As we move into springtime many of us feel inclined towards spring cleaning, this is also an opportune time to do some business spring cleaning. This month I will be posting different ways to keep on pace, redesign, and stay current. So let us start at the very beginning, branding.
What is Branding and why is it so important? Branding is the image, the concentrated essence of your business. It is the seed from which your whole marketing strategy should grow. Branding isn’t just for large corporations, and as markets get more and more competitive it is important to be on the crest of the wave with a solid brand identity.
Strong brands create strong reactions in people. And strong reactions can create business success. I know many of us fail to realize how often things like logos and taglines influence us, both consciously and subconsciously, but the effect is quite pronounced and in ways, over time we can grow psychologically conditioned by a logo. Think of the most memorable brands. Think of their personalities. The most successful brands are so full of life and personality that they actually start to feel like a person more than a business. Here are some tactics to get you started towards realizing a solid brand image for your business.
Being as objective as you can, assess your current brand persona. Look at every facet of your brand; your website design, written content, storefront, business cards, images, design all the way down to your company culture. Take it all in and reflect on what it says about your business. Do you think it appeals to your target demographics? Take notes, brainstorm, check out some brands you’d like to take on as influences that share common aspects.
Cohesive and simple is the surest way to success. The hardest part of this is breaking it down to the very core. Think from the perspective of your consumers. Who are they? The objective is to make the brand persona inherently likable and relevant. As opposed to a life where it is not good to base one’s persona on others, in business this is imperative. Figure out keywords for your brand in creating your ideal image. These can be branding colors, things, shapes, emotions, moods.
Once you have in place the audience you are seeking to relate to, the next step is to actualize your image to be in line with this audience. This involves a certain blend of psychology, sociology, intuition, and marketing. Once you have a simple and cohesive mood you are going for it is time to look at all your branding again, through different eyes, and figure out what you want your image to be and what steps are required to get there. Start aligning this new vision of your brand by doing what you are able to, rework your mission statement and content, etc.
The next step is the actual overhaul. Set a goal and make a timeline of your branding strategy to work from and figure out the best process to create and integrate the new brand. Remember if you end up outsourcing elements of your company branding, the stronger a vision you have the better the product you will get out of whomever you commission to design your logo, website, promo materials. Though it can be costly it is best to hire someone to do the work that you are not apt at, professionalism is the key here. Image is everything.