We undoubtedly get asked (and answer) a lot of questions about branding – because, branding in it of itself can be a vague, ambiguous idea. It encompasses all of who you are and what you do as a business. Here are six common items we address about branding and what a brand is.
Think about each part of your brand works together.
The idea of “branding” can be a big, confusing, ambiguous thing. The best way I can summarize is that a brand is bigger than the sum of its parts. It’s made up of everything you do, everything you sell, and what you represent. A logo, website, or a fancy brochure…these are all components of a memorable brand, but consistency at each touchpoint is key. Challenge yourself to think about how each part of your brand works together, rather than itemizing pieces into independent silos.
Communicate who you are, what you do, and why it’s unique or distinct.
Any strong brand clearly communicates who you are, what you do/what you offer, and why it’s unique or distinct. That last point is most critical, but often misunderstood. Don’t try to be something that no one else is. Odds are, there are plenty of brands very similar to yours. Instead, focus on what you do best, and what makes you truly distinct. Maybe it’s the product itself, maybe it’s as simple as offering a unique packaging experience. Whatever that unique approach is, hold onto it and build it into the ethos of your brand and what you share with your clients and customers.
Keep evolving your brand.
A brand, any brand, your brand, is a living, breathing thing that demands ongoing attention. Developing a strong brand isn’t something you set and forget, rather, it is constantly evolving and most importantly, listens and responds to customers. Whether you have a dedicated staff member focused on branding or not, don’t lose sight of what got you started, but also don’t hesitate to finesse and tweak the focus and direction of the brand as times change and customer needs evolve.
Create a relatable brand.
Customers want to relate to brands now more than ever. Even the simplest commodities are approached in distinct and unique ways. People don’t buy what you’re selling, they’re more interested in why you’re selling it. That “why” behind the what is what makes you unique, and it adds an incredible amount of value to your customers in a highly commoditized world.
Build brand loyalty.
Loyalty is built from within and it starts with the individuals that make up your team. That internal “buy in” often can and does translate to your customers. When your customers believe in you and the people that make up your company, it creates a level of authenticity (yes, a super buzzy word right now) that ensures you stand out.
Consider every step of the customer journey.
Think about branding holistically. Don’t be a brand with an incredible website if your brick and mortar customer experience is lacking. Don’t focus on a product without thinking about the packaging. Put yourselves in the shoes of your customer and think about every step of their journey – from the moment they Google to the moment they pay at the register.