If you want your business to live up to its full potential, then it’s a good time to start thinking about branding. Branding allows you to expand your consumer base, increase your business value, and more.
While this guide will help you establish a powerful brand, you don’t have to do that on your own. A good brand identity agency can help you create a stellar brand and achieve what you aim for.
Before we get into the branding process, you should understand the basic terms we’ll use in this blog.
The Meaning of the Three B’s
Before I tell you what a brand is, let me tell you what it isn’t. A brand is not your logo or the colors you use on your website. It is much more than that.
The brand represents how your consumers, clients, employees, and everyone else perceives your business.
People are intuitive and make most of their decision based on their emotions. So if they feel good about your business, they are more likely to buy your products.
As you could probably guess, branding is the process of creating and sustaining a strong brand.
Brand identity represents a set of features that distinguish one business from another. It involves your logo, typography, colors, brand voice, and more.
Keep in mind that there isn’t just one way to define these things. You’ll notice that many people use these terms interchangeably, but don’t let that confuse you.
Strong Brand Traits
Before we get into details, let’s get one thing straight – every business has a brand. Whether you like it or not, people will always have opinions about your brand and there’s nothing you can do to stop that. The whole point of branding is to navigate the world’s experience about your brand and reap the benefits.
Now that we got that out of the way let’s see the key characteristics strong brands have in common.
There’s a quote from Maya Angelou that perfectly fits this situation: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. While I’m pretty sure she wasn’t thinking about branding when she said that, it sums up its purpose so well.
Think of Starbucks. People don’t buy their coffee because it’s the best coffee in the world, but because of how they feel when they’re buying it.
A strong brand creates and shares a story people can connect with. The most important part of that story is the reason you do what you do.
Jeff Bezos wanted to create a place where people could come and buy anything they were looking for. That’s the reason Amazon was created. He started small and operated his business from a garage in his house. Today, it’s one of the most successful companies in the world.
The world nowadays expects quality in all aspects of the company’s business. It goes from the products you make, the content you create, to the people and messages you publicly support.
The punishment is just a click away and comes in the form of a bad review. It may seem unimportant, but these bad reviews can easily go viral and damage a company’s reputation.
Companies that recognize the importance of delivering quality are those with a strong brand.
How is Branding Done?
Step 1. Know where you Stand
As we’ve stated before, every business has a brand and so do you. Before you start making plans and strategies, you should know what people think of you.
A brand audit explores your strengths and weaknesses, which will help you create a better branding strategy and become more competitive.
Step 2. Build a Branding Strategy
A branding strategy is a long-term plan that specifies the steps that you need to take to build a strong and successful brand.
An important step to building a branding strategy is finding your target audience. These are the people you are offering your products and services to. If your message doesn’t resonate with the consumers, you won’t be able to establish awareness, trust, or brand loyalty.
Think about your ideal customers – how old are they, are they a man or a woman, where are they from, what are their hobbies, what do they do for a living? Answering these questions and many more will tell you more about your target audience. As an example, something a lot of businesses don’t do but can be a great way to stand out is mailing postcards. As a result, postcards can be that personal touch to your marketing plan that sets your company apart from your competitors.
Just to give you an example, if you’re making anti-aging products, you won’t advertise them on TikTok because most of the people on TikTok are very young.
The second step in creating a branding strategy is establishing your mission statement. A mission statement responds to the”why”– why do you do what you do? If you’re passionate about your work, it will rub off on your consumers and make you more appealing to them.
After you establish your mission statement, it won’t be hard to define your features, benefits, and values. The purpose of these elements is to position your brand as unique and authentic on the market.
Features tell the consumers what your product does and what it is used for. Benefits offer information on the advantages of using your products. At last, the value represents a true motive behind using your products.
Imagine that you are making anti-dandruff shampoo. That shampoo has ingredients used to find dandruff which represents its feature, while the benefits of using it would be a clean scalp. On a deeper level, your shampoo can boost ones’ confidence.
Step 3. Create Visual Assets
After you’ve created a strategy, you should start working on visual elements. There are many of them, so we are going to go over the most important ones: logo, color palette, typography (fonts), form, shape, and imagery.
The logo is a symbol or icon that identifies your company. Its purpose is to set you apart from your competitors, so make sure it is distinctive and unique.
We’re pretty sure you heard of the color theory at some point by now. A color theory tells us how we perceive color and how we can use that to send the right message to consumers.
Colors can be used to evoke certain human emotions. For example, blue is associated with trust and reliability, while red is used to summon a feeling of passion.
Typography refers to the process of choosing or designing the right font to make your text more legible and appealing to consumers.
Form, shape, and imagery incorporated in your logo or website content can affect how consumers perceive your brand.
All these elements should work together to create an authentic brand identity.
Step 4. Know your Brand Voice
The best way to find your brand voice is to imagine how it would talk and look like if it were a person. Would it be all serious, wearing a suit and tie? Would it talk sarcastically most of the time? Or, would it be someone that listens to you, someone compassionate?
Many decisions in the branding process should be based on your brand voice. For example, if your brand voice is all about being professional, you should go for simple and elegant imagery with a color palette reflecting that.
Your content should also fit the tone of your brand voice. Don’t write goofy blogs if that doesn’t fit the rest of your image.
Step 5. See How it all Works
After you’ve figured it all out, it’s time to incorporate that into your website, social media, customer service, advertising, and even packaging.
Use your logo on your website and as a profile picture on social media. Make sure you’re consistent with your color palette. Produce content that lines up with your mission, vision, and values, and always present it using your brand voice.
You have to be Consistent
The last thing you have to keep in mind is that consistency is a must. Changing your brand often will confuse the consumers and you won’t accomplish anything.
Also, make sure everything lines up – consistency is not only time-related. Your social media, website, and any other form of communication with the consumers should be a reflection of your brand.
Now that you’ve got everything covered, get to work! Just don’t forget that these things take time. Be patient because good things come to those who wait.