Branding is one of the most significant aspects of any business, large or small, retail or B2B. And an effective, efficient and successful branding strategy can give you a major edge in increasingly competitive markets.
In short your branding tells your customers what to expect from the products you sell or the services you that you offer.
The very foundation of your brand is your logo. From there your website, packaging and promotional materials follow. All of which must use your logo in some form to communicate your brand.
Your branding strategy in short is the how, what, where, when and whom you plan on communicating and delivering your brand message.
Having consistent and strategic branding leads to stronger brand equity (value added) to your company’s products or services. A higher brand equity means that you can charge more for your products or services than similar unbranded products or services command.
For example Coca-Cola has built up a very powerful brand equity so, in turn it can charge more for its products as compared to a similar generic soda and their customers are willing to pay that higher price.
Defining your brand is like going on a journey of self-discovery for your business. At times it can be difficult, time-consuming and not the most pleasant of experiences. At the very least it requires you to answer some difficult questions.
However, at the end it will have been proven to be worth the effort.
- What’s my company’s mission?
- What are the features and benefits of my products or services?
- What do customers and prospects already think of my company?
- What are the qualities that you want them to associate with your company?
All of this requires a lot of research to learn the needs, habits and desires of your current and prospective customers or clients.
Once all of that is done, the next question is how to you get the word out about your business?
Get a great logo — this is where we come in. Place it everywhere! Website (if you have one), social media, EVERYWHERE!
Write down your branding message — everyone you hire should be aware of this.
Integrate your brand — this includes everything from how you answer the phone to your website. Even your email signature and last but not least, your business cards - we can help with that too.
Create a "voice" for your company that reflects your brand — this should be applied to all written communication and also included in the visual imagery (remember the logo we talked about earlier?).
Develop a tagline — this is only to be used if it is fits within your overall branding message. If it doesn’t fit, then it will seem out of place.
Design templates and create branding standards for your marketing materials — everything from the colour scheme to the logo placement and the overall look and feel — we can help you with the branding standards as well.
Be true to your brand — we can’t stress this one enough! Remember, your customers wont return or refer you to someone else if you don’t deliver on your brand promise.
Last but not least,