What is Branding?
And why does your small business need it?
Branding is one of the most commonly used yet confusing terms when it comes to building and marketing a small business. From day one, its pretty clear that you need to brand your business in order to be successful — but what does that mean? One of the most common misconceptions is that if you have a logo, you have a brand, but that’s not quite the case. Branding is multi-faceted and encompasses so many components of your business. Today, I’m excited to share my approach to branding and how it can help your small business grow.
What is Branding?
Simply put, branding is the process of creating a specific image or perception of your business, as well as setting expectations for your customers. By defining what you do, who you do it for, and most importantly, why, you can set yourself apart from the competition and communicate your value to your target audience. Nailing down these aspects of your business is key to absolutely everything you do — whether it’s designing your visual identity, making marketing decisions or creating new products and services.
Why do we brand?
Branding helps consumers to differentiate from similar options and make decisions. Additionally, having a clear brand allows you to connect with your ideal clients more effectively and build a loyal following. For example, if your business values using all-natural ingredients to create your products, customers who share that value would be more likely to purchase from you than a competitor.
What makes a brand?
Brand Messaging & voice
Your brand message is what you’re trying to communicate about your business (your mission, brand positioning, values and your why) while your voice is how you communicate it. All the communications within your business — yup, even email — contribute to your overall brand because the way in which you speak about your business or to your ideal clients helps to build a specific perception. For example, a high-end or luxury brand would communicate differently and use different language than a more laid-back or sarcastic brand.
Consider how you are communicating your brand message on your website, blog, and social media accounts, as well as in advertisements and marketing materials, email communication and client-facing documents.
I might be a little biased (okay, a lot biased) but the visuals are my favorite part of branding! So much of what defines a business can be communicated visually. Your visual identity should blend your personal preferences, your ideal clients preferences and the industry standard in order to create a look that is compelling and will serve your business well.
Your visual identity includes logos, color palette, typography, fonts, photography and imagery, layouts, graphic elements and design details.
Everything from the first impression, to when a customer works with or purchases from you, and long after creates a client experience. Client experience refers to any emotions or responses your clients and customers have when they interact with your brand. For example, if you’re selling a physical product, every step from how they purchase your product (on your website, in a catalog, at a store) to what it looks like (packaging, shipping and wrapping) and how they use that product are a part of the client experience.
Consider your client experience when it comes to product and packaging design, in-store design and experiences, and customer service.
Creating a memorable and successful brand is all about making sure each of these elements is intentional, aligned, polished and consistent. It’s definitely not something that happens overnight, and can take years to build, but can help your business flourish.
READY TO take your brand to the next level?
Through the Signature Branding package, we’ll collaborate to create an original, cohesive visual identity and compelling website that truly represents you and your business. You'll walk away with branding that will help you create meaningful connections with your audience, increase your value and up-level your entire business.