How To Brand Your Business

By Chris Wadsworth

Published in The Source – Issue 31

Getting your brand right or wrong can mean success or failure for your business. So what things do you need to consider if you want your brand to give your business an advantage over the competition?

Who are your audience?

Targeting you brand at the right audience is important. If you sell mobility scooters to Gold Card holders then looking, sounding and behaving like an edgy skateboard company isn’t going to appeal to, or connect with, your customers. Make sure you use language they understand and imagery that will engage them.

Most businesses know who their target audience is but it’s just as important to know what it is that they want. The saying that people ‘don’t want a drill, they want a hole’ illustrates how understanding your customers’ needs will help you shape a brand that fulfills a need in the marketplace.

What are your capabilities?

This can often be overlooked but it is key to building a successful brand. If you make promises to your customers but you’re not able to fully deliver on what you promise then you are creating a poor brand experience that will turn customers away from buying from you again.

But don’t think the ‘under promise, over deliver’ approach works either. To be successful in a competitive marketplace you can’t undersell yourself. Being honest about what you can deliver and what the market needs will help you position your brand so it can reach its full potential.

To build a genuine brand that keeps your customers coming back to you, and referring you to others, it’s essential to deliver on the promises your brand makes. Ensure you only promise what you can deliver and if you can’t meet the needs of your marketplace then make the necessary changes.

What makes you different?

Being unique is important if you want your brand to stand out in the busy marketplace. Even if you have similar products or services to your competitors there are ways to distinguish your brand.

Establishing brand values that reflect your business and resonate with your audience can create a different position for your business. Another way to create a point of difference for your business is to focus on a niche part of the market or a specific feature of what you offer.

What’s in a name?

A name is often the first tangible branding step for most businesses. Your name is also the first aspect of your brand that most customers will experience.

If you have worked through the steps to know your audience and their needs and understand your capabilities and values you are going to be better placed to create a relevant name that’s unique and connects with your market.

For existing businesses the most brand equity they have is often in their name so a rename should be carefully considered. But, if done correctly, a rename can breathe new life into a business and its brand.

Create a brand identity

The process of branding a business will give you important insights into your business and marketplace and help you to determine how to position your offer. There comes a stage when all this needs to be communicated with customers and this is done through your identity and visual branding.

When creating a logo it’s important to keep things simple to ensure it is easily recognised and flexible enough to be applied across a range of different media and materials. But your branding isn’t just your logo, it is important to have a consistent look and feel across all you communications. This is where colour, typography and imagery can be used to create a unique visual identity for your brand that will build recognition of your business.

Communicate strategically

A communications strategy that works with your brand to convey your offer is the last step to deliver well considered brand and communications to the market.

Consistent and targeted messages across print and online media will engage with your audience to bring your business the benefits of a strong and positive brand.

Posted 7 February 2017

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