6 Insights into Branding for Business Series
Now, when you hear the term brand or branding, what springs to mind first? For most people, it’s a logo or a symbol and to go one step further, you’d be most likely thinking of a well-known brand like Apple, IKEA, Nike or Virgin. Although a logo or a symbol is a vital part of what makes up a brand, it does, however, go far beyond this.
At one level these brands simply sell consumer electronics, furniture, shoes, seats on flights or media. But at the same time, they influence amazing behaviour in the marketplace. Their ability to ‘reach out’ to people creates meaning and personal relevance. Branding involves every aspect of a customer’s experience, from your logo to your website, your social media posts, to sales & marketing events and advertising; it even incorporates how you answer the phone to how you talk to your customers.
Developing a brand requires defining, articulating, and asserting your messaging and then translating that message into channels where customers can interact with your business. To create a brand, you have to be prepared to get your hands dirty. The process requires research, brainstorming, data, insights, and a clear vision for your business. The brand guides and drives every decision in your organisation.
So why is branding so important? Over the next few months, we’ll provide a bit of light reading with our top 6 insights as to how you can help your brand today and why you should take your time developing your brand for tomorrow.
Before we delve into our six insights, we’d first like to throw a few strategically important questions at you that you need to be able to answer about your brand before you begin building it. For those who really want to do it right from the start.
1. What Does Your Business Do?
The first thing you need to ask yourself is what the business that you’re involved with actually does. Sometimes, after years of treading water, this can become a little muddy. Strip it all back and ask yourself, “What does this business do?” Not used to do, or want to do, but actually, do.
Quick note: If you’re building a new brand or rebranding and want to change what you do, this is the time to get clear on that.
Write down a few bullet points on what your business does. If you are feeling a little unclear at this stage, don’t worry. Hopefully, the next few questions and our series of branding insights will provide you with a lot more clarity. You can always come back to this question after some more branding soul searching.
2. Why Do You Do It?
Why did you decide to set up that interior design studio in the first place or why were you selling custom-made lampshades out of your shed? Was it to make a quick buck?
Try and remember precisely what lit the fire in you in the first place and write it down. I doubt you did it on a whim, so like the first point, bring it right back to basics. Your primary reasons for starting up a business can often get lost as your brand scales and grows.
Think back to those first few days you started your business. Write down one sentence that describes what you hoped to accomplish. Remember this often.
3. Where Do You Want Your Business to Go?
Once you’ve identified what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, spend some time thinking about where you want your business to be five, ten, and even twenty years from now.
Don’t be afraid to set big goals here. Where do you want the business to be in twenty years? Think as big as you can imagine. This is the dream; it starts from here.
4. What Do You Believe?
Having a brand ethos or brand belief system in place will help you out in the long run.
Ethos describes who we are and what we stand for. In marketing, ethos is the connection between a brand and its audience.
Perhaps, you’re all about green energy, watching your carbon footprint and recycling. Great, now you know that all of your packaging and stationery should be printed on bio-compostable, recycled paper or better still, perhaps you don’t even have stationery printed. A well-defined belief system will help mould your business and its actions.
As you make brand decisions, ask yourself “Is this in line with our company ethos?” If you haven’t already defined your company ethos, now would be a good time.
5. What’s your brand’s personality?
Humans are built for connection. We tend to personify things, including brands. As a business, leveraging your brand’s personality is the best way to create a connection that speaks to your target audience.
Make a list of attributes you love about your brand and the ones you hope to have. You can’t develop a brand if you don’t know what qualities you want your brand to have.
Insight 1 – A Brand is not just a Logo will be published on 3rd February.
Before you go…
If you’re super eager and need brand guidance RIGHT now, click *here* to get in touch with us. We’re always happy to talk! If you’re based in Dublin, why not schedule a free 30mins no-obligation consultation with us at *our offices* off St. Stephens Green. The coffee here is great, and is on us!