Business branding is more than just a logo.
As a business owner, you are already engaged in the process of branding, even though you may not know that is what you are doing. If you ask ten marketing experts to define what are the best branding techniques or even the definition of branding, you will probably get ten different answers, but some elements will be the same.
Those elements that are same in those answers are really the basics of branding. To get started, let’s start with a definition and then move on the specifics.
Branding is a way to identify your business to the consumer or the end-user of your products or services. It is a message about what your business is about, what your company values are and how your company is presented to the world.
Branding is not just a logo or specific colors, but those are a part of branding. Instead, branding is about what makes your company unique and how doing business with you will benefit your customers in some way.
Be careful not to confuse branding with marketing. Marketing is sales, promotions and getting business because of how your products and services will enrich the life of the customer. There is a definite overlap, and a good brand helps in marketing, just as a bad brand can drag sales down. The key is that your branding (colors, fonts, logo, feel, message) is consistent IN your marketing pieces.
Branding is a way to appeal to your target market and helps say what you (and your business) is all about.
How to Engage in Branding
To get started on branding in a logical, systemic way, try these following strategies. Remember, this is a strategic approach, and it will take time and effort to develop.
- Mission statement – if you don’t have a company mission statement or philosophy, it is critical to develop This should indicate the core values of your business. Once this is in writing and fleshed out, it provides a guideline for making decisions moving forward that reflect those values and goals.
- Get personal – to build a brand you have to connect. Connecting through blogs, community events, social causes that support your mission statement and interests are all effective ways to brand your business and to connect with potential audiences.
- Work with your staff – the company has to be consistent with branding messages. If the core value is customer service, it is critical to train your staff as to the specifics of what that means. A bad experience with an untrained staff member can impact a customer’s view of your brand, which can undermine your efforts.
- Know the colors of your logo and website – use them consistently in other marketing efforts, graphics etc.
- Know the font in your logo and tagline – use it consistently in other marketing graphics etc
- Ensure your social media platforms ‘match’ your website and all the places where folks ‘find you’ look consistent and coincide with your logo and image
- Be aware of what images and colors emit in regards to sentiment and emotions. The psychology of color is both useful and interesting.
- Think about the language you use aswell on your website, in print material and marketing. For example – you’ve probably seen how I use terms like ‘port in the storm’ or ‘may the winds always be at your back’ or my Rescue Boat Services, Sail Boat Services and Yacht services etc – all in line with my branding.
All these elements help people remember you, feel that you have a cohesive message and sense of purpose. It shows that you know marketing at a higher level which gives the feeling of higher knowledge and trust. You are easier to recognize and stay top of mind.
If you want to know if your brand is ‘bang on’ and consistent or you need help tweaking – that’s what we DO. We can help strategize to ensure your content marketing is ON BRAND and take steps to get you there.