Branding may seem simple but successful branding is more of an art. It is much more than a logo and company colors. It is the story and emotions behind your business. Let’s explore the basics of branding your business and why it is so important.
Branding- More Than Your Logo
Branding is the way your company communicates with its customers. It is more than just a great logo, website, social media post, or email. Branding incorporates how your audience feels about your business and how likely they are to recognize it quickly. Your brand is your business’ personality so to speak.
A good way to measure the strength and effectiveness of your brand is to ask yourself “If I closed my business today, would anyone notice?”
Not only is strong branding good for your business, it is good for your employees also. A strong brand creates a strong identity and vice versa. Knowing your company is confident in who they are as a business and what they stand for creates a dynamic in the workplace that fosters more loyalty and a better workplace environment.
Strong branding will be more memorable, give the world a way to know your business on a deeper level, guide your marketing efforts, and strengthen your business as a whole.
The Basics of Branding Your Business
When brainstorming your branding or re-branding, there are three main areas to consider:
Consider your target audience. Who is your ideal customer? Once you have established who exactly you are trying to reach then research where they are most active and what types of marketing they relate to most. We shared a deep dive on generational marketing dynamics a while back that took a look at each generation, which advertisements they appreciate the most, where they are most active on social media and more. This information is a great help when you are identifying your target audience.
Consider your competition. Look for competitors and learn what they are doing. If their business is thriving then their branding must be strong.
Consider your current market position. Are you a brand new company with little to no brand recognition or have you been around for years but are looking to strengthen customer loyalty with a re-brand? Your market position will influence your branding strategy.
Key Components of Successful Branding
While it seems that a great logo is a no-brainer for branding your business, many business owners fail to use their logo enough. Your logo is central to who you are and what people recognize first. It should be used often and everywhere including your website, social media, email marketing, and your store front.
Your logo should be simple enough in design to be memorable but also convey your message. Graphic designers usually include variations of your logo to be used on social media, print, etc. to ensure that it is represented consistently and at its best no matter the platform.
Your Brand Story
When branding your business, your brand story can be a powerful tool. Your brand story is the how and why of your business’ formation told in a narrative way. It is storytelling at its best! Humans are hardwired to enjoy stories and telling your brand story can be memorable and attention grabbing for your audience. It humanizes your business and allows readers to connect emotionally.
Your Brand Communication
Brand communication is the plan for communicating with your audience. It is not so much HOW you are communicating (social media, email marketing etc.) but what words or phrases you want to link to your brand most. An example of brand communication from Dogwood is the phrase “Rise above the noise.” We use this phrase on our website, social media, and in discussions with clients.
Your Business Values
People connect with businesses that have shared values, so it makes sense for your business’ values to be part of your branding. The fact that Chick-fil-A chooses to be closed on Sundays resonates with many who value attending church on Sundays. That connection fuels their brand loyalty, but doesn’t make them crave Chick-fil-A any less on Sundays unfortunately! Make sure your business values are a part of branding your business.
Your Mission or Vision
Your business mission statement and/or vision should be considered when branding your business. Knowing why you do what you do and setting goals gives confidence and inspiration to both your audience and employees.
Implementing Your Brand Strategy
In the marketing world there are 3 terms that should guide your branding strategy and they all begin with the letter C. These 3 “C” words can be applied to any aspect of marketing!
Is your branding clear or is your message hidden with muddled text and design? People are overwhelmed with information already, so you must work to make sure that your logo, message, and call to action are clear.
Are you consistently branding your business with your brand guidelines? To create brand recognition, your audience needs to be able to easily connect the dots between your logo, your social media style, and your message. This is not to say that you do the same thing repetitively (unless it is working- then keep doing it until it is not working!) but when you do tweak your marketing tactics, do they still fall in line with your branding guidelines?
Constancy in branding refers to how often your audience sees your brand. The more you show up, the more likely your audience will remember you. For example, take a minute and consider how many times you see Coca-Cola in your day-to-day life. It is harder not to see a Coca-Cola reference in day-to-day life than it is to find one! They have created a strong and constant brand.
Dogwood Media Solutions and Branding Your Business
We love to help our customers create a successful brand strategy and rise above the noise on the web. (See what I did there?) Our team of graphic designers and branding professionals can help you create a strong brand identity and communicate that identity to your audience. Reach out today and let’s get a conversation started.