Following on from Part One of the Branding Guide, explore how creating a brand identity works at Envato!
Getting to Know Visual Identity & Assets
First impressions matter. The next step is establishing a visual identity to reflect your branding. Your visual identity on your Portfolio and Profile and Profile is the first thing that customers will see and if this was a shopfront, it would be the first thing customers would see in your shop. This comprises of elements such as a logo, imagery, colors, designs, typography, the way your products are presented, how your story is visually communicated.
It is important to get to the heart of these and challenge – how do they connect with your brand, how are they different from others and why should customers be loyal to you?
Ben Matthews, Director of Design at Adobe Spark, recommends collecting inspiration wherever you can – try Pinterest or creating a mood board to figure out what it all means. Start with what you know and feel, then let your visual identity evolve from there. Research existing brands with similar products and think about what you like and don’t like about them – he states, “decide how you want to resonate with them and continually tie that back to your core values.”
Customer experiences on Envato are obviously very visual (even on AudioJungle!). This is because all content, whether it’s accessed via the Web, mobile, or tablet devices, is predominantly accessed and absorbed visually by users. Users are attracted to visual elements such as color, shape, typography and words you use to name your content. Customers can also very quickly form an opinion (whether right or wrong) about you and your products by how visually appealing and well designed your brand is.
If you’re serious about competitive advantage, it’s crucial that your branding is as high-quality and authentic to you, as possible. This may mean getting someone on your team to focus entirely on your brand, or seeking external help in the form of hiring someone to help you with your Envato brand. Either way, think beyond creating something that’s merely appealing to your personal taste and preference and instead, create what captures your character and what will appeal to your audience.
Getting Started with 4 Brand Ingredients:
Do some research and get start your visual identity using these brand ingredients: Logo, Colors, Storytelling, and Imagery.
Logo: Create a logo for your Portfolio and Profile and Profile that conveys your product and what you do. It will help to stick the imagery of your business into your customers and target audience minds.
Storytelling: Tell your story. Customers are emotional, vulnerable and passionate people looking for connection in their everyday lives, including their products. Telling your story can mean the difference between your product and someone else’s – understanding your context, where your from and why you do what you do can be an extremely powerful marketing tool.
Imagery: Explore ways to style your Portfolio and Profile using imagery and photos of your products, how they are made, how they can be used and what the quality is like. Try and sell your products by using beautiful imagery, GIFS or capturing feedback on an image.
Color: “Leonard Kim from Influence Tree believes that “your color palette needs to fit what you are trying to convey – If you’re promoting a luxury product, you may want to use blacks, golds, and silvers. If you have a financial product, you may want to incorporate greens and golds.”
At the root of it all, consistency is key. A brand’s visual identity will help to create connections with customers but in order to retain them, it is important to consistently deliver the quality, design and value that is true with your brand.
Tips for Envato Authors
Although there’s no magical formula to perfecting branding, here are some tips that may help you as an Envato Author as you consider your own brand development:
- Consistency Everywhere. Think about branding around the world from companies such as Nike, Coca-Cola, Apple, and McDonald’s etc. When their brands are seen, they are immediately recognized. Be sure to not only have a consistent visual identity, but use that same identity everywhere! So not only on Envato, but on your own websites, business cards, via social media channels and everywhere else!
- Research all the Envato homepages and search result pages. What branding works? What stands out to you and is easily recognizable? Chances are, if you think it stands out, most of the other customers will think so too.
- “I’m a great coder or musician, visuals don’t matter, right?” – Wrong! Customers often associate high-quality visuals with trust and professionalism. If an Author can make an effort to create/add highly effective visual branding for example, it shows that they care about their products, and the experience they want to provide their customers. Provide a great experience with as high a standard as possible for your potential (and existing/returning) customers.
Great Branding Examples on Envato Market
Here are just a few different examples that highlight effective or unique branding across Envato. You may be able to find even more (or better!) examples yourself, in which case, we’d love you to post them to the comments in this thread as you discover them!
It’s important, however, to study such examples as a means of learning and applying what you learn to create something entirely different (as opposed to stealing or copying ideas). Your brand needs to be unique to you and your products.
Keeping it Consistent!
Author, Solopine does a great job in communicating their earthy and clean branding through their logo, consistent colors and style. You can see this through their use of imagery, colors on their profile page and custom icon thumbnails adapted from their logo on their portfolio page.
Powerful Item Previews
For video items, there is nothing more powerful than watching the item live in-action. Item Previews that clearly shows the author’s brand, how the item works and executed thoughtfully (with the use of the author’s logo, relevant music and text overlays) using the items top features reflects an author’s quality and professionalism as leaders in the industry.
You can see this through Author, Pixflow and their Sand Pack: Dust Sand Storm Disintegration Effect item preview. This item preview utilizes music and text to communicate how the item works – applying modes and sand pack’s top features.
Similarly, you can also see this applied to various forms of video such as product promotion and video displays. Book Promotion by Author, VisualSuperhero does an amazing job in showcasing their item in a very clear and simple way, using music and close-up shots of the details from beginning to end.
Likewise, Mosaic Photo Reveal by Author yeaboy shows how easy it is to create a mosaic image and for special occasions. The author uses text to highlight its top features, music to show its progression and the ways you can customize the item to suit different sizes and shapes.
Your profile page is a perfect place to tell your story and let customers get to know your brand. Adding a short bio or description helps a customer understand more about you, your company/business, your items and the roots of where it all comes from. Utilizing this space could mean the difference between a customer choosing you over others, as you’ve made an effort to connect with customers that enter your profile – it’s also a great place to share your slogan or company message and help customers remember you!
Authors, Pressmaster and catanis do a great job in communicating their business in a simple and succinct way, giving an insight into their work, their professional background and how they source inspiration.
Visual Branding: GIFs & Graphics
The best forms of visual branding are those that communicate an author’s quality, how the item works and what makes them different. Author, sevenstyles creates amazing graphics on their profile page that reflects their branding and sells their product! You can see this in their item Impressionist Photoshop Action.
Social Media Marketing
As an Author, showing that you/your company have social media channels available adds an element of legitimacy, popularity and professionalism. Customers have another platform to see the items that they are interested in and how they are used in other contexts or by other past customers and how to stay up to date on all their items!
Author, Premiumilk provides options for customers to follow their Envato profile, rate their items, view their tutorials on YouTube/Vimeo and like them on Facebook using text boxes and icons.
Similarly, Author nicdark welcomes customers to follow their Facebook, Twitter, Dribble and YouTube pages. They have also connected their social media accounts to the social profiles section of their profile page.
Assets to Enhance the Customer Experience
Authors that have a strong understanding of the customer experience and how they move through a profile and/or item pages can better target their customers at the right time, more often and much more effectively.
Author, adigold provides an ‘easy music search’ tool on their profile page to help customers find what they’re looking for across genre, mood, usage and instruments!
Similarly, Author Pressmaster utilizes links embedded in images and buttons on their profile page to connect customers to their popular collections of photos, their newest, trending and favorite music tracks and seasonal content/topics, making it easy for customers to navigate across the author’s various items/markets.
Author Thomaskovar also shows customers how easy it is to customize their Neon Sign Kit in four quick steps and also includes some testimonials/ recommendations from past customers on their profile page.
What Makes You Unique?
This is what wraps up your overall branding. Tie all your elements together and make sure they all fit and speak to one another. Are your colors, style, images, wording resonating? As we saw with Solopine, it is important to have consistency as this will help create a brands identity, however – it must also be unique to your personality.
Look at how fun and playful this branding is by Author, ThemeWoodmen. It has a playful logo and presence, which is translated across their icon thumbnails of chopped tree trunks on their portfolio page. Think of ways your items and profile can be memorable like this one and help customers connect with not just your items, but your brand!
Author Laborator also has a strong ability to connect their branding with core elements in their profile and items – while still being clever and unique! Their ‘laboratory’ theme of their brand is reflected in their logo, colors, shown on their icon thumbnails and item names.
They’ve also included a cool periodic table on their profile page, showing a ‘Table of Themes’ adding to their overall science-like branding.
For more detailed help with how to get started with branding yourself or your company, check out the articles and resources below from all around the Envato network:
- 10 Essential Characteristics of the Best Small Business Brands
- How to Design a New Brand Identity for Your Business
- How to Write a Great Tagline For Your Business (+Workable Examples)
- How to Discover Your Ideal Social Media Voice
- New Course: Designing and Building a Brand
- How to Create Your Own Brand Guidelines
- How to Grow Your Freelance Brand Without Losing Your Sanity
- How to Create a Profitable Brand for Your Freelancing Business
- Creating a Successful Authority Blog: A Complete Guide to Branding
- EnvatoTuts > Logo & Identity Design
- EnvatoStudio > Logo Design & Branding Services
- GraphicRiver > Affordable, Stock Logos
Show us Your Favorite Branding on Envato
We’d love to see and hear about your favorite branding on Envato!
Post images of high-quality branding that you’ve stumbled across that you love. Likewise, consider sharing how you approach branding and also use this opportunity to get help from fellow community members on how you might brand your profile, portfolio and item pages on the forums!
Missed Part One of the Branding Guide? Get to know the basics here.