As Maria in the Sound of Music famously said, or sung, “Let’s start at the…
The importance of Branding can be a priority that flows a little lower in the order of things to do when setting up your business in the beginning. There’s so many requirements and considerations when establishing your business from services, accounts, equipment, expenses and let’s be honest, the list goes on! But it’s so important to keep Branding at the forefront at your mind, because it really is much more than just one logo.
Branding provides context and a visual representation of what and who your business is, that promotes recognition for your audience and how they perceive you. A strong brand generates referrals, shows an audience what to expect and provides a promise of quality to your customer.
That’s all good and well you may be thinking, but what does all of this mean? Well first let’s break down what exactly Branding is and the five main components of what’s required to get you one step closer to building your own visually powerful Brand which will provide a little more context of why it’s so important a little more.
- Brand Identity
Your Brand Identity is made up of your logo, brand colours, typography, imagery, website, social media and any additional collateral pieces you have (flyers, business cards, etc.) It’s the external image that is most commonly recognised amongst an audience. It needs to stand out and be in alignment with your clientele and stand out amongst your industry competitors. This requires innovative design, being on-trend and an overall inviting presence for your customer.
- Brand Purpose, Mission and Values
These are different components of your brand, but should flow simultaneously to convey a larger and overall story about you are, what you do and why. It’s a story of your purpose and the promise you can provide for your customer through your business and the value they also provide for you, which formulates trust and understanding.
- Brand Messaging
This is the voice of your brand, and in my opinion the most important part of your Branding. This messaging helps connect with your audience through the language on your website, social media posts and the conversation with your audience. It’s the personality and tone, that portrays your professionalism and character, that is dependent on your audience, who your brand is and how you want to be portrayed that connects you deeply and generates trust, whilst providing context of your Brand Purpose, Mission and Values.
- Brand Differentiation
Standing out from your competitors in your industry is a non negotiable. It’s your unique selling proposition! What do you offer that others in your industry can’t provide? This could be services/offers, customer service, price – whatever it may be, find your unique differentiator and use that for your long term success.
- Brand Experience
This is the way your audience can interact with your offering, services, team and online presence. It’s the simplicity of being able clearly to identify what they need from a website, having enquiries answered, purchasing a product or the finalisation of a service. When a customer can efficiently go to any point of contact with your business and find what they’re looking for, this is a clear example of efficient customer experience.
Evidently, Branding entails a little more than what most of us realise – especially at the beginning of establishing your business! It’s impossible for Branding to be a “one size fits all” strategy and is unique to every business, which is why it’s important to take your time when figuring out exactly what you need to connect with your audience. It can be a little overwhelming at first, but a good place to start is creating a mind map with pen to paper with the five components above and writing some points under each category. If you’re stuck, research what other brands are doing for a little inspiration and further context.
If you’re at a point in your business where you have your Branding established but are unsure if it’s connecting to your audience, it’s important to reassess your five components and perhaps re-strategise your approach. Your Branding, the same as your business should always be evolving so if you feel that your customer conversion is slowing down or your simply not translating your who, what and why efficiently – it may be time to make a few changes to the strategy and design of your Brand.
Creating high quality branding can be costly, but it’s important to set aside a budget to hire the correct professionals who can assist you with strategizing, design and communicating in a unique way. After all, if we can’t communicate effectively to our audience, how can we be successful in converting those client relationships into revenue?