The definition of branding is ‘the promotion of a particular product or company by means of advertising and distinctive design.’
Essentially it describes the ways in which you want to portray your business to your customers and the wider public. What does your business look like, what does it sound like, what does is stand for and lastly, in what way does it help or add value to your customer?
Branding is how businesses can communicate with their audience, regardless of the form of communication, whether direct, printed material, online or other. It gives the business the opportunity to be memorable and differentiate itself from the competition.
Branding will affect how your business or product is viewed and will be how you craft a reputation. Customers buy from who they trust and respect, so your branding will need to show off your values. With the huge impact branding can have on your business, both for better and worse, we’ve put together a few things that you definitely should be doing and a few things you definitely shouldn’t.
Do keep it simple
Some of the most well-known brands know that it is best to keep things simple. They don’t over-complicate, and they ensure that their messaging is clear. If we think of the likes of Nike and Apple for example, their logos are clean-cut and unfussy but instantly recognisable, and carry huge impact.
Having a core logo and clear messaging will make it easier for customers to understand your brand. It will also mean that as your business or brand grows, you will have solid foundations to build upon.
Do ensure your brand is consistent
Once you have a clearly defined logo and concrete messaging for your business, you should ensure that you carry this through to every area of the business. Consistency across channels when promoting your business will help to solidify the brand in the customers’ minds.
The more they see your business and in the same format, the more likely they will be to remember it and eventually seek out your services or make a purchase. ‘The average sale requires seven to 10 touches with the brand before a potential buyer converts into a customer.’ So think about where and how you promote your business to reach this ideal.
Do live by your values
It is important that your business lives by the values it portrays. Trust is the thing that will help build loyalty with customers and keep them coming back to you. Don’t send mixed messages by saying that your business does one thing and then do the opposite.
Trust is one of the hardest things to build and will require lots of time and effort, but one wrong move and this relationship can be easily damaged. Don’t let your hard work go to waste.
Don’t attempt to please everyone
As previously mentioned, it’s important to live by your values. This means staying true and focused on what your business cares about. This may not align with everyone’s expectations, needs and wants, which is fine. Leading your business down a road of trying to please everyone might mean that focus is lost and that things may come unstuck further down the line.
Stick to what you know and accept the fact that pleasing everyone is impossible. Take pride in the business as it is and continue to push forward.
Don’t forget about your employees and biggest fans
Your employees and biggest fans (the ones that have been supportive from the start) can help hugely in terms of building your brand. They will be passionate about the business and happy to shout about it. Encourage them to be ambassadors and to go out and spread the word about the amazing things the business is doing.
Word of mouth promotion is often neglected, but it can be very effective as a personal recommendation on something from family or friends will hold much more weight than an online ad for example.
Don’t wait too long to refresh
Although consistency is key when it comes to branding, as time goes on things may start to feel tired or just generally need an update to stay relevant. This doesn’t have to be a massive overhaul, it could be tweaks here and there to ensure that you are giving your customers the best experience as the business matures.
This could be a slight change of font or a subtle colour change to keep things fresh. These changes are inevitable as the business grows, but as long as they are done with the core messaging and values in mind, brand consistency will remain even if some of the visual elements have progressed.
Branding can be a tricky road to navigate, but if done correctly it can be a force to be reckoned with. We understand the importance of getting it right, so if you feel you could benefit from some guidance on the subject, get in touch. We offer a range of branding services from assisting you in setting up your brand guidelines and logo design to a full corporate identity design and everything in between.