Branding is the art of aligning what you want people to think about your company with what people actually do think about your company. And vice-versa. – Jay Baer
All businesses and organizations can benefit from thinking about brand, since really, brand is the totality of how you/it/they are represented in the world. It’s feelings and visuals and messages all rolled into a ball.
The USEF just released their new branding, which includes a new logo, revamped website, and more. By changing their name to US Equestrian, they now feel like a more personal organization with an emotional tie to its members, rather than simply a governing body. To emphasize their new, friendlier, approachable brand they also rolled out a campaign they call “the Joy of Horse Sports”, featuring feel-good imagery highlighting the bond between horse and rider.
Branding is something I’m required to think about on a daily basis, since it’s part of my job. And I love it- branding is a mix of design and psychology that ticks off my greatest educational interests in college, and though it is exceptionally challenging to create a brand from scratch, building recognition through branding efforts is also exceptionally rewarding as well. It took me ages to come up with my own logo (always hardest designing for yourself!), but eventually settled on this design, which emulates my simple visual aesthetic. The circle hints at the aperture of a camera lens, but isn’t specific enough to discount the other types of design work I do- anything from wedding invitations to, you guessed it, logo design.
If you ever hire a designer for an identity project (or work on one yourself!), you know that the process of developing your visual identity is deeply personal. Not only do you want to somehow sum up the emotional values that make up you/your business of the present, but you also want to represent the aspirations you have for the future. Whether your goals are to become a household name, or the local go-to spot, a cohesive brand identity will never hold you back.
For the bloggers out there- what elements have you focused on to create your brand? How does your visual identity tie back to you? Does it use your eventing colors? Wedding colors? Did you make font choices or even naming decisions when you first created your blog/business/facebook page/etc. What branding challenges have you faced, in the past or currently?