You’ve got your logo. You’ve got a website, a colour palette, custom-embroidered polos – isn’t that job done on branding?
Nope. That’s the housekeeping done. Now it’s time to grow your brand identity with brand artefacts.
What is a brand artefact?
If your logo is a memory-jogger that reminds people who you are and what you stand for, brand artefacts are the next step. It’s a long-life representation of you. Every time you create a big piece of content or a useful tool on your site, you’re building a collection of artefacts that represents your brand.
Say you’re an estate agent. You might build a seriously useful mortgage calculator for first-time buyers that takes into account lifestyle outgoings, so young people can see if they can afford to buy while maintaining the life they enjoy. What that says about your brand: you understand your customer, you think buying shouldn’t be painful and you want to help people even if they’re not paying you.
Perk of the work: lovely SEO content. Not only does this give you a shot at ranking organically for search terms that could generate leads for your business; it also shows off your brand when someone searches specifically for you.
If someone’s having a nosey about the internet to see if you’re a good guy, that calculator in your search results represents the kind of business you are. This builds the mythos surrounding your brand. It will also gain you valuable inbound links gained naturally through producing great content.
Brand artefacts for getting started
This is what you MUST have as a brand. If you’re getting started or doing a rebrand, you’ll begin here. Internal groundwork (documentation of values and tone of voice, for example) first, then the customer-facing visual representation of those things.
- Values – what you stand for as a business
- Tone of voice – how you portray your business’s personality
- Logo and colour palette – a representation of your business
This level of brand artefact shows you exist, no more. You’re ready to start appearing to the world.
Brand artefacts for personality
Cement your differences from competitors with the extra-mile stuff that highlights the tone of voice – but remember: tone is not just words.
- Proprietary image bank – your own photography that means you don’t have to rely on stock that makes you look like every other business
- Custom graphics – unique icons and graphical images in your own style
- Social media tone – the patter and personality that you build on social media
This level of brand artefact tells people what you’re like. If they land on your site, you’ll be showing what a customer can expect from you.
Brand artefacts for growth
The brand artefacts that get your business shared and featured in the press: pieces of content that start to speak for your brand.
Just as a factor for your brand search results, this type of content acts as a signpost that you’re practising what you preach as a business.
- Evergreen content – content or tools that don’t age (i.e. aren’t topical) that can potentially keep driving people to your site for years
- Big studies or articles on wide-reach topics – these can capture new-related searches and show you’re in touch with relevant issues
- App – an app can be a value-add for your customers, improve your service or attract new users
This level of brand artefact proves you’re a force to be reckoned with. It takes your business out into the world.
Brand artefacts grow your business
Whatever stage your business is at, brand artefacts show the world who you are. Leave it at a logo and some colours, and you’re taking a ‘build it and they’ll come’ approach. Which won’t work.
Ready to take your brand to the next level? Check out how to build brand awareness with SEO.