What is a 'brand'?
Branding is what makes your business memorable for your customers.
It's who you are and what you stand for.
Your brand should permeate your whole business and give a consistent experience for your customers; from when they first notice your company, through to buying from you, and to your after sales service.
How do you create your brand
Say it outloud!
You may well know what your business is, and how you want your customers to view your business. But it's actually very hard to verbalise what's in your head. So say it outloud until it makes sense.
When you do come up with a concise statement of what you're all about it will help you keep the words you use in your adverts, website and social media profiles consistent.
What makes a good brand
A good understanding of what your customers are looking for is the first step to creating a good brand. Your brand should create an emotional connection between your customers and your business. A good brand will:
- Portray a 'personality'. Is your business creative, leading-edge, trendy, sophisticated, reliable, traditional?
- Help differentiate your business and make it memorable
- Give a clear message of what your business stands for
- Grab the attention of your audience
- Be appealing to your customers
- Motivate people to buy from you
- Set an expectation of what a customer will get from you
A good example is the number of branded food outlets now at motorway service stations. Even if you don't usually choose to eat at a certain chain of fast food restaurants it's often a better option than the service station cafe, simply because you know exactly what you're going to get.
Keep it consistent
Once you've defined your brand it should be reflected in everything you do. From your company name and tag line, to your website, your business cards, your logo, your social media profiles, your packaging, invoicing and customer service.
Don't give your customers any reason to stop in their tracks and think 'am I dealing with the same company?' or 'this wasn't what I was expecting!'
So be consistent with:
- Colour scheme
- Type face
- Marketing messages
- Your USP
- Customer service