What is Branding?
Is it a logo, set of colours, tag lines, look and feel, service, emotions? It is all of these and so much more. We have clients come to us, for us to brand their business, our reply is that we will do it with you. The reason is simple. As a client you know your business better than anyone, what we can do is to help you share your messaging clearly with your customers, allowing you to build the brand and grow your business. We have numerous tools and techniques that we use to first of all understand what you believe to be the heart and soul of your business and then we build on from this looking at design, content, images and much more.
Let’s get started with a business dictionary definition:
“The process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers’ mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme. Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers.”
So there are a lot of different aspects being spoken about here so let’s break it down to give you some specific areas that a branding agency may help you to focus on, enabling you to grow your business.
Name generation and design
One aspect of branding is your logo. Both text and images (it doesn’t need to have both). You may need help to come up with a name for your business or you may already have an idea what you want but not sure how your market will perceive it, an agency can help you to do this. Depending on your needs the cost of either of these services or something in between can vary greatly, but a good design agency will discuss your needs and will help you to uncover what you are really looking to achieve and what support you actually need. Once a name has been chosen you can use an agency to either design a logo from scratch for you or you may have doodled some ideas and want them to re-create and polish the logo and design for you. They will help you to create your colour palette, brand guidelines and support with different files of your logo and sizes to use on different platforms. The key here is to invest in a designer that knows the business and what you are looking to achieve.
Product or service design
Your brand shines through the most in what you are selling, whether this is a product and you need advertising and packaging or whether it is a service and you need clear images and messages in your communications a good agency can support you to do this. The work can vary from small one off jobs of helping you to design and create print ready artwork to setting up email campaigns or online social media support. It is important that you know what your business is about and by communicating that to your agency, you will enable them to support you with a tailored package. Understanding your audience will help you to develop designs that speak to your customers directly, looking at the right colours, use of words and more.
Building an emotional connection
To have an effective brand, it is firstly important that you believe in your business, your product or service and feel truly passionate about what you are doing. If you do, it will speak volumes and people will be enticed and passionate with you about your business (It is contagious!). It will also speak volumes if you don’t feel passionate about what you are doing, it will come across in the language you choose, the images you choose and the service you provide. So, if you really want to make a success of your business, it starts with you and that means being passionate and self-confident. What you will find is if you get a good agency on side, they will tap into what your business is all about and will help you to create your core messaging to build that emotional connection with your audience. If you can get that right and you keep tapping into your audience on an emotional level, you will find your marketing becomes easier due to word of mouth, engagement increases as people are bought into what you are all about and consequently you will probably find yourself in a situation where your business takes off. What is not to like about that?
To have a successful brand, we discussed above you need to believe in your business, you need to make emotional connections with your audience etc. What you may also want to consider is how are you going to target your audience not just once but over and over again. You will have new customers that you will target and the strategy behind how you get these will be different to your returning customers. So ask yourself what is your marketing plan? Many companies try to market themselves across numerous platforms all at one time and fail as they are too thinly spread and end up not being able to support the business. The key is to concentrate on one or two marketing tools and do them well and be consistent with your messaging. Your marketing plan should outline top level objectives that you want to achieve within a year but how you go about them doesn’t have to be set in stone, you could try one method for 6 months, see what return on investment you are receiving and take action accordingly. Don’t feel you should stick to something that doesn’t work, you haven’t failed it is just not right for your business at that time. If you do work with a good agency, they will be able to take you through this process, support you and keep you focussed on what you are trying to achieve.
Your brand is not just about marketing your business as we have discussed above, it is about all touch points including the face to face, telephone or email connections that you make. Having a great product but a rubbish customer service will damage your business. Your core messaging should flow through all aspects of your business and this also means the people that work with and for you. They should understand what you are all about and believe in what you are trying to achieve together. You will find that the more joined up you are with these aspects you will become better at what you do. This starts with the internal workings of your business, understanding your core values and being able to communicate these with your team. It is about employee engagement and building your employee brand, rather than your external customer brand. Both are extremely important as you grow.
In this article we have briefly covered 5 important aspects to defining what is branding. Hopefully this is a good starting point to get your creative thoughts flowing about your business and what is your vision, to be able to grow a wildly successful business in the near future.
At Mint Octopus we are passionate about helping companies grow their businesses, if you would like to discuss your requirements or even this article, please contact us, we would love to hear from you.