Many small to medium businesses have never thought about their brand before, because offline, your brand is you! You were the spark that started your business and it’s probably your own personal values on which you’ve based your company. But how are you communicating these values to people online who have never met you? This is where branding comes in.
You’ll need to get your brand story straight before doing anything significant online. This is so that you keep giving customers the same consistent message about your company, everywhere they see you. Successful branding is about telling a story that will influence customers' emotions, and it’s an essential step if you want your company to be successful online. Branding takes some thinking, but doing this work up front will pay dividends in the long run.
Don’t think branding is important? Think again. There’s a reason world’s biggest, and smallest, successful businesses have compelling brands - because strong brands build businesses. A brand is what attracts customers to businesses and keeps them interested. The majority of branding is implicit; the inner workings that customers need never see, but a strong brand is essential in the overcrowded digital world. Your brand needs to be imbued in everything your company does - it’s your personality and values - and it is what resonates with customers and keeps them coming back.
Your Logo is the foundation of your brand identity - it brings together in one image, the entire story on which your brand is built. Your logo image should be exceptionally high spec and specifically adapted to each platform it appears on (not cut off, poor resolution, stretched or ill fitting). Your logo should be in complete accordance with your brand story and should resonate with the type of customers you want to attract, it should tell customers what type of a company you are in a glance.
When we meet, we’ll establish a few key things up front so that all the work we do has your brand running through it. Before we meet, start thinking about how you’d answer these questions for your business:
How would you summarise your brand? Customers need never see this so it can be something that summarises your brand in any way you want to word it.
What is your brand position? What is it that you do best? What sets you apart? What are you all about? Which gap in the market do you fill? What customer problems do you solve?
Why do customers like your company? What do you give your customers that no one else can? Why do they keep choosing you? Why should new customers choose you over your competition?
If your brand was a person, who would it would be? Describe your person in as much detail as you can, remember this work is for you alone, not your customers, so be as creative as you like.
What tone will you use? This is important as your customers need to grow to love and trust your unique voice so it must have some key stand out qualities - are you funny? Irreverent? Serious? Are you the voice of authority - or of rebellion?
What imagery will you use? These need to be in accordance with your language and tone - for example you might not feature a Harland Miller painting on an Instagram account followed by mostly kids...or older more conservative people.