So, you’ve created a business plan, rented a space and now you’re designing a brand. Most overlook the power of a great brand for advertising. People often associate advertising with radio commercials, TV commercials, billboards, trade show events and people on the streets who pass out flyers. However, your brand does a lot to determine whether current and potential customers will want to shop at your business. For instance, think of the most recognizable businesses and what those brands have in common. Great logos use bold, contrasting colors; unique recognizable, fonts; and graphical elements that make it stand out while still being easy to read. These are just a few characteristics of great branding.

So, what can you do to make your brand worth a second glance?

Focus on color. There are a multitude of psychoanalytic studies done on how colors affect the brain. Pinks and reds emote aggression, passion and love; green rebirth, money or cleanliness; blue calm or serenity; and yellow and orange happiness, joy and youth. Use colors that attract the audience you’d like and make them bright enough to draw the eye, but tempered enough that it doesn’t hurt to look at.

For example, Toys ‘R’ Us. The brand uses a multitude of colors because it’s targeting children. Especially for young children, color is an attractor.

Use original and unique art. One of the biggest downfalls when creating a logo is when your art appears too “stocky.” Meaning the design appears forced and too much like other brands. You want yours to stand out: it should be as unique as your business. Use color, incorporate shape and don’t be afraid to think outside of the box. With that said, don’t make it so ambiguous that your potential customers are wondering what it has to do with your business.

For example, Microsoft. The company uses a window because it makes sense for its product, but they played around with the design so that it wasn’t too basic. Straight horizontal lines with bright colors: red, blue, green and yellow.

Make your font stand out. Times New Roman is great for college papers, but it isn’t very attractive for signage. Remember, you are trying to attract attention in order to build relationships. Try messing around with cursive, blocked lettering or even different types of bubbled fonts. Play with it. Make sure that the colors, designs and font complement each other and fit your business.

Lou Malnati’s is a good example. The pizzeria uses cursive in its logo almost like a signature. This makes sense as the business was started by Lou Malnati and is still family run. Every pizza you order appears personalized because it is “signed” by Lou.

Your brand helps to set you up and set you apart from your competitors. Creating a unique brand can help do some of the work for you, so take the time to think through your branding and your business will have a solid foundation.