This is a four-part mini series on effective branding. We dig deep into why branding is seriously crucial to your business success and break down the elements you need to consider to build a meaningful, memorable brand.
IS YOUR BRAND ON BRAND? BRAND BUILDING SERIES PART 1
Did your ‘really creative’ friend or cousin create your logo? Perhaps you did it yourself or the printer created it for you? Maybe you got it done on one of those crowd sourcing sites for peanuts thinking you got a good deal?
Many of my clients that come to me to re-brand their business are a little embarrassed to admit this. They’ve been in business for a while, with various degrees of success but they’ve really just ‘made do’ with their branding, graphic design and marketing. They tell me that they’ve never really done it ‘properly’, tried to do it themselves and ended up feeling overwhelmed wasting time trying to learn the tricks to make their branding look good, or they’ve left it up to administrative staff that are unqualified to handle the branding and marketing. The ones that got it done cheap, are worried their brand is not working.
If this sounds like you, perhaps you’ve been in business for 3, 5 or 10 years and you’re starting to wonder if your brand is well… on brand?
If you keep hearing that branding is crucial to your business, but you’re not really sure you truly understand what branding, don’t worry, you’re not alone.
In my line of business, I see confusion all the time and it breaks my heart (and makes my eyes bleed!) when I see business owners and entrepreneurs spending money and resources on logos, websites, collateral, printing and marketing, that has no real brand strategy behind it.
YOURE WASTING YOUR MONEY IF:
- You ‘know exactly’ what you want and you need it done ‘yesterday’ without considering the right approach to designing your marketing pieces
- You’d rather save money on the initial design but spend money printing 5,000 brochures because the more you print the cheaper the cost per unit, right?
- You’re spending hours pushing out social media content just to have ‘an online presence’, without really considering what message you are truly sending out into the world.
- You’ve got an ad hoc approach and you’ve been trying lots of different designs to see what works
- Your web developer doesn’t ‘get’ branding, uses confusing language and simply asks you what you want
If you’re taking a reactive approach to your branding you’re most likely wasting your time, energy and money.
It doesn’t really matter what you want if your brand doesn’t also resonate with your dream clients. Chances are that your current branding is actually damaging your otherwise hard earned reputation.
YOUR BRAND IS YOUR BIGGEST ASSET
Your logo is not your brand. Your corporate colours are not your brand. Your images are not your brand. All of these elements make up your brand identity, but your brand is what people, your customers, think and feel about your brand, and from a neuroscience point of view (more about this later), it’s what they remember about any ‘experience’ they have had with your brand – wether that’s online, in person, whilst interacting with your products or services at any given ’touchpoint’ they have with your brand.
Your brand also happens to be one of the biggest assets in your business. If you get it right, it can add immense value to your bottom line by helping you
- easily create advertising, marketing and content that is relevant and meaningful
- attract your dream clients
- nurture existing clients for continued income
- charge higher prices for your products and services
- attract dream employees for further growth
- attract potential investors
- increase the value of your business when it’s time to sell
START WITH A BRAND REVIEW
So if things are not where you want them to be, where do you start? If you’re an existing business, the best place to begin is by taking an honest look at your current branding and marketing efforts. A brand audit will help you understand the health of your brand and uncover your strengths and weaknesses. A thorough review of your brand will create opportunities for improvement – this could mean a simple brand refresh or a complete re-brand of all your marketing.
NEXT SERIES – BRAND STRATEGY
In the next Brand Building blog series we’ll introduce you to the process of Brand Strategy and why having brand clarity will help drive messaging and creative that resonates with your dream clients to build a strong, memorable and meaningful brand.