Google the word ‘brand’ or ‘branding’ and you’ll find hundreds of different definitions…
Is it… ‘a product or service sold by a company’?
Is it… just ‘a logo or brand mark’?
Or is it… ‘an overall experience of a customer that distinguishes an organisation or product from its rivals’? It’s all a bit confusing, isn’t it?
But try thinking of your ‘brand’ as the personality of your business, like we do, and you won’t go too far wrong.
Branding is knowing who you are and what you stand for, and then bringing that to life for your customers through all your business activities. When we ask our clients these questions about their businesses…
What’s your name?
Where do you live?
What languages do you speak?
Who do you talk to?
What do you say?
How do you say it?
And what do you look like?
…we find that defining their brand, establishing it effectively, and protecting it successfully, becomes much easier.
Make defining your ‘brand’ a priority. By understanding your business personality, and making sure all your communications are consistent with that, your customers and potential customers will soon start to recognise you, understand you, and trust you. That way, they’ll be more confident about choosing you over your competitors. And your business will grow.
Once you’ve defined your brand, establish your brand style or identity by considering and choosing appropriate colours, typefaces, imagery, graphics etc. Then consistently implement your unique combination of brand identifiers across all your company materials – online and offline:
• Corporate Stationery (Business Cards, Letterheads, Comp Slips, Invoice Templates etc)
• Email Signature Design
• Sales & Marketing Literature
• Vehicle Graphics
• Social Media Graphics
• Promotional Merchandise
And last but definitely not least, if you’ve invested precious time and money in defining and developing your brand and establishing your brand elements, investing in their proper use and protection is just as important.
That’s where a brand guidelines document comes in. Whether your business just needs a simple A4 sheet showing correct logo usage, or a full brand ‘bible’ with in-depth information about company values, colour specifications, typography, graphics, image style, tone of voice etc., make sure your team know it inside out, and that they’re using it day in, day out too.