To help your business stand out from the rest of the world, you need to think about your branding. Words synonymous with this word are:
Branding is your ‘markings’ – your logo, your digital assets, the visuals that represent you. It’s how you label, classify or categorise yourself or your business. It’s your business name. It’s in how you describe yourself and all your peripheral bits and bobs. It’s your business’ identity!
Without one, you just stand to confuse everyone.
Figuring out your identity is one of the trickiest parts of setting up a brand which is why I have written this blog.
What is Branding?
Branding extends beyond just the visual elements of your brand, it includes things like tone of voice, how you write, how you speak on the telephone, what your messages are and what your mission, vision and values are.
Your brand should be a living and breathing part of your organisation. The heartbeat of your business. Everything you do and everything your employees do needs to represent your brand in an authentic way. All your customer and employee touchpoints should fully embody it.
Branding has it’s benefits too;
- It provides an opportunity to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
- It enables you to be instantly recognisable.
- A well-established brand protects you from the threat of new competition.
- Brand consistency shapes your customers’ expectations and engenders loyalty through developing trust.
- It enhances the employee experience and their sense of pride and satisfaction.
There are a lot of branding specialists out there (like me) that can help you find your way if you need them. It is worth getting it right!
How to build your brand
Determine your target audience
Who are they, what is their job title? What do they want? What is going to influence them?
Establish a brand mission statement
Form an expression of what your company is most passionate about. What value does your business provide? What is your purpose for existing? What is your vision?
Research competitors within your industry
Do you know what they do well or where they fail? How can you differentiate?
Rate your competitors on their;
- Message and visuals
- Quality of products or services
- Marketing efforts
Outline the key qualities and benefits of your offering
Delve into what you offer that no one else is offering. What makes your company unique?
What value do those qualities/benefits bring to the lives of your customers/end users?
Create a logo and tagline
Create something that reinforces the identity of your business and develop brand guidelines that will help you to maintain consistency for any future application of the logo.
Create a colour palette that allows your branding to stand out
Form your brand voice
What tone are you going to use to communicate with your customers eg. Friendly, professional, authoritative.
Build a brand message and elevator pitch
Can you tell customers succinctly who you are, what you offer and why they should care in 1-2 sentences.
Let your brand personality shine
Are you personable and friendly or more corporate? Are you spontaneous and risk taking or cautious and planned? Are you high tech and modern or classic and tradition? Are you accessible to all or an exclusive brand? Use your brand personality across all points of contact with customers, e.g in behind the scenes content, telling stories about case studies, describing your products
Integrate your brand into every aspect of your business
Ensure your branding flows through out your businesses website, business card, signage, letterheads, proposals, brochures etc. Ensure consistency.
Employee’s are your brands biggest advocate
Ensure your employees are your biggest fan and are comfortable with the use of your branding. Ensure they know what your key messages are and your mission, vision and values.
If you really work on understanding the answers to these questions, then you’ve not only formed the foundations of a really great brand, you have set yourself up with marketing content that you can use time and time again.
If you do need a bit of help refining your brand, formatting and designing or even producing a brand guidelines book, then get in touch with The Design Grove and we can help set you up and make you look amazing.