5 Steps To Successful Branding
What is branding? Is it a logo, or a website, or a marketing campaign, or something else entirely? Well, simply put, a brand is everything. It’s the spirit of a business. It’s the face and the voice and clothes. And it’s one of the most important and crucial factors that can contribute to a company’s overall success.
But building a strong brand isn’t easy. It takes time, commitment, and an honest desire to make positive connections with customers.
Having said that, for those who are willing to put in the effort, top-quality branding is far from an unachievable goal. In fact, it’s no too hard to achieve at all.
To show you just how simple it is, here are 5 tips that any business can apply to dramatically boost the impact of their branding.
It’s all in the name
People say you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, but, let’s face it, we all do. And brand names are effectively the business equivalent of book covers.
The thing to remember is that the name always comes first. When people interact with or talk about your brand in any way, the name is always at the forefront. It’s what they’ll say first, and it’s what they’ll think about afterwards. The name is, after all, what people remember most.
But the thing about names is that they convey an awful lot of meaning, even if it’s not fully intentional. The flavour of your name, be it zany, serious, literal, or abstract, communicates a strong message to prospective customers.
So it’s important to consider the implications of your name, even if it seems like a brilliant one. Think about it from all angles and interpretations. What does it suggest about your brand and the way it operates, and how would you feel about dealing with another company operating under that name?
The brand is in the logo
Logos and names go hand-in-hand, and most of the time you can’t really notice one without noticing the other. But they’re both equally important in terms of branding, with the logo serving as visual bookmark, encapsulating your entire brand in a single symbol.
The key to many of the most successful logos is distinctiveness, recognisability, and simplicity. The simpler your logo, the easier it is to remember. So it’s good to think about how your brand’s values and personality can be evoked in the most straightforward way possible.
But more than that, it’s important to consider what message your logo communicates. After all, the logo is often the first point of contact between a prospective customer and a brand, so it needs to represent the brand in both a symbolic and functional way.
Know your audience
In order to create an effective brand, we need to know who it’s aimed at. Branding is a two-way system, and it’s as much about perception and perceived value as good design and clever marketing.
By understanding your audience — their likes, wants, and values — you can tailor your brand to suit to their tastes. Because when it comes down to it, nothing is more important than the audience. After all, without an audience we have no clients, and without clients we have no business. So building a brand around the client is an extremely valuable and worthwhile endeavour.
The message our brand communicates must resonate with our audience, otherwise they’ll feel no inclination to do business with us. And in order to resonate, we need to give our audience the feeling that we’re authentic and that we understand them.
Take this example. If you’re aiming at a young, digital-savvy audience, then you might not want to opt for traditional and formal branding, because it won’t resonate. Not only that, but it will give the clear impression that you don’t know your marketplace or the consumers within it. So they’ll likely go elsewhere and look for a brand which they feel understands them better.
Give it some personality
Personality is essential when it comes to powerful branding. Because a brand is essentially a persona.
One technique for injecting personality into your brand is to focus on the tone of voice. Tone of voice is incredibly important because it’s directly related to how you communicate with your audience. The way you develop and present your written content will have a huge impact on your brand’s perceived personality. So it’s important to consider the light in which you want to be seen.
Do you want to be viewed as authoritative, friendly, funny, or wise? These decision will greatly affect the relationships that customers develop with your brand.
But your brand’s personality comes down to more than just words. It’s everything, from letters to colours to images. And it’s crucial that all of those different aspects come together in a consistent and coherent way. Because developing a personality is one thing, but keeping it uniform is another.
The secret is that once your brand has a solid and likeable personality, customers will gravitate towards it.
Brand it up
For more on branding, why not take a look at our post on how to improve your brand storytelling.