“So what do you do?” asks the lady at the networking meeting
“I’m a branding specialist” I reply
I watch as the all too familiar glazed expression descends on her face and I can see the words forming before she even opens her mouth:
…Ok, I get it, somebody says brand and you immediately think logo. If you’re not familiar with marketing then why wouldn’t you? But to me, a specialist with 20 years’ design and business experience, this assumption is endlessly frustrating. Apart from anything else, a lifetime of ‘logos right?’ simply wouldn’t be enough to keep me interested! However, much more important is the fact that business owners pay so little attention to the nuances of marketing.
You see at the end of the day, branding IS business. I’m not trying to inflate my own importance here, I’m simply stating fact. Without a strong brand identity (and I can’t emphasise this enough) YOU HAVE NO BUSINESS.
Would McDonalds have invaded every corner of the globe if all they’d had going for them was a cut price menu and a brightly coloured logo? No, the golden arches earned their reputation through a careful and extended marketing campaign built upon a solid brand identity. The way they write, the people they target, the ads they put out, the colours they decorate their restaurants – whether you’re lovin’ it or hatin’ it, you have to admit that good old Maccies is a success and that big yellow M wouldn’t be nearly as recognisable if it hadn’t been for all the other branding measures put in place behind it.
So that, in a nutshell, is what branding is – it’s your logo, your colours, your fonts, your demographics, your tone of voice, your copy, your staff, your ethos, your marketing, and a 1001 other things that make up who you are as a business.
The important question (and one that applies to established businesses as well as start-ups) is how do you go about creating and/or cementing your brand?
My mission is to raise awareness of the importance of branding and to help businesses of all shapes and sizes become successful through the careful application of theirs.
Creating your brand is a long and constantly evolving process, and if you check back with my blog regularly you’ll find tons of hints and tips to help you develop yours.
For now I’ll give you my top 3 questions that every business owner should ask themselves when creating their branding:
- What is my company mission/ethos?
For example, do you want to educate people? Raise awareness of a product or service? What ‘solutions’ does your company offer to your customers? What sort of business person do you want to be?
- What is my company aesthetic?
What colours/images suit your brand? What kind of feelings are you trying to evoke? Which businesses do you admire and why?
- Who are my audience?
This is one of the most important questions you can ask yourself and I’ll be covering this in detail in next week’s blog…
In the meantime, why not download our FREE download… ‘The Ultimate Branding Checklist’.
If you would like to discuss how we can help you develop a winning brand strategy then click here.