Once you get started in business, something you’ll hear about constantly is the need for good branding. If you’re not a marketing expert, you might wonder why branding is considered so important. After all, if you have a good logo and color palette, surely that’s enough, right?
Unfortunately not. Branding is about much more than the typeface in your product manuals or the design elements in your website’s navigation. Branding defines the entire way your business presents itself to the world, and by extension, how others will react to it. We’ll explore the key factors behind branding, why they’re important, and how to build a brand your customers and employees love.
Why is your brand important?
A brand matters because it’s the filter everyone will view your business through. A brand isn’t just about visuals and logos, it’s the very essence of how your business presents itself. That means everything a customer sees, hears and feels as a result of interacting with your business is decided by your branding.
All of the words you use to describe your products, the types of images you use to highlight content, the colors and tone of your online presence, the content of your emails, your products themselves – Everything comes from that brand.
The best example of this is Apple. Their brand is elegant, stylish, easy to use and technologically advanced. This comes through from the sleek design of their hardware, the white space on their website, the design of their apps and the decor of their real world stores.
Brand matters because:
- It evokes a feeling in your audience and lets them form an emotional connection with your business.
- It helps you differentiate yourself from your competitors.
- It gives your customers something unique to remember.
- It helps to build a relationship with every individual.
How to build a brand
Building a brand isn’t easy. After all, you’re essentially creating a personality for your business. Here are a few pointers to start you off.
Create a brand based on your, and your business’s, values
Branding works best when it’s based off of the essential things you and your business consider to be important. Those things are the purpose of being in business in the first place. We covered the importance of values in an earlier piece, and that’s a useful starting point for working out what your business believes.
People like to do business with others who believe what they believe, so creating a set of values and expressing them in your brand is a crucial first step.
Ensure that trust is baked into your brand
Trust is a vital part of any business relationship. It’s tough to earn and easy to break, but basing your brand around trust means you’ve already done some of the hard work. We’ve discussed how to build trust in a previous article, so have a read and think about how you can share that trust through your brand.
Define your approach, style, and other aspects of your brand
Once you know your business values, you can start to define everything and write it down. You can work with a designer to start creating a brand, whether that’s for your logo, color palette, website, or something else. Above all, your brand needs to be consistent, so creating a style guide that explains what your brand is and how to use it is vital.
Work with branding experts
You’re not expected to be able to create a brand by yourself. There are plenty of branding experts out there who can help you take your values and turn them into a relatable brand that customers and employees can learn to love.
Ask your customers and employees what they think
One of the best ways to create a brand people relate to is to ask them. Setup focus groups with employees and trusted customers and get feedback. What works, and what doesn’t? Use that feedback to tweak and refine your brand.
Always be willing to learn and adapt
As your business grows and becomes successful, always have branding in the back of your mind. Think about all of the ways you can express your brand and values to your people and your customers.
As you can see, branding is vitally important. Once you understand what you’re trying to get across, put trust at the heart of what you’re doing, work with experts, and create a clear brand and set of guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to creating a brand everyone will love.