What is branding?
Branding is much more than just a logo or a visual element. When you think about your brand, you should be thinking about your entire customer experience from the moment they engage with your brand. This covers your logo, your website, you social media, the way you communicate with your customers and how your customers engage with your staff.
To break it down, your brand is the way your customers perceive your business. You need to plan to create a brand experience that you want your customers to have. A good brand doesn’t just happen overnight, it needs to be well thought out with a strategic plan.
The structure of your brand
The golden rule for branding is authenticity.
You want to have a vision for your company. Where do you see it in the next 5, 10 or even 30 years? We all know there is no real finish line with a business, all business owners want to strive for better and to go above and beyond, but you need to set the initial targets of where you want to be and what you want to achieve so your entire team can be helping your company achieve your vision.
You need to know what your brand stands for, the values and understanding why you’re doing everything that you do. Your vision and your values are usually linked together as one usually leads to the other. When planning what you want to achieve you’ll pull out ideas of why your vision matters and the values that come from it. Think of the values you’ll need to have in place to achieve your goals as well as the culture you embed in how your workplace operates.
The representation of your brand is essential. When I say your representation I am talking about the design of all of your visual elements as well as the language you use within these, to create your branding DNA. It is also how your customer perceives your brand through their experience, if you need to speak to your customers on the phone then the way you speak to them will have an impact on how they see your brand. You need this representation to match your brand values so there is consistency within your branding, which is key.
Your Design Elements
You want your brand to stand out for the right reasons, so it is critical all of your visual elements both look good as well as being consistent. When your branding is consistent it is easier to recognise, and people feel more comfortable with your brand as it comes across as more reliable. Once this is achieved (providing your services match the quality of your brand) you can begin to form brand loyalties with your customers.
Your visual elements will need to use the same colour scheme, typography and general design styles throughout to ensure consistency. You want your brand to clearly communicate with your customers what your company is all about, but at the same time standing out from your competitors.
In conclusion, the best brands are built up from strong foundations of the visions and goals you set, then creating values that match them. These ideas are set for you and your staff to hold onto, to work towards and to achieve. Your brand needs to show these off through consistent visual assets, as well as communication with your customers in general. Your aim should be to stand out and look good, keeping your visual assets fresh and up to date.