Your brand is the image that people observe, develop, and relate to. It connects you to your customers and prospects. The branding process, including the planning and decision process are important. These branding decisions have an impact on your future success. By working through these points, you will have established a solid brand and a plan to move forward and integrate it into all of your marketing and sales efforts.
Making The Right Branding Decisions
Consider each of these nine important points as you make your own branding decisions:
- Have you identified my business vision and mission? Your branding decisions must remain true to your vision and mission in order to provide a consistent and comprehensive image to prospects and customers. I have listed this first because it may be the most important.
- Have you identified and selected those colors that best represent the brand you want to portray? These colors will embody the vision and mission of your business along with supporting the message you wish to convey. There are numerous resources online to help you understand the meaning and power of color selection.
- Have you chosen a brand name, a business name, that is easy to remember, easy to spell, and can be registered as a domain name? It is easy to get trapped with a business name that is not available as a domain name or to select branding that is already saturated on the Internet, making it hard or impossible to stand out from the crowd. Careful thought and research is required here.
- Do you have a solid understanding of who your target audience is and understand what their needs, interests, and goals actually are? Do you know how your branding efforts influence your unique target customer? This is critical to your future marketintg efforts.
- Do you know what differentiates you from your competition? Do you really know what value you bring to your prospects? Can you effectively answer the following questions:
- How do you benefit your clients?
- Why do they like you?
- Why do they buy from you?
- Have you created a logo, or hired someone to create a logo for you, that conveys your brand in a way that is simple and easy to understand? Are your brand colors are used in the logo and does the logo support your vision and mission? Remember, a logo is an identification mark, not a billboard. Think Nike, IBM, McDonalds, Red Cross -- keep it simple.
- Have you developed a brand purpose? This is a statement that highlights what you provide to the market, how your business is different, and what makes your business distinct. Without these factors your brand will not stand up and stand out.
- Have you created a brand personality? This is a statement or list of characteristics that best describe your brand. Your brand personality may well embrace elements of your own personality so that you can create a stronger connection with your audience. A stronger connection results in a stronger brand. A stronger brand converts prospects into followers and followers into customers or clients.
- Have you created a brand promise? This is an emotional statement that connects prospects to your brand and your company. Your brand promise, and the resulting message, should both evoke a positive emotion in your target audience. Postive emotion results in stronger brand loyalty.
- Have you created a list, and a plan, for each medium to consistently integrate your brand into various branding opportunities and marketing efforts. These may include:
- Social media profiles
- Blog name
- Email signature
- Phone message
- Networking associations
What Is Your Brand?
Your brand is who you are, what you represent, and what makes you and your business unique and different from your competition. Spend time creating your business brand and working through this list of important points to ensure a comprehensive and clear brand – a brand your prospects will not be able to resist.