Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business whether that be large or small and will give you a major edge in increasingly competitive market sectors. We want to help everyone understand what effective branding means and how it can affect start-up businesses for the better.
In a sentence, your brand is a promise to your customer and lets them know what they can expect from your products, services, and what makes you different from your competitors. Your brand is an insight into who you are and where you want to be in the future. The foundation of your branding will be your logo followed by the rest of your business stationery which will follow suit in regard to the color scheme, font, and more.
Where Do I Start?
Your brand is usually defined as a combination of elements that define your business. These elements usually include a slogan, logo, business ethos, and motto the first step in defining a brand is to decide on a name. If you are struggling to come up with a name, you might find that you will come up with one once the creative process starts.
Defining Your Brand
Defining your brand is like a journey of discovering your business’s identity. You should start by asking yourself a couple of questions:
- What is your company’s mission?
- What are the benefits and features of your products or services?
- What do your customers and prospects already think of your company?
- What qualities do you want them to associate with your company?
Your branding is who you are as a company; it’s your values and your mission, the way to treat your customers, the look and feel of your visual assets. So, before you start budgeting for a designer you need to take time to get on who you are and what you’re about, the more you can infuse that identity into your branding and the more your brand will stand out and grab customers attention as a result.
Every successful brand has a powerful purpose behind it and you should use these ideas to inform the foundation of your branding. Once you have found the perfect name for your business, you will need to think about how you can best visually represent your brand, namely your colors and typography. Choosing all of this will be perfect when you start to make your own website.
Who Is Your Customer?
So many businesses focus on what they are selling that they forget to pay attention to who their product may be for. When you know who your target customer is, you can use it to guide your branding strategy and identity – and the end result will be a brand that truly connects with the customers you want to work with most.
If you are a new company with little to no sales data, you can always have a look at competitors and make educated assumptions on who your audience may be.
If you are an existing business, it’s important to gather an understanding of who you are already helping with your product or service. It is important to find out who your product or service is helping to continue to target those people.
Applying Your Branding Across Your Business
Applying your branding across your business will give you a cohesive brand story. Your brand story will represent who your business is and what it stands for. Branding sets the stage for every interaction customers have your brand whether that be in-store or online.
If your business has a story it is so important to share it because it can help your customers feel connected and reassured your business is right for them. When writing your business story you should ask yourself what motivated you to start your business, why does the company exist? How do we contribute to the world? And what is the story behind my business which my customers should know?
Evolve Your Brand as You Grow
Building your brand doesn’t stop with creating a logo and slogans, or even your brand launch. Your brand needs to remain consistent throughout your marketing materials and how you package and ship your products.
You should also think about shaping and evolving your brand as you expose more customers to it and learn more about who your customers are and how you speak to them. It is really important however to appreciate that you will never have complete control over how people perceive your brand.