Guest Blog: Let’s talk about branding with Bhavini

Over at Initial Incentives we’ve been thinking about how we could create more helpful blogs for our readers, our current...

Over at Initial Incentives we’ve been thinking about how we could create more helpful blogs for our readers, our current clients and our team. We decided to invite our friend and expert Graphic Designer and author Bhavini Lakhani to collaborate with us on a guest blog to bring you all the need-to-knows when it comes to branding.

We know how important branding is, especially when we work with you and your team to produce merchandise whether it’s printed, engraved, embroidered or you’ve had a rebrand that you are ready to share with the world and you’re starting from scratch.

We asked branding expert Bhavini to share some of her tips, dos and don’ts and advice, as we know investing time, resources and your budget into branding is a really important project for your business.

Why branding is important to a business

If you are on the fence about whether it’s time for a rebrand or you are thinking about adding another brand to your portfolio have a read!

We’ll start by getting to know Bhavini…

Who are you?

I’m Bhavini, I live in Milton Keynes with my husband, our two girls and our two bunnies.

What do you do?

I’m a graphic designer. I’ve been lucky enough to have been working in the design industry for over 16 years now.

What’s your specialism?

Although I’ve done all kinds of design work (lots that I won’t mention) I now specialise in brand identity design and design for print.

What’s so important about branding/visual identity?

So much! Your brand identity forms the foundation of how people see you and your business. We live in a world where everything is carefully branded, and as a business, you really only have one chance to make the right impression.

The right brand identity will help you communicate clearly and consistently with your audience, it’ll help you connect with your audience, and make sure they feel and think what you’d like them to about your business. Ultimately, you’ll make more money!!!

Do businesses get branding right the first time or do things evolve over time? For example, we’ve recently seen subtle logo tweaks from YouTube and Google that arguably we don’t notice, to complete overhauls like Not On The High Street and the Royal British Legion.

I think that businesses evolve and so should their brand identities. I think a lot of the time we notice things because of the negative comments that a rebrand gets on social media and it sort of grows like wildfire doesn’t it? A bit like the Royal British Legion logo! The thing is, regardless of how big or small a business is you can’t please everyone with a rebrand or new brand.

When is a good time to rebrand?

I don’t think there’s a set time that’s good for a rebrand really.

Why do businesses rebrand?

A lot of the time rebrands happen because a business has outgrown the brand identity that they started with. It could be that it was a DIY logo without any supporting materials and as that business has grown, the logo they started with really doesn’t fit anymore.

Some more signs it’s time for a rebrand:

  • Your business name changes
  • You start feeling embarrassed when you’re handing a business card out
  • Your brand identity seems to get lost in a sea of sameness
  • Your business direction’s changed
  • You want to raise the bar a little – including raising your prices and attracting the

types of clients who are happy to pay those prices.

What can you do to get your branding and rebranding on point?

Don’t just jump into it… do your research first and find the right designer to bring your brand or rebrand to life. Make sure that everything you use to represent your brand visually is really cohesive. Your visuals will give your audience an idea of what their experience with you will be like.

What are your top 3 tips for branding?

One: Make it about YOUR AUDIENCE/YOUR CUSTOMERS, not you. It really doesn’t matter if your favourite colour is lilac if that isn’t going to appeal to your customers at all.

Two: If possible, always outsource to a professional and experienced branding designer. They’ll think of things you wouldn’t even have considered.

Three: Use your brand assets consistently EVERYWHERE. Whether that’s on social media, your website or on your printed marketing material. That’ll help your audience remember your brand.

What do we need to know about files when it comes to our brand assets?

Any good designer will make sure that you have all the file types you need to hit the ground running. You need vector files so that you can enlarge your logo without losing any quality and you need JPEG/PNG files that are ready for you to use on your website and social media pages.

Is there anything to watch out for when it comes to colours in your branding?

When it comes to print, you need to make sure that your designer’s supplied files in the CMYK colour space. You can read more here.

And finally, if you have one piece of advice, a golden nugget for business owners and marketing teams what would it be?

Consistency is key when it comes to building your profile and the visibility of your brand. I don’t think you need to have a huge set of guidelines in place – although it’s definitely ideal to have some sort of style guide or guidelines put together. But as long as everything you share online or in print is consistent in the use of colours, fonts, image style etc people will start recognising who the content belongs to. And just because you’re consistent doesn’t mean your visuals will be stale. I have a core colour palette I use along with brand fonts too. And I switch up which colour is used where, how the colour is used, how any icons and images are used etc and I constantly have people tell me they knew a post they saw online was mine immediately. And ultimately that’s what you want to build right?

Branding and marketing

Thank you so much to our very first guest blogger Bhavini for sharing helpful insight and tips to get us all to stop and think about where we are with our branding and remind us to keep consistent – a great tip that can often slide as time goes on and more stakeholders become involved in using the brand.

Where can you find Bhavini?

We posed a bunch of branding-related questions to Bhavini, however, if you have more questions you’d like to know the answer to you can find Bhavini on all the usual social channels, you can contact Bhavini over on her website or connect on LinkedIn Bhavini Lakhani.

If you have something you’d like to share that you think our Initial Incentives community might like to learn more about please send an email to we’d love to talk to you about it.

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