Branding your business is much more than simply designing a logo or your marketing strategy. Branding is your company ethos, it’s how you carry yourself as a business and its how customers view you and ultimately the brand experience you offer.
Branding is everything from your look, feel and how you interact with customers and those around you. It’s your business DNA and what runs through your veins as a company.
Maintaining your brands’ presence is important and not to be neglected. Whether you’re a start-up, SME or a large business you’ll always require a strong brand to not only drive your business forward, but improve sales and client relationships and maintain staff momentum.
When most people think of branding the first thing that is likely to spring to mind is the presentation of a business. Our first impressions of a business are often visual. Everyday we’re exposed to brands and it’s only the worthy that make us stop and take notice.
Richard LeCount from USB 4 Photographers* comments, “First impressions are everything and ultimately if something isn’t presented well it’s unlikely we will pursue it further and find out more. Keeping your business on brand is essential and it needs to extend to all areas of your business. When attending meetings or networking events make your business stand out with a branded portfolio and share important information on a USB.”
Visually your brand should show its character and values, engage with customers and motivate them to react to it.
Tells a Story
Your brand is your story. It’s who you are and what you do in the simplest of forms, and conveys a synopsis of your brand to engage potential customers and clients to want to know more.
Essentially, first impressions are the blurb of your business. It’s not just your business name and a tag line explaining a little more though. It’s about how the name makes us feel, how the colour palette makes us react, it’s about explaining where and how we can find out more.
Keep it concise and think about the essence of your brand when telling the story. Everything about your brand should emulate who you are.
Branding allows you to focus your USP and your niche. When developing a brand it’s essential you aren’t too broad with the industry or subject at hand. Becoming a jack of all trades is a dangerous place to be in and whilst in some cases this may be helpful, focusing on what you’re best at initially will allow you to expand into other areas later.
Your brand is about how your business acts too. Think about how you want to interact with customers and staff, and define your brand values from the get go. Add personality to the way you work and help your business to flourish.
A brand can help to keep staff focused too. It provides guidelines and defines what you do and the way you achieve goals. Your brand should have a clear growth strategy and whilst you may encounter bumps along the way, a strong brand will define its path with a little guidance from its team.
How often have we all purchased something simply because it’s by XYZ brand? Or shied away from the cheaper, lesser known brands in favour of our trusted favourite? We buy into brands not products. Whilst products or services are what you may sell, branding adds value to your business that these cannot.
Jo Swann from Chocolate PR** agrees, “When a brand has a strong voice that’s when it becomes a valuable commodity – it not only opens up more opportunities for acquiring and retaining customers but, and this is when monetary value can be really rewarding, from selling the business to licensing or franchising it.”
Branding can be a complex process but once you’ve cracked it you’ll unlock a whole new wealth of possibilities and opportunities.
About the author: Emily Jarvis is a former business consultant, she is currently working as a freelance writer sharing her expert advice and tips within the business industry.