The swoosh. An apple. A giant golden “M”. Chances are each of these immediately brings a brand to mind. Yet good branding goes way beyond the icon of the logo. It is the style, the personality and the ethos of your business. It is what makes you stand out from the crowd. Nail it and people are more likely to remember who you are and what you do. Get it wrong and you will fade into the noise of the modern commercial world.
Although it can seem like an intangible part of your business, your brand can be broken down into four important elements:
Every business needs a pitch. Your pitch is the source of your business personality. It should be clear, confident and strike up a connection with your audience in a few sparse words. Whether you are using it to entice investors or customers these phrases should instantly convey the spark behind your brand.
How would you sum up your business in a nutshell? Think about what makes you unique, what you offer your customers and the driving principles behind your business.
If you can define your story in just a few words or sentences then you are on your way to creating a strong brand. For a brilliant step by step process on creating a concise and versatile 100-200 word pitch for your business this article is brilliant: So, What Do You Do? How to Craft the Perfect Pitch.
Beyond the carefully selected wording of your pitch there is a whole world of copy that will need to be written for and about your business. From web pages to product descriptions to social media posts, it is vital to make sure all communications are created using a well defined personality that will keep the tone and language consistent.
Without a clear “voice” to use copy is subject to change, reflecting the various personalities and moods of each writer. Defining a tone of voice for your brand that is designed to resonate with your target audience will keep all copy authentic, regardless of when or where it is used or who writes it. Consistency will give your voice strength.
3. Logo Design
Think of your pitch as the way your brand introduces itself and your voice as the conversation that follows. Your logo design is the visual representation of the two, and is often the most memorable aspect of your brand. It should complement and strengthen your branding, creating a firm and instant impression of your business.
There are a number of key components that make up a good logo design, one of which is colour. There are well established guidelines for which colours to use in a logo, with blue generally invoking a sense of trust, purple conveying imagination and creativity, and orange reflecting an almost whimsical playfulness.
Choose your logo carefully and make sure it is fit for purpose and well designed.
For more information on how to ensure your logo is effectively representing your brand check out this article: The 4 Fundamentals of a Good Logo Design.
4. Be the Expert
Once you have defined the story, look and personality of your brand it is time to bring it all to life. The key to doing this well is to stay focused. Build an authentic presence in your niche by establishing your authority, and continuing to be a consistent and confident player in that space.
Think about the demographics of your audience in order to offer them advice, products or services that speak to their needs and relate to their problems.
Branding is something that requires ongoing curation, and sometimes evolution as your target audience and business offerings change, but lay your foundations right and you will have a core brand philosophy and image to build on as your business develops.