Even though you can’t touch it, smell it or feel it, your brand is one of your company’s most – if not the most – valuable assets. Your “brand” stretches far beyond your logo and slogan: it encompasses your entire identity. It’s who are are, which is why you need to get it right – but that’s not always easy. Sometimes it can be confusing and overwhelming to create a brand that’s recognisable and valuable, but we’ve come up with these helpful tips to strengthen your branding strategy.
1. First impressions count
You want to make sure that your business is presented in a professional manner – that includes your logo; any business cards, brochures or similar promotional material; and websites. Having professional looking material shows that you take pride in your business and are capable of providing a high standard of work – and this will encourage your customers to trust you. No one trusts a shoddy-looking website with a tatty logo.
2. Stand for something
Have a set of key values, and stick to them. If you communicate these throughout your branding, it can help distinguish who you are and differentiate from your competitors. You should think about your mission statement, colours, logo, and how you can use these to reflect your brand – e.g if some of your key values involve environmental issues, then using a lot of green in your branding can help connote that.
3. Reflect your customers’ needs/wants
This sort of links in with the above element. Although you want to communicate your key values, you also need to think about what your customers need and want from your business, and how you can get across the message that you can provide that for them. For example, you own a natural skincare company, but you really love the colours black and yellow – it might not be wise to use these colours in your branding, even though you personally love them, because they conjure up images of toxic waste and danger signs (probably not something your customers want to relate to your lovely natural products).
4. Be consistent
Consistency across all your channels is key to building and maintaining a strong, recognizable brand. This means your advertising, social media, websites, printed material and any other stuff with your branding on it must be consistent in style and tone, otherwise you risk confusing your audience and sending mixed signals, which will weaken the brand you’ve worked so hard to create. You want to remind your customers who you are – which also links to the 2nd point in this list: your values and what you stand for.
5. SEO is important
Why bother spending all this time and effort perfecting your branding, tone, messages, values etc., if no one is going to see them? Your material needs to be readily available and easily found by search engines in order for people to access them. For an in-depth guide on SEO strategy.
6. Have a company blog
A great way to give your customers an insight into your brand and it’s personality is to have a blog. It can give your business a tone of voice, communicate with your customers, and give updates on your company, but it also really helps to humanise the brand too, as it shows that there are people behind the business. There’s so many different things you can do with a blog, it’s up to you what goes into it, just remember to keep it consistent, in terms of branding and tone of voice, but also in terms of what content you post, and how often. There’s little point in starting a blog if you can’t commit to updating it at least once a week.
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