No matter how big or small your business is or whether you are consumer focused or a B2B service provider, you will benefit from developing and maintaining a recognisable brand.
A brand refers to a collection of interlinked attributes, including things like your core business values, your unique selling points and your goods and services. Effectively conveying this varied set of attributes depends on you actively demonstrating and reflecting your brand values in everything that you do, from your advertising through to the experience a customer has when they pick up the phone to talk to you or walk into your office. This gives your business an identity.
A successful brand helps to communicate what your core product is, what sets you aside from your competition and should be applied consistently across everything you do.
The Benefits of Branding
- Helps you to differentiate your business, making you to stand out in your customers minds
- Gives your business a personality and identity that people can relate to
- Effectively delivers and reinforces your key messaging
- Drives authority and trust in your business
- Drives customer loyalty and brand evangelism
- Positioning your brand correctly can help you to achieve higher prices for your product or service
Defining your Brand
When you think about all of the individual aspects that combine to make your business, pulling them all together and highlighting key differentiators will help you to define your brand.
Remember too that your brand is continually reinforced through all of your customer facing messaging, from your business cards, email marketing and website through to your logo, signage and print collateral.
The Importance of Brand Consistency
Ensuring that both your messaging and visual branding is clearly and consistently applied across all communication channels makes sense, as strong consistent branding reinforces your identity and drives positive sentiment and trust.
What does this mean for your business?
Consistent use of your logo, brand colours and key messaging across all communication channels is important and will help to strengthen your brand identity.
This doesn’t mean that all of your communications have to look exactly the same, far from it, but it does mean that you should strive for visual cohesion. Make sure you stick to a number of standards, such as your colour palette, visual style, font and size and spacing of your logo.
With regards to digital or print design it is important to take into account the fact that different designers have different visual styles. A skilled web or graphic designer will take on your style and emulate that across all of the work they produce for you, unless you are seeking a visual re-brand, you’ll need to ensure that a designer doesn’t ignore your branding in order to impose their own design style on you.
Developing a set of brand guidelines is a natural progression as a brand begins to establish itself and it gives any service providers you work with, a blueprint to adhere to. Your branding guidelines need not be complex (I’ve come across branding guidelines for some big international names over 70 pages long), a simple document detailing colours, fonts and some basic styling information will generally be sufficient.
Keep your visual identity and key messaging consistent and you’ll effectively develop and strengthen your brand, helping your business make a far stronger, long lasting impression.