They appreciate the link between a thriving business and a strong brand and aspire to build the sort of brand recognition enjoyed by household names.
However, many business owners may not appreciate that branding goes much deeper than just a logo or product packaging. A successful business will have brand recognition at the heart of its strategy.
Your brand identity is a way of defining your business (yourself, your colleagues, your products, services and customer service levels) without necessarily having to explain it. A successful brand will embody the core of what the business is all about, not just what it looks like on paper.
The benefits of powerful branding are far-reaching – a better connection with your customers can lead to improved sales, customer loyalty and advocacy.
So, for those who need a little help looking more deeply – here are some basics you can follow.
Before you start thinking about building your brand, you’ll need to define it.
What do you want your business to be known for? Perhaps excellent quality products or exceptional customer service? Use this as your building block to work out how your brand should look and feel. Ultimately, your brand needs to promote your business, help you interact with your customer base and set you apart from your competitors.
Look at what other similar businesses are doing to learn what does and doesn’t work well in your industry. Perhaps you emulate a large corporate brand – if so, look at the ethos behind their branding and apply it to your own.
Once you’ve got a design you’re happy with, make sure you test it before launching. Focus groups are a good way to get honest feedback, as are online surveys.
You’ll want to keep your branding consistent no matter how or where it is featured. A good set of brand guidelines can help ensure you have a consistent look and feel across multiple platforms. That said, be careful not to mention the same thing over and over again, particularly on channels where some personality can go a long way, such as email marketing and social media.
Finally, once your new brand is up and running, don’t forget how you got there in the first place. If you designed your brand all around providing the very best customer service, make sure that is what people get when interacting with you. If your brand is about cutting-edge designs, be sure to stay fresh in the marketplace.
Whether you’re just starting out or looking to give an existing brand a refresh, get in touch to see how Outlook could help.