Branding comes up on a daily basis with many of the businesses, organisations and individuals I meet. I think of branding as the uniform or dress code for your services and/or products. A brand sits at the heart of an organisation, it is the same whether it be not for profit or corporate profit driven business.
This first mistake with branding is to think of it as just a logo, when really a logo is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to branding. Branding is visual, branding is an experience, branding is a culture or a set of values.
Think of “the brand” as an eco-system where your business lives and should a customer visit your business they will know they are in your eco-system when they come to visit. The focus can then shifts to ensuring customers have a pleasant experience during their stay. Here are some pointers to help you create the right environment for your customers.
Does that mean I just need a logo?
A logo alone will never create a brand. This is because a logo needs to work in a range of environments including plain, coloured and textured backgrounds. Make considerations on where you will use your logo and how you will use it effectively in different scenarios, as result of this your logo should stand out from the crowd.
Establish a colour scheme that link, or even better are featured in your logo. You can use these colours to punctuate your brand with subtle colours and themes across your marketing platforms. Less is more when it comes to branded colour schemes, don’t over do it and keep it simple. Make sure that a customer’s experience of your brand is a positive one.
Extend your branding to a choice of font that you will use in your correspondence and promotional materials. This way you customers will be consuming your brand without realising, just ensure that your decisions are focussed around that of the customer.
What do you mean I can develop my brand through company values?
Why not develop your brand as a a way to work with your customers, this isn’t a wishy washy statement. By developing key brand values and behaviours you can outline how your organisation will work with your customers. The customer experience alone will reinforce your brand and if the experience is a positive one they are more likely to show an affinity for your brand in the future. Look at the Apple store as a example, people enjoyed their purchasing experience and very quickly other competitors began to follow suit.
Balancing the Brand
Find the right balance between bringing your customers into your brand without shoving it down their throats. Therefore effective branding requires thought, planning and consideration. Just start with one question – what do your customers want? Focus your branding around your customers and their experiences and the rest will take care of itself. Finally, whatever you do make sure that your branding is consistent throughout your business to give it that professional look and feel.