We are in an age where clients can find product and service providers more easily than ever. It’s never been more crucial to differentiate your company from the competition. Branding is symbolic, and creates an unconscious conversation with your employees, vendors and clients. When done well, branding can be a key asset to your company’s culture, sales, and bottom line. When done poorly, branding can lose deals. The WORST kind too, the ones you never hear about. Poor branding can set a negative tone with anyone that interacts with it. So what exactly IS branding and what can make it so powerful? There’s more to it than you might think.
What is a Brand?
A brand is the compilation of elements your company uses to communicate it’s desired message to consumers. This message includes:
- The product and service offerings you have available. A powerful brand will easily communicate what you are offering.
- The feelings and experiences you are offering to your clients. A powerful brand will consistently communicate the tone of what your clients can expect when working with you.
- The expectations of quality your consumer can expect from you. A powerful brand can communicate high quality products and services.
- The way you differentiate yourself from other companies. A powerful brand will be unique and communicate why a client should want to use you.
Why Branding Matters
- It establishes a relationship. Your brand creates unconscious bonds with others. This drives the tone of your relationships with clients, employees and the public at large.
- It sets the tone for everything you do. When your brand messaging is powerful, it becomes a lot easier to make decisions. Marketing efforts, contracts, employee protocol and expected behaviors are all impacted.
- It affects your price point. Powerful brands can command higher price points because they appear more valuable.
- It affects loyalty. A powerful brand can make others feel good about you, your products, and your services. Because purchasing decisions are often emotional decisions – powerful brands create loyalty.
What Are the Components of a Powerful Brand?
- A clear purpose. A powerful brand starts with understanding why you are in business and what purpose you serve to your clients and community,
- A client focus. A powerful brand surrounds providing products, services and experiences to clients in a way that meets their needs and delights them.
- A great business name. A powerful brand has a name that is memorable and clearly conveys what it does.
- A clear and memorable logo. A powerful brand has a clean, easy to read logo that can be recognized from afar.
- An attractive color palate. A powerful brand has a well coordinated color palate with 3-6 shades that are well matched and used consistently.
- A professional font set. A powerful brand uses professional, unique, easy to read fonts that are paired in a pleasing manner and used consistently throughout anything that touches the public.
- An appropriate and consistent tone. A powerful brand will consistently convey copy, content, and images related to an appropriate tone – like serious, fun, or luxurious.
- An arsenal of supportive graphics, textures and photos. Powerful brands don’t mix and match images in an inconsistent matter. They provide consistent, pleasant user experiences.
Do You Have a Powerful Brand?
If so, kudos! That’s fantastic. If you read a few of these line items and got uncomfortable, confused, or worse, defensive – it might be time to do a quick brand check up. Feel free to use some of the free tools on my home page like the Buyer Persona Workbook or the Creative Brief to start reining in your branding efforts, building better relationships, and winning more clients.