Simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer. It communicates what to expect from your services and products, and differentiates you from your competitors. The essence of your brand is obtained from who you are, who you want to be, and how you are perceived.
Are you a thought-leader, and trusted in your industry? Or are you know for being innovative? Are your products or services the high-quality/high-cost, or low-cost/high-value option? Because you can't be both. Focus on what your target customers want/need you to be.
Defining your brand is like business soul-searching. It can be an arduous process but answering the following questions can aid the process:
- What is your company's mission and values?
- What are the benefits and features of your product/service?
- What do your customers and prospects already think of your company?
- What qualities do you want to come to people's mind when they thing about your company?
Learn everything you can about your customers habits, needs, and wants. Do your research.
The basis of your brand is your logo. Your website, marketing materials, packaging, etc. integrate your logo and communicate your brand iconically.
Your brand strategy is how, what, where, when and to whom you plan on communicating and delivering on your brand message. Where you advertise, distribution channels, and what you are communicating visually are all part of your brand strategy.
Strategic and consistent brand messaging will help you stand out and leads to strong brand equity. Strong brand equity allows you to charge more for your goods or services than other unbranded/generic products.
The goal is to ultimately builds trust with your customers. When a potential customer experiences your brand and has a good impression it instill confidence and get you closer to closing the sale. A strong brand also can help motivate, inspire, and attract employees, as well as improve recognition and reputation.
- Create a brand board. Include your brand messaging, mission, values, attributes. Give a copy to all your employees.
- Have a professional design your logo. Use it everywhere your business is mentioned.
- Develop a tagline. Write a memorable, meaningful and concise statement that captures the essence of your brand.
- Design templates and create brand guidelines for all marketing materials. Make consistent use of the same color scheme, logo placement, look and feel throughout.
- Integrate your brand to every aspect of your business including how you answer your phones, what you or your salespeople wear, your e-mail signature, everything.
- Create a "voice" for the essence of your company and reflects your brand. This voice should be applied to all written communication and incorporated in the visual imagery of all materials.
- Always deliver on your brand promise.
- Be consistent.
- BRANDING: the marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products.
- BRAND EQUITY: the commercial value that derives from consumer perception of the brand name of a particular product or service, rather than from the product or service itself.
- BRAND BOARD: is an overview document containing all your brand elements and messaging.
BRAND GUIDELINES: (also referred to as “brand standards”, “style guide” or “brand book”) are a set of rules which includes an overview of your brand's history, vision, personality and key values as well as logo variation and usage.
- BRAND STRATEGY: a long-term plan to achieve specific goals. A well-defined and executed brand strategy affects all aspects of a business and is directly connected to consumer needs, emotions, and competitive environments.
- LOGO: a symbol or other design adopted by an organization to identify its products, uniform, vehicles, etc.