Branding a business

Your brand identity is a key component to being successful in business and will have a huge influence on the type of customers you attract.

Many people think of branding as just the logo however, the logo should be a representative of your brand because your brand is the driving force behind logo and your overall business look and feel. Its important to have a clear brand identity that is easily transferable to your customers and onto your different media resources, such as your marketing and website.

So what is all the fuss about?

Branding is your company identity, when you think of your favorite brand you may feel some type of emotional connection to the product or service. For example, if you think about the drink ‘Lucazade’, you might think about ‘energy’. Even the name alone is enough for you to thing about an associated branding concept, you might even feel some what thirsty. It is important to understand that branding is made up of a mixture of components, like in the example above, a brand can be represented by the name, or a concept, a tag line, a logo, particular colours and words, typography, or a theme. Just by marketing your brand you can become globally recognised by seeing just one of these components

After all is said and done “marketing is enthusiasm transferred onto the customer” It’s how a company makes their customers feel. As your customers will associate your image with, ‘all of the things that you live up to as a company; And this should be transferred and represented when they see your brand. If they get a bad experience, then they may also associate this with your brand identity. Branding is not just words alone or images, its your business identity in other words its about who you are as a business.

If I am just starting out should I worry about branding?

You might be thinking that branding your company is not that important especially if you are just starting out. it might not seem as vital to be online if you are a small local company, as it is for a large international organisation? So is branding really that important?

Most certainly! Your brand is what makes noticeable and unique and stand out from your competitors. It’s what will attract your customers and make them recognise you as a business and remember you in the future.

Here are some branding tips to get you started!

A few things to think about when deciding on the brand identity for your business.

1. Start by thinking about how you might want your customers to feel.

People make business happen, so imagine yourself as a customer how would you want to feel and be treated. You can take those ideas and transfer them to your customer base, so if your business was aimed at the elderly for example, think about how you would want your grand mother or father to be treated.

2. Think about your brand characteristics

Choose 3 characteristics represent you and your business and may be significant to your customers. These could be Trustworthiness, Loyalty, Loudness or Excitement, etc. Only choose ones that fit with the type of service that you provide, and the type of values that you uphold.

3. Think about your business values

What do you want to be remembered for? high quality, reliability, pleasantness, or fantastic customer service. Whatever your company values are, you should list them and see how they make you feel. You could… as part of your market research ask people what values are important to them and use this to shape your ideas.

4. Look and feel

The part that really brings it all together… Designing your logo should be great fun, even if you have no personal design skills, “remember we can help you with that”. Once you know what your business characteristics are, the design process will be much easier. You should choose colours, fonts and images that represent your business, its advisable to stick to 3 main colors when designing your logo. Do you want customers to feel motivated and happy when they think of your business? Colour can affect one's mood, so if you were perhaps marketing your business as a relaxing experience, you might want you use lilac as its known as calming or if bold might be what you want to express then maybe black and yellow might work.

Even if you are using a designer to create your logo, you should aim to give them a clear idea of how you want them to represent your business, so that they can give you what you are looking for.

5. Company tone

Consistency is the key factor here customers love consistency and familiarity. You could try to think of your business as a person and try to write using that person’s language and in that person’s tone of voice. If your content keeps changing all of the time, then you will create confusion for your customers and uncertainty over your brand.

6. Get feed back

Once you have thought about all the components of your business you should test your ideas and concepts on people, ask them how your logo and brand makes them feel? does your brand convey your message? are your characteristics being displayed? If not, then you can use the feedback to revise your plan and try to then shape your branding around the feedback given. For your brand to be successful, it should convey your values, represent your company image and make your customers feel at home. So all of your marketing, media and products should carry the same essence, the same energy and separate you from the crowd!