What do you think of when you hear the word branding?
Many people automatically go straight to the logo, however a logo is just one piece of the puzzle and, in the grand scheme of things, it actually plays a smaller part than you may realize.
I remember back in 2005 when I was first faced with the opportunity to name my blog. I felt overwhelmed, unsure and like I was getting married to something for life.
Marriage is a HUGE commitment.
No wonder when I compared the experience to marriage, I became terrified that I was going to do the wrong thing or make the wrong decisions.
However, even back then, when I really was somewhat clueless, I listened to my inner voice. The one that asked questions like:
- Who am I making this blog for?
- Who will my audience be? How do they feel? What interests them?
- What is the purpose of this blog?
- What is my message?
These were questions that helped to guide me as I brainstormed my blog name and the overall feel for the design of my initial site (which I honestly giggle at as I reminisce while writing this post).
You see, just like in life, we grow; we also grow in our business.
As we gain more experiences, learn more about the people that we are serving and understand, at a deeper level, the purpose of our brand, that is when the true magic happens. At that point, it isn’t as important what colours you’ve chosen, what your logo looks like or to some extent, the appearance of your website. It’s more important about the stories you’re telling, the consistent feeling that you are leaving people with as they move on in their day after having an interaction with you, your brand or your service/product.
Visuals help create your brand’s feel, but they are just the beginning. Consider them the foundation of which you will build on for years to come.
Your brand is your voice. Your brand is your reputation. Your brand is built on your customers’ experiences as well as our own.
So the question of the hour is where do you begin with your branding?
Here are three introductory steps to consider when re-branding OR creating your branding for the first time:
- Who are you targeting? Who is your ideal client, the person who if they landed right in front of you would purchase your product/service immediately without batting an eyelash?
- What does your audience want to see, hear and feel? What are they attracted to? What words do they want to hear? What creatives and visuals appeal to them?
- What is your brand’s mission?
Finally, at the end of the day:
Your brand is bigger than colours, logos, websites etc.
However, remember that those things are the physical and creative foundation for your brand.
Your brand is your promise to your clients; it is the heart and soul of your business. The question you need to ask yourself is HOW will you communicate that through the stories that you are sharing both online and in person. The visuals simply help maintain a consistent feel that is recognizable when customers have an interaction with your brand.
Consistency is key. Consistency in your visuals, your messaging, your communication and everything that you do with your clients and customers is of utmost importance.
Your brand will develop and grow as you and your business develop and grow. Be open to that growth and wonderful things will come.
Live in the joy that that follows when true connections between people and your brand are made.