The Basics of Branding - What it is and why it’s important
Branding is a word you hear a lot when building a business. With the amount of ideas available on the internet forming your own opinion about what branding is and how to utilize branding in your business can be difficult. There is truth in the research about branding done by online bloggers and business coaches and for you we have broken down the essence of it all in easy to understand chunks. Branding consists of three main components; your vision, your voice and your visuals. When you begin to get a better understanding of these individual pieces you will be able to tailor each to fit your business and form a strong branding base that you can market to your ideal consumer.
Your vision is the way you see your business. There is a famous quote that says, “Begin with the end in mind”. Most entrepreneurs have some idea of how they see their business growing and what operations look like at the peak of success. This vision no matter how big or small is an integral part of your branding. Each decision you make concerning your business should be made with your ultimate goals in mind. When you keep your vision at the forefront of designing your brand and building your business, your customers will get to know you and share in your vision. When people feel like they belong to something they become invested in its interest and loyal to its purpose.
Your voice is the way you both speak life into your business and the way you speak to your customers. Speaking to your customers correlates with not only physically speaking, but also the wording used in your advertisements, website, and social media. Customers pay attention to verbiage and interact with you and your brand based off how you speak. Remember that your verbiage can be informal or direct if this correlates with your brand. There are many companies that use slang and are still well respected because the slang defines their correlation to “trendy” or “urban” customers. Whereas if you were reading a doctor’s blog on healthcare and slang was used, you may feel a little uneasy about choosing the office as your primary care provider. There is a time and a place for everything. Voice included. The way you speak about your business both out loud and in your head, is just as important as how you speak about your business to your clients. The mind is a powerful thing and positivity can take you a long way. Vice versa a negative voice can stifle your business growth. Voice affects your brand. Use it wisely.
Visuals are everything! When you are selling a product, clients want to SEE both the value and the physical product. Visuals factor in everything from graphics, social media and logos to packaging, marketing and media kits. The colors you use to define your brand become ingrained in the consumer's subconscious and they relate to the ideas they have about your brand. There are general psychologies around choosing colors for your business, such as red symbolizes strength and yellow correlates to renewal and new beginnings. When designing the visuals for your business keep in mind that visual choices stimulate the subconscious decision making.
Using these three chunks to design your brand platform will give you a better understanding of how consumers see your brand and what branding means to you.
These components may seem detailed and maybe even a little “extra”, but trust us, we have done the research and branding is important! What do people say about your business when you’re not in the room? This question can be answered easily if you take your branding seriously. Branding matters and can cause an increase in the loyalty of your current and new customers, make your business more recognizable in the market and give your products a higher perceived value to potential clients.
Entrepreneurs ask a lot of questions, but the most frequent may be; “How do I find and retain LOYAL customers?”. Having a strong brand will attract loyal customers. When you stay consistent with your image customers know what to expect and become comfortable with your business and what you offer. Even when you release new products your past customers will be willing to try your “next big thing” because they trust your brand.
Having a strong brand that is recognizable on the market gives you street cred with new clientele. Even someone who has never tasted Coca-Cola before has respect for the brand. The notion has nothing to do with the taste or quality of the product, but simply with the fact that the company has done an excellent job with their branding and their recognizable red fancy lettering means they have ingrained in consumer’s mind that they are a leading authority in the soft drink market.
When your brand is strong the perceived value of your products will rise. When the demand for your services is high and the platform you have created is consistent with your vision, voice and visuals customers will be willing to pay more for the same services you previously offered for less. Investing in branding is the best way to elevate your business value. This week take some time to look over your website, social media and any print materials you have like business cards and flyers. Align your brand with the three chunks and see if you experience a change in the clientele you attract or your website traffic. Keep written documentation of your chunks in a journal or place you see daily and your mentality will change. We’d love to hear your stories! Feel free to send us an email about your progress with the three components of branding.