The basics of branding and how to apply them to your business.
Branding is an important facet of any business. It is more than just a logo embroidered on a polo shirt or printed on letterhead (those are important, however). Your brand is the identity of your business – the tone of your messaging from email campaigns to social media, the promise you are making to the customer and what they can expect when doing business with you. Your brand also includes the reason WHY you are doing your work in the first place.
Your branding should reflect who you are as a business and how you want to be perceived. Maybe you offer a high-quality product for a high-cost, or maybe you deliver a budget friendly option that is of higher value. You could be an innovator in your field or maybe you are a trusted and reliable provider that has been around for ages. Whatever the case – your branding should bolster and convey your ideals to the target customer, not detract and confuse them about who you are and what you are offering.
So how do you develop and communicate your brand to your target customers? Here are a few ways:
- Start with a well-done logo and pair it with a fitting font and color scheme that matches the nature of your business.
Put your logo on everything and consistently use your brand colors and fonts to create familiarity.
- Figure out what kind of tone you want your audience/customer to hear and see in your communications.
For example, if you run a rough-tough-take-no-guff type of business that does heavy machinery repair, you may want to go with bold colors and fonts and use simple but strong language to convey that on your print projects. When customers call in or listen to a digital audio ad of yours, the tone should match your company’s ideal image. If you sell doilies and your target audience is elderly women, you may want to go with softer colors and a friendlier tone with your messaging.
- Advertise through media/channels that you know your audience will be paying attention to (Digital Ads, Print, Social Media, Podcast, Radio etc.).
This ensures that you aren’t wasting dollars being unheard and that the ideal customer is receiving your messaging.
- Make your employees aware of your brand’s attributes and benefits.
This helps keep consistency throughout the organization and allows you to keep your promise to the customer. They should know that no matter who they come in contact with at your business they will be taken care of and delivered the same product or service no matter what.
Incorporating the bullet points above and practicing them consistently will help grow your business and to build trust with your target consumer. It is important to know how customers feel about your business, and for you to know how you WANT them to feel about your business. Developing and executing a thoughtful brand strategy can help with that.