What are core assets, and how do you use them for a better brand strategy?
Let’s be honest. Starting a business can be extremely overwhelming (and exciting!), especially when you consider the intricate details that need to be put in place. Your brand is one of those details — perhaps the most crucial — so you want to get it right and make sure your brand strategy is on point! Your logo is typically the first thing people will see or notice, so it’s important to make a good first impression. But, your logo is not the only thing you need!
We talk about “core assets” as it relates to our branding packages. It’s easy for us to get lost in the jargon and technical terms because we do this all day, every day, so we want to make sure that we had something for you, Boss Babe, that makes it entirely easy to understand the pieces of your beautiful brand. We’ll be addressing your core assets in this post, and how to use them to create a better brand experience & a better brand strategy.
The concept is quite simple: be consistent, and maintain consistency. Make sure that your visual brand — your logo + core assets — fit with your business’ “personality.” Consistency = familiarity, which is key to maintaining trust in your brand.
How we define core assets
You’ll find that every other designer may have a different definition of “core assets.” For us — as our focus is cohesion & consistency — we define those core assets to be your main logo, sublogos, typography, color palette, and pattern or digital paper elements. These pieces of your brand are crucial to maintaining a consistent look across the board.
We’ve created a brandboard here so that we can show you some examples of each core asset, talk about how they’re used, and why they could be important to have! (PS – we include brandboards for custom orders — they’re super nice to show off to your family, friends, & followers when your brand is complete, but they also serve a practical purpose — your brand at a glance, so you can use it as a guide to make future decisions!)
AKA, your primary logo, or your main logo.
This is the main piece of your visual brand, and the thing (out of all other items) people should be most familiar with. This should be the central part of your visual brand strategy.
Your logo should be prominently displayed on your website, your business cards, and if you have a storefront, you need to have signage that displays your logo. The more places your logo is in, the more familiar people become with it. The more people familiar with your logo, the more likely people are to remember you, recall your business name, or mention you to their friends. Familiarity creates trust, and trust in a brand creates buy-in. You need buy-in. Buy-in is what happens whenever people stand behind you, your product or your offering, and your business as a whole. Buy-in happens before conversion. Conversion = a sale, or that thing you want people to do. (For most businesses, it’s purchasing.)
AKA, your alternate logo, your submark, your abbreviated logo
Your Color Palette
AKA, brand colors, color guide, hex codes
Your color palette is a reference tool. It’s a helping hand!
We prepare our color palettes based on the design itself and the colors that are contained within the design. The cute little color bubbles on our brand board are there for visual interest and act as a guideline for choices you may make in your branded materials if you opt to create those materials yourself.
It’s also just as much a guide for us. If we’re creating your materials, we’ll need to ensure the prominent colors in your brand are consistent throughout.
The actual color palette we provide you, though, contains hex codes. There are many ways to identify the precise shade being used — RGB, CYMK, Pantone colors, etc. We choose to use hex codes (short for hexadecimal codes) because of our involvement in web design. When we update colors for a website design, all we have to do is drop in that six-digit code, and voila! It’s matched up perfectly!
There are plenty of awesome resources out there that provide conversions for other color modes, just in case you need them. This one is my favorite.
AKA, your fonts, the text in your logo
This is also important reference information. While we are happy to include the font names for you, and make suggestions for additional fonts in your brand so that you maintain cohesion as best as possible, we can’t actually include the font files for you. (Licensing + legal, y’all. We adhere!)
We like to include upper & lowercase letters on brandboards, because we think that it serves as a guide for the general aesthetic of your brand, as well as an easy way to match up fonts.
It’s very important to note that the fonts you use in your brand — or rather, the ones that you choose to pair with your brand if you’re not able to spring for the actual fonts — could make or break your brand. It may feel like a minor detail to you, but it’s one of those *things* that your audience maybe can’t put their finger on, but something just isn’t quite right. I even wrote a blog post about it here.
I digress! We highly recommend licensing the fonts for yourself if you intend to make any of your own marketing materials (like brochures, cards, etc.). If that’s not possible, we recommend touching base with us — we’ll chat with you about it and help you come to the best possible solution with free font choices.
But really. Consistency. Buy the fonts, y’all.
Your Patterns + Digital Papers
AKA, what? I don’t know what that is.
Patterns and/or digital papers are probably the most confusing for people. We think that they’re really important.
Our pattern elements + digital papers are … well, digital. They’re prepared, typically, as .jpg files.
Patterns, as you may have guessed, repeat. Digital papers do not.
The pattern files we create are excellent for a few reasons! You can:
- use them on your website as accents
- use them on social media for an instantly branded post
- send to print for things like wrapping paper or tissue paper to add to the unpacking experience for physical goods
- use them to add a bit of visual interest to printed materials
Digital papers are equally as awesome. We wouldn’t recommend sending to print, as they wouldn’t be seamless, but you can definitely use them on your website, and we highly recommend using them on social media.
We’re ready to help you rock your brand! Are you ready to get those core assets in place for a better brand strategy? We’d love for you to get in touch with us – click the button below, and we can set up a time to chat about your needs + make some recommendations!