Whether it’s profound or simple, your company has a story. The ability to take that story and disseminate it, translate it, and share it isn’t always the easiest action to take. Sometimes there isn’t room in the budget to hire a branding agency, and it needs to be a DIY effort. But, no one in the room is a branding expert. And, that’s ok.
Keep reading to learn how to brand your small to midsize business without using a branding agency.
What Is A Brand?
Your ‘brand’ is what identifies you. It sets you apart from other brands competing in the same space or industry. Your brand is represented through:
- Company name and tagline
- Product or service
Brand identifiers are distinguishing ‘features’ that evoke emotions making you recognizable.
Just like a moral compass that helps people navigate life, a brand compass helps to navigate your growth. It defines who you are. Let’s take a meatier look at those.
- Company culture: This is based on the core values of your brand. It goes beyond Nerf guns and wine on tap. Employees feel the dynamics, and they understand it. So, they are your brand ambassadors. Positive company culture creates an environment where the employees can thrive, which only benefits the company itself.
- Voice and messaging: Your voice and messaging are the ways you interact with your users or customers whether it’s online, in person, or over the phone.
- Name and Tagline: Your name and tagline are the first points your potential customers are introduced to. The tagline should embody your value propositions in a few short words. Think Nike. Just do it. Campbell’s soup is ‘mmm, ‘mmm good. A good tagline sticks in the minds of consumers.
- Identity: The identity of your brand is a culmination of your logo, messaging, and other visual elements. It is also the mark you make on the universe.
- Brand architecture: Brand architecture is the road map of your company, the organizational system that guides your users toward an opinion. Consider those visual assets: logos, font, web design. These are just a few pieces of your architecture allowing your brand to be easily understood. All the different pieces that make up your brand need to make sense, eliminating any confusion for the user.
What Is Branding?
Branding is created by all the facets of the brand compass in order to forge external perception. Branding gives your product meaning. In turn, it helps to entice consumers to choose your brand over the competition.
Design and messaging are two of many components within branding. When those are working harmoniously, your brand becomes human; a trusted confidante, a BFF.
Good branding evokes emotion and drives action.
Branding Basics 101 In 6 Steps
Starting a brand from scratch, or even re-branding your old product takes a series of steps. In order to tell your brand’s story, you will need to look at the following.
- Target audience: Who are you trying to talk to? What groups of people will need your product? To shape your brand identity, you must establish your target audience.
- Competitive research: Who are your biggest competitors? What sort of marketing are they doing? Where are they online? Who are they talking to? What makes your product better than the rest?
- Defining your brand: What makes you unique? What is your brand story? How are you going to translate this throughout all your marketing efforts?
- Value props: What is your main selling point or points? How are you going to differentiate your brand from your competition? How are you unique?
- Style guides: Your messaging, tone, voice, customer persona, colors, logo all live in your style guide. This will help your employees with consistency, and help create brand recognition.
- Consistency: Once you have the above components ironed out, it’s important to establish consistency. Consumers are savvy, and they know when there are hiccups. Which then leads to an issue with your online reputation and other problems. Consistency is key to maintaining a positive brand experience for your audience.
Too Much, Send Help
Aside from having a killer product, branding is the most important part of your company’s success. But, sometimes you don’t have the employee bandwidth, or branding and marketing isn’t something you even want to get involved with on a daily basis. Bottom line, if you have absolutely no desire to do any of it in-house.
This is where a branding agency comes in.
They help to identify and strategize your branding and marketing, and they can complete all the steps to guide you toward your goals.