What is branding?
Every company, whether they sell products or services, has the ability to create their brand, also seen as the personality of the company. When branding your business you can mold your story into something that consumers will seek out and value, or you can ignore it and have it molded for you – potentially without being able to break out of that stigma.
Branding your company gives you a chance to tell a story, let people know who you are, how you can help them and why you might be the best person/company for the job. It gives you a change to stand out. For example, there are many motorcycle companies out there, yet, Harley-Davidson(R) has been able to create a highly sought after brand. People want to be a part of that culture.
Step 1 – Do The Research
The first step is to always look at who your target market is and determine what type of personalities (there are always more than one possibility) will resonate with them. I will then look at what your competitors are doing. I want to make sure that we aren’t getting lost in doing what everyone else is doing. I will look at where they are succeeding, where they are failing and what gaps may be out there. After creating a compelling solution we will go over the different ways that you can build your brand through advertising, social media, pr, your website and so much more.
Step 2 – Outline Your Audience
Now look at who your target market is. What type of brands resonate with them? Try to keep your personal feelings aside. For example, in college I worked with my classmates on a pitch for a new annual report design for a non-profit food bank. We all pitched our ideas to their staff and one of the other students created an extremely beautiful annual report, but it looked like something made for a tech company with monotone colors and an edgy design. He didn’t do his homework. A food bank is about compassion, community, helping people and in this case, showing investors how much good they had achieved in the community together.
Step 3 – Your Unique Proposition Value
Now I want you to think of words that encapsulate the brand that you want your company to portray, but look at this from your customers perspective and what they’ll value in their partner. It could be trendy, sexy, family-oriented, or traditional (and so many more). Think of as many adjectives as you can. Now lets look at how those words could translate into a brand. Sometimes I like to think of businesses as a person, what would words would you use to describe that person? What would they look like? How would they dress? How would they talk?
Maybe you are proud to be a family run and operated company (as you should be) and you treat your staff and your customers as family. Don’t be afraid to share this info, what do you do that suggests that people should go to you to be treated like family? Use social media to share company events and outings. When using photography, how can your images portray your family values. For example, if you sell shoes – don’t use photography of sexy women wearing heels. Show a family all wearing your shoes at a day at the zoo (spending quality time shows family values).
Step 4 – Be Consistent
Now that you’ve determined the image you want your corporate identity to embody, it’s important to keep that message consistent across every platform you use. Using the same brand colors, types of photography and messaging will reinforce who your brand is in peoples mind. We are all very visual, so being consistent will also help people remember seeing brand over and over again.
Are you ready to start branding your business? Leave a message below with 3-5 character traits of your brand.