In our five part series on business branding we are looking at various aspects to help you on your branding journey. This post is about Defining your Brand - Who are you? Branding is one of the most important aspects of your business. All small or large business owners need an effective branding strategy. It starts with defining your brand and understanding who you are.
Your brand is derived from Who you are
So who are you?, who do you want to be and who do customers perceive you to be? Start by asking questions about yourself, yes it can be difficult, time-consuming and even a little awkward, but the answers are invaluable. Make sure you ask the right questions, like What is your business's mission? What are the benefits and features of your products or services?What do your customers and prospects already think of your business?What qualities do you want them to associate with your business? Take your time, do your research, don't guess your customersneeds, habits and desires, find out it's worth it.
Give your brand a personality
Write out your brand promise, a concise statement that captures the essence of your brand and reflects your business. Give your brand a personality and a voice and have it resonate through all parts of your business, from what your business stationery looks like down to what you wear when meeting clients, how you answer the phone, what type of font you use for email signatures. Does it all tie in to your branding promise? Everything adds up and you want it to be a consistent and strong message.
Branding is also what people talk about relating to you, your reputation, when you’re not there. If you're re-branding an existing business why are you doing so? Just an update or do you need to attract a different audience?, are you trying to separate your products or services from a past branding path that hasn't’t quite hit the mark? Understanding these aspects well is crucial to you defining your businesses brand strategy, your business can't be all things to all people, that's ok, find out where you fit and get comfortable with your business identity. Where do you sit in the market? Are you top of the range and rightly command that position or more of an affordable value for money proposition? Who are you selling to? and no, don’t say 'everyone' for fear of leaving someone out, remember target your branding strategy to attract your customers not just anyone that could possibly be a potential consumer one day, perhaps.
Find out who your target customers are
What do they want and need you to be? Where do they go to find a product or service like yours? A detailed analysis of your ideal type of customer will quickly give you a defined branding strategy that highlights what to focus on. Of course, the foundation of your branding strategy is your business logo, it is quite frankly the mark that needs to be be on everything that your business does and owns. Get it done right, it can make you a globally recognised company. Think red background and white stylised writing or red background and yellow broad sweeping arches..anyone hungry right now? Those phenomenal brands carry punch and they have been strategically branded to achieve maximum success in their particular market segment. Getting your logo to represent your business voice and promise and get the results you’re after is just what a graphic designer can help you with, we understand the latest trends and what works and doesn't’t with regards to digital reproduction or printing assets.
It's crucial to have your brand defined and know exactly Who you are and then concisely document that with guidelines setting the standard to how your assets are to be applied principally in any given scenario, but more on that later. Next in the series we'll be looking at developing your business Branding Strategy.