Let me start by asking you a question… does your branding, website or marketing material convey the passion you have for your business?
Believe it or not, branding isn’t just about creating a nice-looking logo or even a great looking website (even though both are important), branding is so much more than that. Branding is about creating something that communicates the essence of your business to your audience and that can’t be achieve through just a simple logo.
Don’t get me wrong; logos are of course, an important part of your branding however a logo is quite simply an identity stamp. It helps people to recognise your business but it doesn’t communicate your brand values or your business’s mission.
Branding isn’t also just about a well written strapline; although a strapline does help to tell people what you do, it doesn’t tell the full story.
In truth, a business’s visual identity can simply make or break a business. If it doesn’t connect or resonate with the right audience then it simply won’t lead to revenue. A business’s branding needs to really set the tone of what customers can expect from the services or products which the business provides. It needs to set the professional standards of the business.
What’s the difference between ‘brand’ and ‘branding?
Now I know it can be a little confusing knowing the difference between what a brand is and what branding is so let me explain…
A brand is simply a name given to a product or a service which can then be communicated to an audience. It is the promise that you make to your customers which sets their expectations about your business / service / products.
Branding is the visual styling applied to the brand so that is has an individual look, feel and style that consumers can then identity.
Branding is everything from the colour palette you use, to the way you lay out your website, to when and where you place your company image. Even the font on your letterhead can have a massive impact on your revenue, so when it comes to really effective branding, the devil is in the detail.
Working on your brand messaging, knowing your USP, understanding where you want to take your business and what your business stands for are essential for being able to brand your business effectively.
It isn’t just about looking good, it’s about getting under the hood of your business, understanding what’s important and then applying the right visual styling that will convey the essence of your brand. It’s vital that there is a sense of cohesion and consistency right across your marketing collateral and throughout your entire brand.
3 key considerations
With this is mind, I’m going to provide you with 3 things to think about when it comes to your own branding:
1. How is your business currently being perceived?
How would you want your business to be perceived and do they match? If you are not sure then why not ask a few people in your network that you trust or perhaps a Client that you get on really well with, you may find the answer quite surprising!
2. Are you being consistent?
Are you being consistent across all your media channels? Whether it’s your design styling or the language you use – everything needs to be consistent. Develop a style that is unique to your business, create templates, decide on a tone in which you are going to deliver your message then stick to it. Be consistent.
3. Are you being social?
Social media (if done right) is a very powerful way of delivering your message. Create original content that will engage and resonate your audience – not just about your business but about your industry as well. Build an online presence through your website, blog and social media platforms. This will not only help you to communicate your business’s mission but it will also gain you brand awareness.
When branding is done right, it can really help to showcase a business’s products, services, ethos and standards. It builds trust and credibility and can also help to position a business in the marketplace. It will also have a positive effect on the company’s revenue both in the short term and long term.
Branding a business is not an easy task and, of course it does take time but it is vital to a business’s success.
If you are still wondering if your branding is worth investing in then please remember that branding really does matters because branding helps to sell and most importantly, it is what makes your business unique.
Please do share your thoughts and let me know what you think.