Branding: is a Clever Marketing Activity
If it’s done right, branding helps you create the image that you want your audience to have about your company. And it works wonders for companies who are committed to delivering high-quality work and exceptional customer service – branding won’t polish a bad job no matter how much you put into your branding.
Where do I even start with branding in my small business?
If your business is already delivering the product/service promised and has good customers relationships, a strong brand will give you a competitive advantage. So, let’s focus on branding and start with the two main categorisations of the elements of a brand:
- Tangible elements (Brand identity): the identity elements of your brand which your audience can experience with five senses, like your name, logo, website, the tone of voice, your office and packaging.
- Intangible elements (Brand image): the feelings, thoughts, and beliefs your audience infer from the tangible elements. It is their experience of your brand, such as trust and satisfaction.
As a business owner, you cannot control how customers think or feel about your company, but you can influence their responses to your brand by designing the elements you can control. In other words, how you design the brand identity elements will influence the brand’s image held by your audience.
Strategy Before Design
Branding is a strategic process that requires you to think carefully about important questions such as
- who you are as a company
- why your business is different
- who your target customers are
- what they value.
Your brand promise is one of the key strategic elements of a brand, because:
- It communicates why you’re different.
- It addresses the benefits sought by your target audience.
- It frames the brand’s positioning strategy.
You enforce the brand promise by designing tangible identifiable elements. For example, if you’re a technology company claiming to be young and innovative then the identity elements should reinforce this message by using appropriate design styles.
Align your Business Values with Your Brand
First and foremost, you want to keep your branding and logo in touch with your business values, mission, and aim. One of the best ways to do this is to think about your branding as a book cover design. What will a reader expect once they open the cover – what will be inside? Your branding is the same. If you use bright colours and childlike font, but you are a blockchain technology ICO, it may be better suited to a childcare and the identifiable elements may not make sense to your audience.
Apple is a great example. They have a space grey, white-gloved approach that speaks to the futuristic and innovative values of the company. Remember the first Apple logo it would not work in the digital era of today.
These are changes in Apple’s log from the 1970’s until now.
Why Copying Your Competitors branding is not a good idea?
If you want to stand out amongst your competitors copying their branding will simply not get the job done. You want your branding, and especially your logo, to be easily distinguishable from your competitors’ branding style.
Why? Think about it from a consumer perspective. They may have visited your site earlier in the week, but they weren’t quite ready to make a purchase. Then they return to the internet and find a site with similar branding, get confused, and purchase from a competitor.
This is even more important in the local competitor space. You want your brand and logo to stand out amongst your local competitors if you are providing products or services to a specific community.
Simple Branding is Good Branding
An overcomplicated branding strategy and logo can make potential customers wary. Keeping it simple is the best branding secret you can adhere to. In fact, an overcomplicated branding strategy or logo might make your business seem too confusing to deal with from the get-go.
You want to deliver a message of credibility and quality in your branding.
It takes a lot of communication, effort and time across the board. If it is too much for you to deal with yourself seek advice and plan it out. Ask for people’s opinions and seek feedback.
- Seek advice
- Seek feedback
- Seek opinions
Think about the most successful companies and their logos. Nike, McDonalds, Apple, Target, and Mercedes are all powerful global brands. One thing they all have in common is a simple and memorable logo and branding style.
Lastly . . . Get Highly Creative with Your Branding
One of the most common branding pitfalls businesses fall into is not getting creative. It is vital to add a touch of creativity to your marketing to maximise brand awareness. You want to memory recall and to play a role in a potential customer’s decision to buy from you.
Here are a few brand awareness secrets and resources you can use . . .
- Offer Something Unique and Personal: Instant gratification creates a stronger bond between your brand and the customer. Use personalized gifts to connect with your target audience.
- Invest in Your Online Image: Social media is the most popular medium for people to express their opinions today. By delivering targeted messages to your audience, you can use this medium to gain more recognition.
- Literally brand your logo: This is a brand awareness boosting secret restaurants, pubs, wineries, and other local businesses. There are businesses that can provide branding tools you can use to brand your logo on tables, bar stools, signage, customer prizes, and more.
Ready to Make Branding a Priority?
Branding is important. Your logo and branding style will stick with your business forever, so make the most of it from the beginning. It is also important to note that doing branding right the first time is far easier, and more affordable than rebranding your business. How does your branding speak to your customers?
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