Branding trying to help businesses.
Whether starting up your company or looking to re-brand, educating yourself on the importance of branding can ensure that, in this saturated world of business, you can stand above your competitors, with the right plan.
Not only is a brand a promise to your customers, but it tells them exactly what to expect from my service, who I am and what I do.
Just look around at some of the biggest brands in the world, their branding is so strong you need only to see the flash of red or an apple, to know which brands people talking about.
Many small businesses confuse marketing with branding, but in fact these are two separate mediums that simply intertwine. Marketing promotes your brand, and your brand is your business personality that I’ve created.
If I can create a strong brand presence, that relates to my target audience, it will become an asset unto itself.
A truly incredible brand goes beyond a great logo and tagline. It has an idea behind it and a clear sense of purpose that drives everything that the company does and is associated with.
Defining who I am as a business is a time consuming adventure of self-discovery, of which seems everlasting.
It may take week or months until you hit that light bulb moment, but when it all comes together it’s worth it in the end, you will know when it’s right.
So begin this task asking yourself some questions:
* What’s your company’s mission statement?
* What are the USPs (Unique Selling Points) of your product or service?
* What do your customers perceive your company to be?
* What attributes do you have for your customers to associate with your company?
You have to set yourself somewhere in your industry. Are you top end which takes time, or lower end because your still gaining knowledge, are you an experienced company with traditional skills, or a new company with innovative ideas, for the new business world.
Do research into your prospective customers, so you get a feel for what they think when they see your branding.
Communicate your brand as much as possible everywhere you can and every spare minute you have to engage your audience. The foundation of your branding should be epitomised in a strong logo.
This is one of the biggest parts of your business, also encompassing the very essence of who you are and what you stand for, this shouldn’t be created ‘on the cheap’ as they say. Qualified graphic designers are so helpful when getting it right, an incomprehensible logo that doesn’t make any sense and hasn’t been designed with the target customer in mind would be a disaster.
Customers will gain an instant first impression about your business as soon as they see the logo as when they see you it’s the 30 second rule. You must ask yourself how it’s going to look on every aspect of marketing, from the letterheads, website, social media, to any promotional products you may have in mind for the future.
Even the psychology behind logo design can enable you to create a voice for your brand. Whilst rounded designs are often viewed to be feminine, straight shapes have been proven to resonate well with men. An increasing trend in logo design has been the use of green and blue tones, as these colours represent eco conscious, although mine are all colours.
Many brands are moving away from busy and outdated image themed logos, and moving to ones with cleaner lines, less imagery and more on the font. If you choose to create your logo yourself ensure that you are aware of these trends and the different meanings behind colour, I always check out the colour as some are not good colours for business.
Branding is hard, but once you’ve nailed it you then have the difficulty of ensuring your brand message is never tarnished. Being consistent with where your branding is placed, and how it remains true to itself, will reassure customers that your business has integrity. They will know you anywhere and if you have built a great reputation they will stop and look at what it is your saying.
Now your brand logo should only be assigned to products or adverts that you feel represent your brand philosophy. Deterring in any way will undermine the very concept you took so much time creating and have built on your vision. So be protective of your branding when beginning any marketing activities. If someone calls trying to persuade you into an advert just let them know the budget has been placed for this year.
Now that you’ve got you’re knowledge for the basics of business branding, use your brand identity in every part of your business almost everyday. From the way you answer the phone, right down to the way you dress, I have my brand on shirts and hoodies to keep me warm!!! Make sure your business is brand ready at all times, and you will succeed at capturing your audience, and hopefully keeping customers too.