A Quick-Start Guide to Branding for Business Owners
‘Brand’ is a word that gets thrown around a lot. People say that your brand is vital, that it’s central to how your business is viewed by the world, that you have to treat it with respect. But, how many people hearing that actually know what brand means?
In our experience, there’s no small amount of confusion surrounding what a brand is, what its purpose is, or why it’s important. The necessity of staying on brand is also a frustratingly vague concept to many people.
Say hello to today’s article, a short guide that breaks down the what’s what of branding.
What Is A Brand?
Let’s start by clearing up one of the biggest misconceptions we see: that a brand and a logo are the same thing. The truth is, while they are related, they are not the same.
A brand is the whole identity of your business, including its tone, values, tagline, personality, and logo. It’s all of the features that make your business identifiable from others.
A logo is the face of your brand, one of its most important visual identifiers, but it is not the brand itself.
Your brand appears everywhere that people interact with your business, be it passively or actively. Or, that’s how it should be. Why? Because your brand is how your consumers perceive and remember your business, which leads us into the next section.
Why Is A Brand Important?
A brand creates an identity for your business. Specifically, an identity that represents your business, distinguishes you from your competitors, and resonates with a target audience.
Let’s focus on that latter point a bit more. A well-developed brand provokes a reaction from your audience and grabs their interest. That spark of interest is the first opportunity your marketing has to convert someone from a viewer to a customer.
At their core, marketing campaigns are driven by creating awareness for your brand. Done right, these campaigns help build a connection between your audience and your business, keeping you top of mind. Strengthening this connection with positive experiences leads to brand trust and brand loyalty, two values every business should strive to earn.
All of these experiences are tied together by the brand, which anchors them to your business.
Creating a brand is only the first step. Representing that brand consistently are the next fifty.
One of the most valuable benefits of creating a complete brand is one that we often see being underrated: the ability to remain on brand across all touchpoints.
Being on brand is another way of saying your brand has consistent visuals and tone, otherwise known as brand consistency. A key part of building the business identity mentioned above is this consistency, as every interaction people have with your brand contributes to their overall perception of your business.
(These interactions include everything from seeing signage, purchasing and using products, reading blog articles, browsing your website, watching videos, and more.)
Managing that perception by pushing a consistent brand into the world legitimises your business in everyone’s eyes. But, more than that, it helps give your customers confidence that you are the right choice, encouraging them to choose you over all others.
Defining Your Brand
Now let’s discuss how to define your brand.
Defining your brand isn’t a task to rush. It deserves serious thought, especially if you’re creating a personal brand. Set some time aside and get brainstorming! There are several immediate things to consider, including:
- Who is your target audience?
- Who is your ideal customer?
- What is your product or service?
- What are your brand’s values?
- What is your brand’s mission statement?
- What makes your product or service unique?
- What makes your brand unique from its competitors?
- What words describe your brand’s personality?
The answers to these questions are incredibly useful for shaping your brand’s personality and visual identity. It’s helpful to bounce your ideas between another person or two. Alternatively, meet with branding consultants that specialise in doing this very thing. They will have a much more comprehensive set of questions designed for revealing your brand.
Once your brand has been defined, you can establish the brand assets, such as brand colours, fonts, and the logo. That is definitely a job we recommend you consult a designer or brand development agency for – and yes, we can help too!
A brand plays an integral role in the growth and development of a business. Hopefully, you have come away from this article understanding the truth of that statement.
Want to chat about your brand? Get in touch with our experts today!