In the era of entrepreneurship, “following your passion”, and doing things “like a boss”, there’s an overwhelming amount of information out there when it comes to launching and building a business.
Take branding for example, which is one of the things new business owners and entrepreneurs tend to look into at the early stages of their endeavours. There are hundreds of valid definitions for the word branding, and it can be complicated to filter what is genuinely helpful when designing your own strategy.
If you try Google, you’ll see that branding can be described as simply as “the identity of a business”. Or for those who enjoy getting deeper, branding can be seen as something more profound like “a business’ self-development process”.
Instead of trying to define what is clearly a diverse and subjective topic, I thought I’d focus on the reasons why I think branding is important, and why I believe branding is the number one foundation for any successful marketing strategy.
It sets you apart from your competition
Let’s start with the most obvious reason: a brand is a mark. From choosing an appropriate name, to designing a logo and picking a signature colour palette, a brand will give your business a visual identity. A set of tangible attributes that makes your business recognisable by an audience, and visually discernible from your competitors.
It communicates what your business stands for
A brand is much more than a cool logo and pretty types. A brand is a narrative - made of images and words - that conveys what you stand for to those who want to hear it. Think of your brand as the vehicle through which your core message gets distributed. For example, when you first open the packaging of an Apple product, you’re not simply interacting with a smooth white box, you’re being introduced to key concepts that remain relevant during all stages of your experience with the brand. Things like intuitive usability, cool and innovative, sexy design…
It attracts like-minded people (Your vibe attracts your tribe).
This has to be one my favourites because not everyone sees it at first. Your brand is the most evident doorway for your ideal customers to come through and find what you have to offer. Have you heard the expression “trying to be everything to everybody means you end up being nothing to nobody”. It makes sense, right? Owning your quirks, staying aligned with your values at all times, and being unapologetic about how you do your thing is the most authentic form of marketing. The people who appreciate those quirks and believe in those same values are much more likely to find you (and stay around you) if you make a clear stand. And yes, that means you will alienate the people who don’t particularly love what you’re doing, but that’s also a good thing because they’re not the kind of customers you want around your business anyway. Let them go and give more space to who’s important.
It indicates consistency (consistency = trust)
Consumers want to buy from brands they know and trust. Having a voice and aesthetic that is consistent throughout all your promotional platforms (what we call brand touchpoints) is an important step to becoming known by an audience that recognises and appreciates your brand even before they do business with you. Consistency sets a reliable dynamic between accountability and familiarity, which are important parts of building deeper connection and trust.
It conveys quality and professionalism
We all love the convenience of the internet and I don’t deny that these days an app can do in seconds what a human might take years to learn. But to achieve quality, and ultimately excellence, there’s an element of artistry and creative intelligence that can’t be beaten. Refined designs that are thought out with purpose and strategic vision, will translate into a look and feel that customers associate with professionalism, credibility, and essentially the idea that you care about them. In a world where one single click can bring up an array of competitors, the quality of your branding is a reflection of how committed and dedicated you are to your craft.
So, do you already have a brand that brings you all of the benefits above? Where do you think there’s room for improvement in your branding strategy and what are you already doing well?
Feel free to use the comments section below as I’d love to know where you’re at!
If you want to learn more about how I can help you make the most of your brand, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org - I’d love to chat!