Got a brand identity? This is just the beginning?

Feb 6, 2023

How to use your brand identity as a starting point for your success


I know this is going to surprise you guys (okay, not really), but not only is this article about branding – aka my serial passion! – but I’ll also be bringing in the baking analogies. Yep, an Esley Studio signature double whammy! ‘Cause today it’s all about what to do after investing in a professional brand identity. 

Uh-huh – there’s a NEXT step! Actually, there are a few. 

You see, a lot of my educational content focuses on the importance and benefits of investing a pro brand identity and how it’s the perfect first step for start-ups, small businesses and creative-thinking entrepreneurs who want to attract their ideal audience and become known as authorities in their niche. But what many businesses don’t realise is that branding isn’t the be all to end all. You can’t just invest in a brand identity and consider it done.

It’s like gathering all the ingredients for a cake … and then never baking the cake. 

A pro brand puts you in a position to clearly and compellingly communicate with your audience and take them on a journey from interest to investment. But you have to take them on that journey, too. You can’t just leave them at the starting line and expect them to wander through it alone (especially if there aren’t any experiences to take them on that journey!)

But before we explore what to do after you’ve invested in a pro brand, let’s go back to the beginning and recap the basics. 

What is a brand identity design?

Your brand identity design is the elements that make up your visual brand identity, including:

  • Logo
  • Colours
  • Fonts
  • Imagery
  • Patterns 

A professional brand designer will craft these elements to dance together and create your complete visual brand identity. You can think of them as the ingredients for your success cake. Individually, they’re definitely tasty … but they’re best baked and served together. And the magic really happens when you actually use these raw ingredients (rather than, you know, looking at them all on the kitchen counter! 😉) 

But how should you use your brand identity design elements? 

The next step after brand identity design: Collateral

Remember how I mentioned that converting your audience is a journey? Well, brand and marketing collateral are the experiences that take them from “hello” to “take my money, please!” In our yummy cake example, your brand and marketing collateral are the pieces of the cake. They’re what your audience actually consumes. 

Examples of collateral:

  • Website
  • Price guide
  • Welcome/on-boarding guides
  • Ebooks
  • Social media graphics
  • Infographics 

And ’cause we’re a visual bunch 😉, here’s what they can look like.

Design in a day project design
Design in a day project design
Design in a day project design

So, how do you go about creating collateral?


There are three ways to go about creating collateral:

1. You DIY it.

This is like baking a cake without a recipe. If you’re a pro designer, you won’t need a recipe (or, you will have made your own signature recipe that you’ve memorised). But if you’re not a pro, you’ll basically be winging it and the end result could be questionable (not to mention detrimental to your brand image!) I don’t recommend the DIY path unless you have graphic designer training and experience.

2. You purchase a template.

Okay, so this one is like buying a Betty Crocker mix. It’s basically DIY, but you have to pull the ingredients together and bake it yourself. This a lot less risky than creating from scratch, but there is one main downside: You won’t have a completely unique cake (after all, if everyone buys the same Betty Crocker mix, they’re likely going to taste very, very similar). However you’ll be able to add your unique brand ingredients to make yours taste a little different. This is the perfect option for the budget-conscious start-up.

3. You invest in custom design.

This is like hiring a professional baker to make your dream cake. We’re talking six tiers of delicious goodness with every single bite melting in your mouth. This is where the real magic happens, ’cause a pro designer can ensure your branding is cohesive, consistent and communicates your message in the best possible way to help you convert/build brand awareness.

I always recommend pro design whenever possible, but I get that you might not be in a position to invest in custom design for ALL your collateral.

If this sounds like you, focus on the items that have the biggest potential to convert. In my opinion and experience, these are your website, price guide, lead magnet, media kit and social media graphics.

And, for the rest, make sure you create something. Don’t let those brand ingredients go to waste!

Ready for custom design? Explore my Design (Disco) in a Day and have everything you need designed.