Branding isn’t just about slapping a logo onto your products or shouting the name of your business into the marketing void. It’s about connecting with your customers emotionally, making your business relevant and memorable, and calling attention to your company’s overall mission rather than its offerings.
Branding is the door that allows customers to enter into a relationship with your business, the hook that leads them to their first purchase, and the loyalty you evoke in them that encourages them to recommend your company to others. But branding is also about simply setting yourself apart from the millions of other businesses out there that are like yours.
You don’t need to hire a professional branding companies to help you develop your unique and compelling brand identity, although it can be beneficial. All you need is a thorough understanding of your brand and how to communicate that to your potential customers effectively.
Let’s look at several crucial elements every business requires to establish a compelling brand identity.
A Clear Brand Objective
Your first mission when creating your branding is deciding your objective. This relates to what task or needs your products and services speak to and your overall purpose as a company. What makes you different from others in your niche? Once established, your objective should be used to shape your logo, tagline, brand name, and other elements to make your mission and purpose clear.
A Relevant Brand Name
A brand name must not only be catchy but relevant to the products and services being offered as well as the mission and personality of the brand. The wording of a brand name can often come with certain connotations, which are essential to consider. Your brand name should be unique but not so out-of-the-box that people can’t place where it fits within an industry. And it should also be short and easy to remember. You may even consider how the name will work stylistically with your other branding elements, such as your logo.
A Relatable Tagline
A tagline is a short and catchy phrase that will make customers think of your branding. The wording should encapsulate your mission (specifically or abstractly) and relate to your industry in a way that will draw in customers, such as Kay Jewelers’ “Every Kiss begins with K” or Nike’s “Just do It.”
A Defined Brand Personality
If your brand were a person, what kind of person would they be? Would it be bubbly and free-flowing? Formal and by-the-book? Simple and soft-spoken? Remember that your brand’s personality will significantly impact who is attracted to your company and who is not, so it’s an important consideration to make.
A Clear Tone of Voice
Creating a consistent and characteristic tone of voice will help shape your brand’s personality. Will you speak matter of factly, formally, or be down-to-earth, friendly, and modern? These choices may be subtle and may seem secondary to other branding choices, but they will go a long way in helping to attract specific clients and portray your brand better. Your brand voice will be something you use more than you might think, from your product descriptions and web copy to your social media captions and client messages, so pick something that will work for all of these mediums.
A High-Quality Logo
Your logo is where you can get creative. Many logos are abstract and don’t directly connect with the products or industry they relate to, although some do. Your logo acts as the visual version of your brand name and will become one of the most recognizable parts of your business (if approached in the right way). Therefore, it should be intriguing, easy to print, legible, and relevant.
Your brand should have a dedicated logo and other iconography that can be used in your website, marketing, and branding to help customers understand the purpose of your brand and products and be more engaged. These graphics can spice up text-heavy content or act as visual aids to clarify meaning (or both!).
Photography is another way to add visuals to your branding in a more realistic way. This type of illustration is best for stimulating an emotional response in viewers. It’s essential to choose high-quality photography relevant to the brand and industry and tell a story. You can harmonize the different photography you use by selecting similar subjects or shooting in a signature style.
An Appropriate Color Pattern
Good marketing and branding require researching color theory or what colors evoke what emotions in customers. The right color combinations can be just as recognizable in branding as logos or other visual aids, such as Mcdonald’s yellow and red or Coca-Cola’s red and white. The best color schemes are bold and unique but only have a few colors, usually three or less. Too many colors will muddle the message and become harder to remember and recognize.
Typography is not only a vehicle for content but a visual and creative element of your brand. Typography must, first and foremost, be effective at communicating your message by being legible and readable in all contexts. Still, it can also be an excellent opportunity to showcase your brand’s personality. Some companies have even harnessed the powers of their typography to the extent that it is as iconic as their other branding, such as Disney’s bold, bubbly font.
Going through the process of deciding your branding may be time-consuming. Still, it’s a great exercise that will help you establish your company’s purpose, what you offer, and who you want to provide it to, which will help you be a more substantial business and create more focused strategies. Knowing your target audience and niche is key to good marketing and finding success in the highly competitive world of business.
No matter what style or messaging you decide on, the most critical factor in any aspect of branding is consistency. The more you stick by a choice and portray it to the world, the more it will be seen and recognized. At one point, all notable brands from Mcdonald’s to Nike were nobodies but grew in popularity and established their iconic imagery by using it repeatedly with the right strategies until consumers became incredibly familiar with it.
With time and consistency, you can also attract buyers who appreciate what you do with your business and are loyal to you. The first step of that process is getting your name out there. And that begins with branding.