Jeff Bezos, owner of Amazon and subsequently the world’s richest man, said it best: “A brand is literally what people say about your business when you’re not in the room”.
Basically, everything they think and feel, which is why branding is so important.
The IDENTITY or image of a company is made up of many visual & sensual devices like:
A Logo (The symbol of the entire identity & brand)
Stationery (Letterhead + business card + envelopes, etc.)
Marketing Collateral (Flyers, books, websites, etc.)
Products & Packaging
Other Sensual Communication (Audio, smell, touch, etc.)
All of these represent a brand’s identity and should support the brand as a whole.
A LOGO should identify the business in a simple way that is recognizable and memorable.
It does not literally show what the business does. ie. A car logo does not show a car.
Benefits of Branding
Everyone’s idea of branding is different, but there is one thing they can not deny…
The power of branding:
CUSTOMER RECOGNITION Makes a brand stand out from its competitors
CUSTOMER LOYALTY Keep customers coming back for more
CONSISTENCY A consistent brand is memorable & more effective
BRAND EQUITY Every branded element helps build brand equity
INCREASES CREDIBILITY Establishes a company as a serious professional business
ATTRACTS TALENT When a business has great branding, people notice
ALLOWS SHARED VALUES Emotionally connect with customers creating loyalty for life
GIVES CONFIDENCE A solid brand knows its values and this evokes confidence
A strong, well-defined brand will make growing your company much easier.
But what makes a strong brand?
1. Brand Awareness: A strong brand is one that is recognized and known by consumers. This means that the brand has a presence in the marketplace, with a strong visual identity, name, and positioning.
2. Brand Identity: A strong brand has a unique and memorable brand identity that reflects the brand's values, personality, and promise. This may include a logo, tagline, color palette, font, and other design elements.
3. Consistency: A strong brand is consistent in its messaging, tone, visual identity, and customer experience. This helps to build trust and credibility with consumers over time.
4. Emotional Connection: A strong brand connects with consumers on an emotional level, making them feel something positive and memorable. This may be achieved through storytelling, invoking nostalgia, or connecting with a shared value or belief.
5. Quality and Value: A strong brand delivers quality products or services that provide value to consumers. This helps to build loyalty and trust with customers, who will be more likely to recommend the brand to others.
Typically, what makes a brand great isn’t just one amazing thing—it’s a combination of several.
This is where most people get it wrong and because of this, you need a brand strategy.
And your brand strategy has to be aligned with your business objectives (the reason WHY you exist), your target client, and your unique selling point.
To put this in perspective, consider Ikea. While they’re definitely not a small startup, they perfectly exemplify a strong brand.
Because they’re known for their low prices, giant stores, customer experience, inspiring ideas, and innovative products.
Ikea’s brand is more than just a logo. Agree?
So, define your why and the rest will follow.
For a strong brand, you’re going to need:
Logo – a symbol representing your business Tag line – a short & sweet motto Visual Aesthetic – a consistent color palette, fonts, design style, and overall concept
Voice – The brand’s tone, vocabulary & syntax
Once you have these set up, you can start building the rest of your brand’s collateral. eg. Your website, social media graphics, packaging, stationery, etc.
No brand is set in stone.
Over time, you may want to update it or do a complete re-branding.
Your clients, new emerging technology, and the ever-evolving economy will dictate when you may need to consider re-branding.
Build Your Brand
After you’ve set your goals, outlined your target market & deﬁned how you wish to be perceived, then you can start to build your brand.
Start with these 3 brand essentials:
A) Your Unique Visual Identity
Having a unique visual identity is one of the easiest ways to differentiate your business from the competition. Your identity should be consistent and reﬂective of your initial goals, yet ﬂexible enough to work across all communication.
This includes your logos, fonts, colors, stationery, social media proﬁles, and more.
B) Your Own Website, Domain Name & Email Address
Do you know what comes up when people type your business into Google? Hopefully your own website (e.g. JohnSmith.com) and social media proﬁles. Are you using a customized email address such as email@example.com?
These all reflect your brand’s image.
C) Your Social Networks
It’s not enough to have a Facebook or Twitter account, you have to actually be active there; share content, provide value, ask and answer questions, and as frequently as possible.
Remember that everything you do, say and share is reﬂective of your brand.
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