Everyone knows that a logo and tagline contribute to creating a brand. But when it comes to creating a strong brand with instant recognition across multiple channels, the process can feel a little intangible and even elusive.
But one physical way you could look at your virtual brand is to think about your favorite watering hole, a.k.a. bar. After all, the hues establish the energy, the music sets the tone, the glassware determines the mood and, of course, the menu attracts the crowd. None of that is far off from creating a logo, determining the tone of the copy, mapping out the user experience or creating the packaging to present your product.
If we compare the tangible with the intangible, then we can paint a much more detailed picture of what your brand should be doing on a digital platform to create the same effect as sitting in your favorite hang-out.
Appearance/Colors = Logo/Palette
How your business looks is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of brand creation. But determining the overall hue of your brand can be difficult to decide on. Your own brand name may give a helping hand. What is your name, what do you specialize in? Play this up to create a comprehensive and memorable look.
For example, the Red Door in downtown Salt Lake has (as you would guess) a red front door with warm lighting inside, while the Watering Witch has a vibrant green wall behind its bar. The Garage on Beck was converted from an old mechanic shop and has kept industrial elements, while the Handle Bar just down the road has unique bar stools with bike pedal foot rests.
Music = Messaging
Is the overhead tone smooth and jazzy to complement your martini special, fast with blaring lyrics to go along with your large beer variety, or dubbed and rhythmic to pair with your mixed cocktails? Is the volume low to allow patrons to whisper secrets, or blasting to just barely mask the cheers and jeers? Or is it even instrumental, letting visuals and aura do the heavy work instead of long verses of anecdote?
It may be called background music for a reason, but think of your experience when you do notice it. Does it complement or hinder? Is it too loud or not loud enough? Does it feel “right” in the setting? Copy can have the same effect. Many people don’t see the value and feel they just need it for the sake of needing it, but think about your experience when it doesn’t fit with the rest of the environment.
Glassware = UX/Packaging
Some places serve drinks in mason jars. Some invest in elegant coupe champagne glasses. Some serve a variety of beers in their complementary tulip or weizen glasses, while plenty stock up on sturdy mugs and call it a day. Having the right presentation for your offerings can not only shape your customers’ experience, it could also elevate your products by allowing them to shine and be fully enjoyed.
Menu = Product/Service
And finally, the pièce de résistance: What is on your menu? Are you a micro-brewery with your own flavorful and unique beers? Are you known around town for your expertly shaken (not stirred) martinis? Or are you a hodgepodge of everything under the sun to suit your fellow bar mates who you also know by name? Play up your specialties and have confidence that others will enjoy your menu as much as you enjoy making it.
There is no wrong answer to any of these questions here – except if your answer is “I don’t know.” Because if you don’t know who you are or what you’re offering, how can you expect your customers to?