Your brand should be one of the biggest assets in your business, but branding is a complex subject that can sometimes be difficult to wrap your head around.
So let’s break it down into bite sized branding pieces…
Your BRAND is the personality of your company – determined by how others perceive it and experience it. You can project an image, but it’s up to your clients and customers to make the emotional connections. Branding is not limited to logos, colours and fonts, but is really about projecting your corporate identity to the outside world – living and breathing the core values of your company and reflecting your business objectives consistently.
Your BRAND IDENTITY are the visual elements that make up and support your brand – kind of like the “packaging” of your company. Usually these are brand guidelines that keep your brand consistent – the use of colours, fonts, images, etc. throughout your logo, marketing collateral, websites, signage etc. so that your customers can recognise your brand. Consistency and repetition builds familiarity.
Your BRAND STRATEGY is the foundation for your brand – it builds on the vision you have for your business. It’s derived from your business plan and is based on your company culture and the values you uphold as a company, which are often born from the values of the business founder. The brand strategy helps you define who your dream customers are and get an in-depth understanding of their needs and goals.
Your brand strategy is roadmap for your brand – it gives you direction to answer these crucial questions:
Who you are?
What do you stand for?
Who needs to know?
How will they find out?
Why should they care?
The brand strategy has to resonate with everyone that comes into contact with your brand – stakeholders, employees and outside customers. Your brand strategy should articulate;
- Your brand vision – what are your business objectives?
- Your company culture – What is your team vibe?
- Your brand values – What do you stand for?
- Your brand architecture – Do you have multiple brands?
- Your dream clients – What do they want and need?
- Your brand personality – What is your brand archetype?
- Your brand positioning – What is your secret sauce?
- Your brand messaging – How do you articulate this?
GET YOUR BRAND OUT OF YOUR HEAD
As business owners, we are often too close to our brands to be able to articulate who we are, what we do and why we do it – particularly in a context that will resonate with the very customers we are trying to serve.
If you’re finding it hard to determine your own brand strategy, it’s best to hire a brand strategist to help you – an experienced strategic and creative thinker that can extract what’s in your head, break it down into elements and articulate what is already there in a way that will help you attract your dream clients and build a meaningful, memorable, successful brand.
If you have any questions about branding or brand strategy, place your comments below and I’ll do my best to answer them.