BRANDING 101: THE BASICS OF BRANDING

Your brand is the unique personality of your organization and a clearly defined promise to your customers. It’s all about establishing an identity that is clear, concise, unique, and easily recognizable.

It’s an integral part of running a prosperous business no matter how large or small. Before starting a business, it’s important to understand the basics of branding and how to build your business or organization to be a truly successful brand.

Branding 101: The Basics of Branding

What Does A Brand Look Like?

A brand is more than a company name or logo. A brand is how the business name is visually expressed through a logo, and how that name and logo are extended throughout all of the organization’s communications.

Your brand should set your organization apart from others in the same market niche. Ultimately, your brand will be defined by your customers and how they perceive your business. A strong brand is authentic and will elicit opinions and emotional responses (hopefully all positive!). It will establish your credibility, deliver a target message, and support your marketing strategies.

Why Build a Brand?

The purpose of brand building is for ‘brand recognition’, or the extent to which your target audience recognizes your product or service by its attributes – such as your logo, tagline, and packaging. Brand building and brand recognition are essential to creating a successful business strategy. It’s important to invest time in researching, defining, and building your brand.  Establishing a brand is the quickest way to make potential customers aware of who you are and what you offer. It will allow you to influence what people are saying about your organization and  increase the chances that people will remember you.

A well-defined and strong brand will build brand awareness and ultimately drive sales, build customer loyalty, create brand value, and most of all, it will be the catalyst for business growth; as consumers will be motivated to buy a product or service from a name they know and trust.

How to Build a Brand

So, how can you design a brand that reflects your company the way you want it to be known? Begin with establishing who you are, why you exist and what your goals are. What is your mission? What is the persona you want your business to present to the world?

KEY ELEMENTS TO CONSIDER:

Visual Identity

This is the visual appearance of your brand — creative elements such as your logo, colors and fonts, website appearance, marketing materials and social media profiles. Consistency is key.

Core Message

This is what you want people to know and understand about you and your products and services. It should reflect who you are and what you do, as well as, how and why you do it. Your message should be clear and consistent through all of your communications including your company name, tagline, website and blog content, marketing materials, and social media posts.

When mapping your brand be sure to plan for future growth and changes. Ensure branding consistency throughout your organization and all of it’s materials including marketing and advertising. Your company’s personality and promise, or your brand, should be mapped into each and every customer interaction.

As you work to establish your brand, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Am I communicating my brand promise in a memorable way?
  • Is my message clear?
  • Am I connecting to my customers?
  • Is what I’m sharing motivating?
  • Am I establishing credibility and encouraging customer loyalty?

 

Branding is fundamental and goes far deeper than the basics I’ve shared here. Take the necessary time to research your audience so that you understand their needs and wants and can plan or map out your brand’s characteristics accordingly. Be honest and authentic and your brand will grow organically without being forced into something it’s not.

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