The importance of discovering your brand
“Help! I need a brand!” “My brand’s all wrong, it’s not saying what I want it to!” “I’m not reaching the right people!” Does this sound familiar? Many businesses panic at the thought of ‘branding’, but it’s something that must be addressed from the outset to get your business where and how you want it to be. This month’s guest blogger, Zoë Chan of Überbaby graphic design, shares her expertise on the importance of branding and why it is so fundamental all businesses.
Creating a brand goes deeper than your logo
It goes way deeper! In fact, you must have a solid brand before you even start thinking about how it will look.
So here are a few key questions to consider when developing your brand:
1. What is a brand?
Quite simply, your brand is your reputation, and your promise. It is a set of associations made about a company, service, product and so on; what can be expected of your business. Developing a strong brand is as important for start-ups and small businesses as it is for large corporations and indeed can be considered its most valuable asset. Your brand must be confidently in place before anything else can happen; then your audience’s expectation of your brand will be in place before, during and after their experience with you.
2. Why is a brand so important?
A strong brand forms a solid foundation for your business, so it’s imperative to take the time to get it right. Your brand can:
– Help you stand out from your competition
– Add value to what you offer
– Help you reach your target audience easily and facilitate engagement with them
3. Who needs a brand?
Obviously start-up businesses need to develop a brand, but established businesses might also need to re-evaluate theirs; maybe it’s confused and needs clarity, perhaps the business or target market has changed and the brand needs to reflect this, or even competitors have changed and there’s a need for a new way of differentiating yourself from them. And it doesn’t matter whether there is one of you or many of you in your business!
4. What are brand values?
Values are at the core of your brand and fundamentally what is important to it. They are what you truly believe in and what you stand for and your business should align with these values. They do not have be moralistic, ethical or grand-scale such as ‘saving the world’, but they must be something you are passionate about, such as innovation or helping others. They should be communicated throughout everything you do.
5. What is brand personality?
How do you wish to come across? Casual or professional? Playful or serious? Predictable or surprising? Businesses can have a personality as well as people. It can be demonstrated through a number of ways, including your visual identity, your tone of voice in both written and verbal communication, and other ways in which you interact with your target audience, so it will attract and help you communicate with those you are seeking to speak to.
Strong branding across all customer touch points is key
So you can see there are a number of things to consider when creating your brand. It cannot be plucked out of the air, so don’t worry if it takes a while to build your brand, work through it and get it right. The investment in time to do this will certainly pay off. And once it’s established it can then be implemented across all your customer touch points – visual identity, voice and so on.
Don’t get overwhelmed – just break it down into short manageable chunks. And don’t be afraid to look for help on this if need be, many businesses seek outside guidance. So enjoy working through your brand! It’s actually a very eye-opening and fun thing to do!
Zoë specialises in bespoke graphics and branding for both businesses and individuals. She loves to help business owners to unpick their ‘what’ and ‘why’ and help them formulate and express this. She is passionate about typography and lettering (with a special penchant for ligatures and ampersands) and is a vintage sign obsessive. www.uberbabygraphic.co.uk