Branding is more than a cool logo. It is the overall perception of your business and will be a way for your audience to recognize you. Your brand is your reputation. Here are some questions to help you start thinking about your brand.
What is a Brand & Why is it Important?
Your brand is what makes your company unique but is also how your audience recognizes you. Simply put, a company's most valuable asset is a loved and recognizable brand.
"According to a Nielson survey, 59% of consumers prefer to buy new products from brands familiar to them."
So how do we establish a recognizable brand?
Before you can start designing your logo and implementing colors and fonts, you must have a true understanding of your company and what it stands for. Below are a few questions to ask yourself to make sure you are not just creating a business but a brand.
Who are your Competitors within your Industry?
The point of this step is not to copy your competitors but instead find ways to differentiate you from them and show your audience why they should do business with your company instead of them. This is a very important step!
Look into what they are doing well and what they are not. Understand the audiences they are going after as well as which audiences they are neglecting. Think about the following questions while you are researching.
Do your competitors have a voice and is it consistent across all channels.
What's the quality of your competitors' products/services?
What marketing efforts are your competitors performing online and off?
Select 3-4 direct competitors to research. Look for testimonials and reviews to see what their customers think of them.
What is the Purpose?
To create a powerful brand you must have a powerful purpose.
This is your reason for being in business. This will be the foundation and will help you in the creative process of developing your tagline, slogan, and messaging. Think of this as your company's value and reason for existence. To help you brainstorm ask yourself these 4 questions
Dig deep and find the heart and soul of your company. This is what will set your company apart from its competitors.
Who is your Targeted Audience?
Now it is time to narrow it down by finding a targeted audience to focus on. The goal is to get specific and find the type of person you want to spend your marketing efforts. This audience can slightly change over time and there can be more than one set of audiences.
The easiest way to do this is by creating an audience persona. Think of your perfect client. You can even name them if you want. Build this persona from the ground up by thinking of the following as specifically as you can.
You can take it a step further by also developing their personality by thinking about their motivations, goals, and other brands they affiliate with. What problems do they have that you can fix and how are they influenced? Creating targeted audiences will allow you to promote and market to them based on what will catch their attention.
Think back on your competitor research and see if there is a potential audience that isn't getting attention yet. This can be an easy place to start.
What is your Brand's Mission Statement?
This is where you find your brand's passion. You can create the perfect targeted audience but if they do not trust you then they will still choose to use a different company. By creating a clear and concise statement that influences all of your branding, you are also creating audience trust.
Take a minute to take a step back and review your targeted audience. You want to make sure your mission statement can be directed towards your audience.
Mission Statement Examples
Your mission statement should be the first thing that comes to mind when someone asks "what do you do?"
What are the Benefits of your Brand?
Think about what your brand truly offers. What are your products or services really doing to benefit the consumer? Look back at your targeted audience, this is where you determine why should do business with you over your competitor.
This is not simply just a list of features but instead a list of how you provide value to your customer's life or experience. Here are some examples of Brand benefits.
A wider selection of options
Quicker turn-around times
Easy access to a customer service representative
Superior bilingual customer service
Longer lasting material with warranty
By identifying your key benefits you are able to create a brand that will stand out from the competition.
What is your Brand's Voice?
Now it is time to take your audience, mission, and industry to create a unique voice. This is how your company will communicate with your audience and creates an expectation over time. It is important that your voice stays consistent.
Think about your messaging. How do you want your brand to come off as?
The personality and emotions represented in your company's communication is its brand voice. This can be identified through marketing efforts that aim to evoke a specific feeling.
Now that you have a better understanding of your company's core, you can continue creating your branding guide. This guide will give your marketing and company meaning. Your logo design components will represent your purpose and appeal to your targeted audience.
Spend a little bit of time on this. The more established your branding is, the smoother the rest of your marketing efforts will be. And by creating consistency, you are creating a brand identity.