Tips for Building Your Business’s Brand Identity
Successful branding is much, much more than just a well-designed logo, a good-looking website and some business cards.
Your brand is how you define yourself both to your team and your external audience. Branding should embody more than just what you do – it should capture your business’s values, mission and vision. For all of these reasons, consistent branding that showcases your unique value proposition is absolutely essential for your business’s long-term success.
Often customers connect on an emotional level with a brand. If they feel some connection on the basis of shared beliefs or values, they’re likely to feel an affiliation with that brand, and to purchase from it. A brand that is well-aligned to its target audience can lead to brand loyalty and even advocacy.
While it is recommended to bring on board a creative or marketing professional to assist you in implementing your brand identity across your collateral, it’s up to you to define your identity, because ultimately, only you have the best understanding of how you and your company operate.
Here are some pointers to get you started:
Identify your target demographics
To differentiate yourself and make yourself relevant to your target group, identify their likes and dislikes, needs and concerns. This will inform your brand ‘voice’ and how you communicate with your audience.
Think of your brand as a personality
Just how your personality defines the way you dress, act and communicate, so too will your brand personality determine how you interact with your customers. Is your brand young or older and more established? Is it trendy or classic? Outspoken or conservative? The tighter your definitions, the more distinct your brand will be.
Study your competition, but don’t emulate them
Study them to find out if they’ve successfully carved a niche for themselves. If so, how do they talk to their customers? How does their logo communicate their personality? Once you’ve established this, look to their motivations for these decisions. Then you can apply these principles to your own brand strategy, rather than directly copying their approach, which will come across as inauthentic.
Maintain consistency in your messaging
Exposing your brand on a regular basis to your target audience is a tried and tested way of building brand recognition and ultimately, brand loyalty. To reinforce your brand personality, ensure your tone of voice is consistent across all forms of communication – think email, social media posts and web copy.
Engage in honest branding
This is crucial for building long-term, profitable relationships with your customers. As competition continues to rise, it’s essential that businesses maintain honesty in their relationships with their audience, or they risk losing them to competitors. Your messaging should strictly centre around offerings that you can realistically provide. If it’s out of your reach to deliver something, then don’t raise customer expectations by not walking the walk.