True confession. I jumped into my business without putting together a full, blown out, brand strategy. There. I said it. How many of you have done the same? Or, how many of you are trying to figure out what your brand is or…maybe you are still wondering what the heck a brand really is?!? Today you are in LUCK! I am going to give you the 3 main ingredients you need for a KICKASS brand identity.
INGREDIENT #1: Your Overall Brand
Even if you have never deliberately sat down and developed a brand outline, your business has a brand. How is that possible? It’s possible because, from the moment you started your business, you either consciously or subconsciously set a standard of expectations for your company. Each time you provide a product or service to your customers, they have told themselves a story about what they can expect from you each time they deal with you, your employees, your service, and your products based on how your business is presented to them. Your brand is both a glimpse into your business as well as a lasting memory and it is the message your company sends out into the public.
It’s important to get this ingredient down perfectly…use the branding action step below to help you.
Branding Action Step:
Take a few minutes to write down:
- What you want your business to be known for (this can be things like: quality, value, pricing, speed of service, friendly, etc.)
- What types of memories you want people to have after dealing with your business
- What makes your business different from competitors in your field
- The core values you find
Be as detailed as possible when defining your brand. Remember, your brand is the idea, thought, emotion, concept, that comes to mind when someone thinks about your business.
Once you have a clear idea of how you want your business to be perceived, you have a good foundation for a powerful brand. Share your brand definition with everyone who works in your business so they are clear on your company’s brand messaging.
INGREDIENT #2: Identity
Once you are clear on what makes up your brand, you need for your brand to be instantly recognizable. You worked hard on developing what you want to be known for, now it is time to claim your identity in the marketplace. Become instantly recognizable by putting these things in place:
- Have a logo professionally designed for your company
- Choose colors to represent your brand. Hint: research things like “the psychology of colors” to determine if the colors you have selected are in tune with your brand
- Develop brand rules by creating a style guide, spelling out the exact colors, fonts and sizes to be used in documents, online, in social media, etc.
INGREDIENT #3: A Brand Story
A strong brand tells a story well. Below are some of the things your brand story should include:
- What your business does…and why (your company’s mission)
- A connection to your customers (a problem you empathize with and you can solve)
- What makes you different from the competition (your unique solution)
Once you have these three ingredients in place and you and your employees are using them consistently, you are off to a great start when it comes to defining a recognizable brand.