10 policy envelope? How is your brand represented on these items? Does your brand need different envelopes at different sizes?

Website

Does your website maintain your brand? Internet traffic is one of the most important ways for customers to interact with your brand. Because of this, if your brand does not have a website when your customers are looking for you, you will lose out on their business. If members of your C-level team are itching to get business cards out, you need to have your website ready. Your website is not an area that can be rushed too quickly. A poorly conceptualized site or launching a “good-enough” site will provide your customers with a potentially confusing message later. Once a customer is used to something they will have a hard time accepting changes to your UX or UI later.

Packaging

What will your packaging say about your brand? If you ship your product, are you just throwing it in the cheapest cardboard box you can, or are you creating an experience for your customer? Are you selling your product in different regions or countries that require additional languages? Will your package design work for these other areas? Are there translation requirements that impact your packaging?

If you don’t provide packaging, then this places even more importance on other areas, such as your website if the customer downloads the goods.

Collateral

What does all of your collateral look like when it is combined together? If your sales team sends out a combination of sales letter, product sheet(s), a brochure all placed in an envelope with their business card, do all the parts fit together while maintaining your brand visually?

Physical Space

Does your brand need to occupy a physical location, perhaps for retail purposes or internal brand culture? How will your brand fill this space?

Employee Usage

Do the employees that represent your brand with the world need a uniform or a branded vehicle? How will your brand look and function at these levels?

All areas where your brand interacts with its customers needs to be planned out and designed to ensure consistent brand treatment. What area do you think you brand need to focus the most in getting your brand ready? Let us know below.

  Ideas To Make Your Brand Better Now:

  • Identify and establish the look and feel for your brand elements.
  • Begin reaching out and working with vendors to help understand what can and can’t be done.
TERMS click to expand or collapse

Brand Culture: The way employees “live” the brand values and use the brand to enhance shared opportunities, attitudes, and values. Brand culture often affects and enhances a customer’s brand experience.

Brand Touchpoints: The various methods in which a brand interacts with others. Touchpoints include the people, places, or items that enable communication between your brand and customers and potential customers.

UX: Short for user experience, relates to the overall experience a user has through a touchpoint. UX is typically used when referring to online touchpoints, such as a website or a mobile app.

UI: Short for User Interface, relates to the means by which the user and a computer system interact.

Brand Touchpoints: The various methods in which a brand interacts with others. Touchpoints include the people, places, or items that enable communication between your brand and customers and potential customers.

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