Why branding is so important.
A brand is so much more than a logo. It’s an extension of your business and when done in the right way, it reflects your company’s image, ethos, culture and gives customers, and employees, something to believe in and really get behind.
When you first start a company it’s easy to put branding aside while you work to get the business up and running. Likewise, you might have a well-established business but been using the same branding for years. Over time it has possibly become dated and no longer a reflection of what the business has evolved in to.
And while a memorable logo and great design is essential – you need to think further beyond that. Everything from the colour scheme and strapline, to the way you act, dress and present yourself. All of these factors are an extension to your business reputation and must filter through each and every element of the company’s activities.
Branding can involve a lot of work but if done in the right way, it can help your business reach a whole new level of potential and even gain a stronger foothold in the market.
We Are Fred’s top five tips for effective branding:
Define your brand – spending time to establish exactly what your company stands for pays dividends in the long run. It’s not just about figuring out what your business can offer as this may change organically as market demands and trends changes. But working out what you stand for and how you want your customers to perceive you is key. What do you want to be known for? It might be your ethical ethos, your values or exemplary customer service. Establishing these values will become the brand of the company and should follow through in everything that you do.
Know your customers – who are you trying to target? Figuring out who your main clientele will be is key and from here you can establish the most effective way to reach them. A loud and vibrant brand might attract twentysomethings but if you’re a high-end law firm you probably want to go for something more subtle and professional. It’s about knowing what will appeal to your customers and creating a brand that they can connect and identify with.
Look at what your competitors are doing – a little healthy competition doesn’t hurt anyone. In an ideal world you want your business to be one (or more!) steps ahead of others in the market. Keeping an eye on what they are doing is very sensible and ensures that you remain competitive. But don’t copy them – you want your business to stand out from the crowd thanks to your authenticity and integrity. Think about what makes your business different – what are your unique selling points? Keep reinforcing these messages and these factors will help to keep your brand moving forward.
Consistency is key – keeping the look and feel of everything you do visually helps create a sense of brand loyalty and that recognisability that you have worked hard to achieve should be prevalent across the business. It’s not just a sign above a door or a logo on a website, all branding should be consistent whether it’s an invoice to a client or the tone of voice you use in your marketing material. It all helps create the brand that customers relate to and more importantly, remain loyal to.
Build brand awareness – it sounds obvious but so often promoting your business can fall down the endless list of ‘to-dos’. Positioning yourself in the right way is key but making this visible across a number of platforms helps to build the brand and credibility. Whether its ensuring you have a consistent voice on social media platforms or spending some money on advertising to get the message across. It’s no good having the best branding in the world if no one sees it. Again, think about your audience and work out the best and most effective way to reach them.