Branding is important for all businesses, regardless of size, sector or industry. True to say that many small businesses try to look like bigger branded companies to win more trust and custom.
You may know that branding is essential but you may not be sure as to why. They aspire to build a brand, creating a promotional plan, ordering all kinds of promotional accessorise from banner stands to business cards.
Branding is not just about splashing your logo on everything – although this is part of branding – but more a definition of what your business is, your team, your customers, the emotional experience of buying from you.
What is branding?
Your brand is what your product or service is, why they need it, how people feel about buying and using it, how your business communicates with customers and so forth. It colours everything that you do. It is how your product and business looks, with a logo and colour but it is the feeling behind this. Why is your logo red, when it would work just as well blue?
Branding is about asking your business questions. By knowing your business, you know your customers and by knowing your customers, you know your business.
This branding creates loyalty among other things and so creating a business brand is simply essential. Hacking your way to a business brand is simpler with these top 10 tips:
#1 Define your brand
This first tip is about asking yourself a whole heap of questions from your customer’s point of view. Review what you offer, pinpoint the space in the market that the business occupies too. From this point, work out what emotions and needs your customers will have when it comes to buying, or not buying, your product or service.
#2 Customer persona or character
Many larger brands created a brand character or customer persona to help understand some basic customer needs. They create the person that they know buys their products, imagining how they will react to package changes and so on. It is vital when building a brand to fully understand your customer.
#3 Business drive
Your business is a living, breathing entity. You need to understand what drives it and who your brand heroes are. Branding is essentially about emotion – your customers and your business too. The Virgin group of businesses for example, are known for being different, outlandish and working outside of pre-defined rules. Air travel was not revolutionised as such by Virgin Travel but the refreshing way in which the brand treats it customers was. Do you ever hear anyone complain about Virgin?
#4 Long term relationships
Branding is about building long term relationships with customers but this is where many brands fall down. They raise expectations but only to fail, letting customers down.
Consistency is key, not just in terms of logos and so on but the tone and voice you use to create the expectations that customers will have of your product or service. Suddenly changing your ‘voice’ or having one tone on one day, but another the next sends conflicting and confusing messages.
#6 Boring, unnecessary repetition
On one hand, branding must promote consistency but on the other, the same repetitive message becomes boring and monotone. Vary your message within branding boundaries.
#7 No mimicking
Big brands and names spend thousands of pounds on research relating to the creation of brands and so mimicking them is not a good idea. Not only could it land you in a spot of legal bother, you may also find that your buying public also look at your brand as being a poor second choice product or service to the main competitor.
#8 Be bold and daring, not constricted
We are often counselled to be cautious, with many brands and businesses covered in layers of bureaucracy that prevents them from quickly adapting to their customers and their changing needs. Don’t allow your decision-making to become bogged down in layers of red tape!
#9 Communication & branding
A big area that often lets a brand down is when it comes time to communicating with customers. Many brands choose to communicate through discounts and offers. Offering indiscriminate discounts all of the time leads to the wrong kind of message about your brand.
#10 Logo is NOT branding
Slapping your logo on everything from your website to business cards and letterheads is NOT branding. Your brand is something more; it should be fluid and engaging. Your customers are intelligent beings thus using your customers to tell others about your product or service is a great power to harness.
Colour Graphics is print and design company with a difference – they have been putting customer needs at the forefront of their business for decades. Using the latest technology, they have remained at the forefront of the competition, creating a brand that customers know they can trust but be wowed by too.