Whether you’re a business or an individual, everyone can benefit from having a clear brand. We’re all connected and we’re always sharing a piece of ourselves in everything we do. Modern business isn’t based around just the product or service alone, it’s also based around the people who make it happen.
WHAT IS A BRAND?
"A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories, and relationships that, taken together account for a consumer's decision to choose one product over another." - Seth Godin
You see brands everywhere. Really, any consumer good comes from a brand. From the red and white of Target to the neutral tones of a high end clothing store, branding is there. It’s intentional and it’s important.
Your branding is the first impression of your company. It’s the theme you create to maintain a cohesive look that helps people to know who you are, even if they don’t know anything about you. A brand is the feeling people get when they see you. It’s the most direct, yet subtle way to let people know exactly who you are and where you fit into their lives.
A brand has many elements that come together to create one cohesive theme. This includes logo, website design, color scheme, imaging, and wording. All of these things come together to portray your message and get it out there into the world. Your branding, done well, should create a feeling and a memory to help you stay fresh in your customer’s mind.
WHY BRANDING IS IMPORTANT
Anyone can benefit from taking the time to really define their brand. Sitting and thinking through their message and color scheme. Taking the time to leave no questions unanswered and really define who they or their company really are.
When you think about brands you know, it’s easy to agree that the big players are consistent. They have their key colors and business models that customers can expect. You know what you’re going to get when you walk into Target. Then, within all the brands that Target carries, there are the ones you gravitate towards because you know and trust those brands over others.
All of this is done through stratigic branding. People trust what they know and they know what they remember.
Having a consistence and cohesive brand is the first step in helping to get your message out there. When everything relates to each other within a brand, you don’t even need your logo get to get the word out. Simple patterns within what you put out there, like consistent fonts and imagery, will help to spread the word.
HOW TO DEFINE YOUR BRAND – PT.1
Get the worksheet and discover who you are as a brand.
Your message is you mission statement. It is the what and why to everything you’re doing.
When thinking about your message, think and about what you’re doing. What sets you apart and what is it exactly that you are doing?
When you understand your what, think about why you are doing what you’re doing. Why did you make your product, why are you saying these words, why should people choose you?
These are all questions that should be answered in your message. It doesn’t need to be long. The shorter the better. You message needs to be a to the point paragraph of all that your brand is.
Your customer experience is the feeling and expectation of your brand. When people experience what you’re putting out there, how should they feel? Comfy and at home, all natural goodness, excited and motivated?
Your brand experience can be communicated through every aspect of what you do, so it’s important to understand up front what you want your customers to feel when they experience your brand. Think of keywords and feelings that should come to mind when people experience your brand.
This will set the tone for every choice you make from here on out. With every decision, you can come back to your message and customer experience to determine the right and wrong decisions for your brand.
For your ideal customer, don’t get caught up in demographics or numbers. Don’t make your goal to appeal to everyone or large groups of people. Just think of one person. A person you know, or a person you make up. Just think of one and then answer these questions.
- What do they look like?
- What do they do?
- What brands do they love right now?
- What are their values?
Understanding these key features of your ideal customer will help you to understand who you’re selling to. In a sense, this is your niche. It doesn’t always have to be the subject you’re focusing on. A niche can be a person you’re trying to appeal to. This person doesn’t have to come in large numbers. You just need a few true fans to be successful.
The voice of your brand, along with the aesthetic features, is how you implement your customer experience. Your brand’s voice is molded by the words you use, the way you choose to punctuate, and the person you choose to speak in. If you are trying to appeal to education and learning, you may use bigger words with standard punctuation in third person. If you’re trying to excite people and create a whimsical environment, you might use A LOT OF CAPS and EXCLAMATION POINTS!!! Maybe even speak in TONSSS of SECOND and FIRST PERSON!!
When thinking of your voice, think about how your ideal customer would like to be spoken to. What tone would they speak in? What voice would attract them?
Have any branding tips or questions? Leave them in the comments!
Photo by Kara Michelle