The term brand is often used synonymously with logo. However, in order to have a truly successful brand, it is important to understand that it is so much more than just a logo.
A brand is a strategic concept that helps a person identify and recognize your specific products or services using different marketing tools to create an image of your company in the minds of potential clients.
Take our favorite treat - peanut butter cookies. You can have all the ingredients (eggs, sugar, flour, butter, baking powder, vanilla, peanut butter) but you have to combine them in the right order and the right amount to create the delicacy known as peanut butter cookies. The same is true for your brand.
The logo, font, colors, patterns, slogans, etc. are all ingredients that make up your brand. How you use these elements and implement them throughout your business interactions, website, social media, product packaging, business cards, etc. can make all the difference in allowing your brand and your business to flourish and stand out above the rest. There will always be another company selling the same product or service as you; the goal is to instantly be recognized as the go-to brand when someone is looking for the specific product/service you provide.
Not only that, but your copy, captions, and voice all play a part in how your brand will be perceived. Jerry McLaughlin describes “brand” as “the perception customers have about that product or service.” Your actions and business practices will determine what people think of your brand and company. Some questions to ask yourself when you are discovering your brand qualities: How easily do you accept returns or refund clients? Do you participate in philanthropy work? How do you interact on social media? Will you tease and make fun of people on social media or will you be professional and kind?
There is not necessarily a “right” or “wrong” way to do things, but whatever you establish as the standard for you and your brand will generate a lasting image of you in the minds of your clients and the public in general. Make these decisions early on and then act accordingly.
Perceptions influence people’s behavior and cause them to take action (or inaction). How do you want your company to be perceived and what actions do you want people to take? How can you change your brand strategy to manifest those results?
If you’re having trouble putting these together, try working backwards and be specific.
+Determine what actions you want your potential clients to take. What is the end goal?
+Brainstorm the perceptions that the client would need in order to take action. How should they feel when they think about your business? What do they need to know in order to choose you?
+Combine different marketing tools to create a cohesive brand that will evoke the desired perception.
What reputation do you want to build? How do you want to be known? What do you want people to think about and feel when they hear your name, see your logo, or read something you’ve written? Brainstorm qualities of your ideal brand personality, jot them down, and then consistently show them in every aspect of your company.
Branding is a big buzzword these days, but the truth is, this idea of a brand has been around for a long time. Just like farmers who brand their cattle to identify and distinguish their livestock from others, your brand will be the identifying piece of your company. Use tools to create a cohesive, complete brand to clearly place the image of your product or service into the mind of your ideal client. Your brand should clearly identify your specific products or service and will ideally set you and your company apart from similar products in the market.
If you’re ready to take your business to the next level with a cohesive, strong, memorable, and identifiable brand that sets you apart or you're curious about how a branding strategy could work for your business - let's chat! We’d love to help you reach your goals!