There are so many misconceptions about branding so here is my guide to what I believe branding actually is, what it should do and what branding most definitely isn’t…
BRANDING IS AN IDENTITY.
Your brand is something you should be proud of, it’s something that sets you apart from others and it’s what defines you. A good brand can communicate who you are and what you do. Just like your own identity, a brand has a personality; it has characteristics and most importantly, it has a purpose, to communicate to your clients why they need to choose your company above your competition.
In my branding I chose to show a picture of myself (no, not because I’m vain) but to show people that although I’m a virtual assistant I’m also a person that you can have a conversation with!
BRANDING IS STRATEGIC.
A bad brand is designed without reason; it’s style for styles sake. Believe it or not, branding is created from research. Understanding the who’s, what’s, where’s, whys and how’s is the key to creating an engaging brand that concisely communicates a company. A brand isn’t based entirely on aesthetics, it’s turning science into art.
Did you know that the amazon logo has an arrow pointing from A to Z? Basically the message is saying that you can get anything delivered from A to Z. Google it!
BRANDING IS CONSISTENCY.
Branding is built on awareness, the way to gain this awareness is by being consistent. Ensuring you have a set of brand guidelines that cover you for every eventuality is key. Your brand is the face of the business and is accessible 24/7 across varying platforms, therefore it needs to look the same every time it’s interacted with. Think of big brands you interact with, familiarity instils trust so keep it consistent. A person needs to see a logo on average eight times before they recognise it.
BRANDING IS NOT JUST A LOGO.
It’s a (surprisingly) common misconception that a brand is simply a logo. Let me set this straight, it is not. A brand should consist of research, it should understand a business and it should have an objective all of which is then beautifully illustrated through colour, typefaces, graphics, tone, creativity and most importantly, intelligence. A logo is merely a sentence in a paragraph.
BRANDING IS NOT JUST REACTIVE.
Branding isn’t an after thought, it should be your starting point. Hastily putting your ‘brand’ on marketing material for an event that’s been sprung on you is not branding. Branding shouldn’t be reactive. Everything should be well thought out, from the imagery you choose to feature on that marketing material to the sizing of your logo. Having your brand in place enables you to be reactive without compromising your standards or message and in the long run, saves you money!
BRANDING IS NOT A LUXURY, IT’S A NECESSITY.
If you shop at Amazon or have purchased a Cadbury product, whether you watch Sky or subscribe to Netflix, you’ve experienced what big investment in branding can produce. Having worked for Kellogg’s the cereal company I fully understand what branding and image mean to these market leaders. Their communication is clear and consistent, and they treat their brand as the heartbeat of the company. This should be true of all businesses. Having a brand which embodies your business is something to shout about. Internally, a brand unites, creates company culture, and provides a purpose. Externally, your brand communicates what it is you do and what you do differently. It’s the first impression and, let’s face it, first impressions count.
If you feel like your brand is lacking in any way, let’s chat, although I mention a lot of big brands above it’s amazing what a few tweaks to branding can do for small businesses too.