Getting ready to create a company badge? Brilliant! Badges are an effective way to promote your brand. These little items are affordable yet high-value and can be the key ingredient in your upcoming campaign. Over the past 30 years, we’ve helped hundreds of companies create perfect badges and we’ve learned some things along the way! And because our passion is to help you produce the perfect promotional products, we’d like to share some of these lessons with you, too. Here, we share seven common mistakes that companies tend to make when creating a company badge – and how to avoid them.
1) Not Thinking Beyond the Basics
In recent years, badges have transformed from low-quality, tired designs into trendy and collectable accessories for people of all ages. Today’s badges are unique, artistic and eye-catching. To maximise your campaign, your badge should rise to these standards. Our first lesson is to get creative when designing your badge and explore a few key factors, including size, shape, material and finish.
- Size: To some extent, the size of your badge will be determined two things: your content and your audience. Do you have a longer message or large graphic to include on your badge? Perhaps you want to include your company’s website and social media handle. More content means you might want to consider a larger badge. Think about how your customers are likely to wear your badge, too. If you intend to giveaway your badge along with a laptop or conference bag, you might opt for a larger badge that will be visible when pinned to the bag.
- Shape: Today’s badges can be made in any shape you can think up. Simple geometric shapes like circles or rounded rectangles might be best for name badges or ID tags, but you can also consider unique shapes to fit your logo or industry, like this fun enamel “pizza” badge we created.
- Material: Next up is material; there’s a range of materials to choose from, so be sure to pick one that aligns with your design, audience and budget. For example, if you’re trying to engage youth, consider a playful and bright rubber PVC badge. If you’re creating a badge for resale or as a special award, look for premium enamel and embellishments comparable to luxury brand products.
- Finish: This is what distinguishes your badge from the rest and gives it immediate character, shine and depth. Tie your finish choice into how you intend the badge to be used, and by whom. For more, see this post we did on selecting the right finish for your badge, from a shiny lustre to a striking black dye.
2) Straying from Brand Guidelines
Brand consistency is key for your company, as it helps project professionalism, establishes authenticity and builds trust. It’s also an important bridge to your customers – one source says that a brand doesn’t exist within a company but rather in the mind of your customers. Because a badge is an extension of your brand, it’s important to maintain consistency with your design. Be sure to provide your supplier with your brand guidelines, including logo design, application and treatment. Also include your Pantone colours to ensure perfect matching. Make sure your expectations are aligned from the very start of the project, and ensure that you can get samples from your supplier to confirm consistency.
Don’t let brand consistency be a mistake! Consider this interesting statistic: A consistent “signature” branding element like color or font can boost your brand recognition by 80 percent!
3) Buying on Price Alone
We understand that price is important to you, no matter the size of your business or your budget. But don’t let this be the driving factor when producing your company badge. Other key factors to consider include the quality – how will the badge reflect your brand? You also want to go with the right badge maker – does it offer start-to-finish design assistance? Will your products be delivered in time for your campaign?
Remember, it only takes ten seconds for people to form an impression of your brand – customers won’t see the price you paid for the badge, but they will see everything else!
4) Failing to Plan Timescales
Another mistake to avoid relates to timing. Are you designing a badge for an upcoming campaign or product launch? We recommend creating a timeline of key dates and working backward to ensure you have your merchandise in hand well before you need it. While pre-planning and allowing plenty of time is important, there’s also a few options for those inevitable last-minute needs, including button badges and printed badges. These can each be designed and produced in minimal time – you can get your badges within just five days of art approval!
Tip: If you’re reading this after business hours, don’t worry about losing a precious day of production time. Simply fill out this quick quote form and we’ll get back to you within two hours between 9 AM and 6 PM, London time.
5) Skipping Presentation and Packaging
Another thing we know is that packaging goes a long way to add polish and prestige to your company badge. (In fact, did you know that adding a backing card can increase badge sales by up to 25 percent!?) Enhance your badges with custom backing cards, swing tags and presentation boxes. Adding special presentation materials is also a great opportunity for additional messaging about your company or service.
6) Choosing the Wrong Supplier
All of the mistakes above can be easily avoided with one good decision: Partner with the right supplier. Look for a company that aligns with your needs and is guaranteed to deliver the best service possible. These needs might include: a dedicated account manager who can provide advice and suggestions at every step; quality accreditations like ISO 9001; free design service and guaranteed on-time delivery. To protect your company reputation, you might also want to seek out suppliers that adhere to stringent ethical manufacturing standards. For more, see this post on five questions to ask to find the ideal badge manufacturer.
7) Not Thinking Beyond the Badge
Badges are an effective way to promote your company and message – but they’re even more powerful as part of a larger campaign! What other items can you include as part of your campaign to extend your brand message and maximise your impact? Could you create a matching badge, bag and keyring set? You could also create an inventory of special badges to keep on hand to welcome new employees or new customers. The possibilities are only limited to your creativity here. (And we can help a bit, too.)
We hope this post helps you avoid a few of the common pitfalls when creating your next company badge. With just a bit of planning, you’ll be well on your way to low-cost, high-return badges to meet and exceed your business goals today and over the long-term. Remember, at the end of the day, a well-designed badge can help you build brand awareness by turning recipients into walking, talking brand ambassadors.