Your brand is so much more than just having a recognizable image — it’s about telling the world who you are and what you do. Slapping together a DIY logo and saying “open for business,” isn’t going to guarantee a successful venture. You need to create a whole, cohesive image that makes you instantly recognizable by your customer, reflects your company’s personality, and instills confidence about your company’s ability to meet customers’ needs/demands. Branding is a series of strategic moves to place your company or organization in the spotlight of your field.
Who needs branding?
Every company that is selling something, whether it’s a service or a product, needs branding. Branding increases awareness, so that people know who you are and what you do, and it increases your value. For example, if you look professional, you can charge more. It’s the same reason generics are less expensive than their branded counterparts. Branding also increases brand loyalty as clients become connected with “who” your company is and are willing to pay a price premium for your services. It can also increase company morale; leading employees to feel more connected to your mission and vision and want to get behind it. In addition, it lays the foundation for a cohesive set of marketing materials, such as: website, brochures, flyers, and email templates.
What influences my brand?
Your brand is influenced by your company or organization’s mission. You want your brand to encompass what you are trying to do. It should be influenced by your values (the beliefs that drive your company), and your differentiating factor; essentially, what makes you different/better than your competitors. A strong brand upholds your voice and personality (how you interact with your customers), and shows your visual identity. Visual identify includes: your logo, colors, typography, and marketing collateral.
How do I determine what my brand should say about my organization?
To determine what you want your brand to say about your organization, look to your company’s personality and how customers or clients interact with you. For example, if your company is laid back, your brand should reflect that. If you need help determining what that looks like, consider working with a branding professional. They will take you through a series of exercises in a “brand workshop” to help determine your mission, vision, values, visual identity, etc.