Do you have a booming brand based upon strategy that gives your business a unique edge in today’s crowded market? Well, I should probably first ask if you really know what branding really is? I find a lot of definitions of it flying about. The branding term is always being thrown around, isn’t it?
For simplicity sake, let’s say that branding is what people say, think and feel about your business. Branding comes from every encounter your audience has with your business. It is about the way they comprehend your brand and how they feel about it. It is about looking at your business as a whole and building it in the strongest way possible in order to create connections with your audience.
There are three distinct ingredients in branding:
1. THE BRAND FOUNDATION
This has to do with your mission, values, what differentiates your business, understanding your target market, and what you are about.
2. THE BRAND IDENTITY
This is the visual part of your brand. Your visuals are your logo, colors, typography, your website designs and how your brand looks and feels.
3. THE BRAND EXPERIENCE
This is how your brand is presented in all touch points. Think of how you communicate and the experience you are building for your market in every aspect of the user experience.
The stronger your brand, the stronger your business. Period.
You should build your brand from the inside out, making sure it comes across consistently in every step of the way. Branding is pretty incredible in ever single sense of the word. Why? Because it gives, gives and gives to your business.
Branding gives you:
Probably one of the most important things about branding is having complete and total clarity on who your brand is and what it is all about. When you work on the brand behind the business, you understand the purpose behind what you do and the real value you are offering. It is not really about what you are selling. You are getting to know who your ideal customer is and what their needs are.
Not only does branding help you determine your purpose, but it also constantly guides you in making the day-to-day decisions about what you need to do in order to grow your business. Not only that, it helps you find the most effective ways to connect with your ideal audience and the strategies you need to put in place in order to make sure you are relevant to your prospects.
DIFFERENTIATION AND RECOGNITION
One of the most important things that branding does is help you differentiate your business. In other words, it helps define your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and determines why your audience chooses to buy from you instead of someone else. It is very rare for a business to be one-of-a-kind and completely 100 percent unique; however, each business and individual has characteristics that make them different from another and these differences are what will resonate with your target. An effective USP will help you find your space in a saturated market by finding ways people can connect with your brand. Every business or brand has traits that make them unique. When used smartly, they have the power to make you stand out from everyone else, making your business the absolute, no-brainer choice. It also helps in building your recognition as well.
CREDIBILITY AND TRUST
Let’s get real. You would not purchase from a business that looks a bit sketchy, right? The great thing about branding is that the more you work on it and develop it, the more credibility it gives you. A great brand, a beautifully designed logo and a website that makes you look legitimate are fundamental in helping your business grow. In other words, branding builds trust and trust = sales. Why? Because it takes people from knowing > liking > trusting and, ultimately, to buying from you.
The incredible thing about branding is that once your brand is established and has a system and strategy in place, you will never have to guess what need to do. First, you will have clarity on the best way to communicate with your audience and those day-to-day decisions I mentioned above. Then, thanks to your style guide, you will know exactly HOW your brand needs to look wherever you share it. Finally, it helps you in determining the optimum content you need to produce in order to build the best experience.
Branding is pretty amazing for business! That is why I love sharing so much about it and making sure to do all that I can in order to build my clients’ brands (and my OWN, of course) consistently. I get the power that a booming brand has.