Branding is one of the biggest things to focus on when building any business, large or small. In an increasingly competitive world, it’s important to find your edge, your niche and your audience. It’s more than a logo – a brand lives and evolves in the minds and hearts of potential clients. It all comes down to how your business looks, how you speak and how you act that becomes your brand.
What is branding?
“A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or company.”
– Marty Newmeier, The Brand Gap
A brand is often defined as the name, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies the seller’s goods or service distinct from those of other sellers.
Branding is the steady business philosophy that you are expressing to the world. As your business grows, it’s what your audience comes to expect. The process of branding is like a journey of business self-discovery which takes it to the next level. This process can be challenging and time-consuming so it’s helpful to ask yourself these questions when beginning:
What is the mission of your business?
- What are the unique benefits and features of your products and services?
- What do your audience and customers think of your company?
- What qualities do you want your audience to associate with your company?
- What image do you want to put out there?
How does branding start?
“Design is the silent ambassador of your brand.”
– Paul Rand
It begins with your business packaging, logo, your website, online presence, your blog, promotional and marketing materials all wrapped up together. You have to decide what image you want to put out there. This image is the big personality of your business. Products and services have a type of personality and they can make or break your business in the competitive market place. It all comes down to who you are, who you want to be and what you want the world to see. Do your research. Learn the needs, habits and desires of your current and prospective customers.
Good branding starts with:
- A great designed logo that you can put everywhere.
- A professional brand message that conveys the key ingredients of your company.
- A solid voice for your business, whether it be casual or formal, that stands up for your business.
- A concise tagline that is a quick definition of what you do.
- Promotion that showcases your expertise and strengths. Show the world what you do is special and why it is a good thing to do business with you.
- Promote value and put it out there with confidence and the belief that what you do is important.
Go with your instinct, be authentic. be yourself, be consistent, responsible, professional, original, ethical, available, visible, memorable, helpful, patient, and be everywhere!
We’ll leave you with these great ideas about branding to get the ball rolling:
- Your whole entire company should be considered your branding department.
- Branding is what they say about your business when you are not around.
- A brand is worthless if it does not connect with the right audience in a relevant way.
- Branding is what you do, not what you call it.
- A brand is your story.
- It’s all about the memorable experience your audience remembers about your brand.
- Brands are created in the mind.
- If they trust your ideas, they’ll do business with you.
- Your brand starts an emotional connection.
your brand is not what you say it is, it’s what THEY say it is.
– Marty Newmeier, The Brand Gap