The process of branding your business has a great impact of the success of your company. Branding goes far beyond a logo, but businesses far too often limit their branding process to just simply making a logo.
There is a big difference between visual identity and branding. Branding is a more indepth process and includes things like brand personality, tone of voice, and your vision, whereas visual identity is all of the visual aspects of your brand, such as your logo. During the branding process their are lots of questions that need to be answered to make sure the process is pointed in the right direction, this will begin to drastically impact the way your consumers feel about you and your company.
Here are 7 questions to ask when branding your business.
1. Who Are You?
The process of branding your business is a very introspective process. In order to create a solid brand identity, you need to have a good understanding of who you are as a business, what your core values are, and the vision you have to make an imprint in the business world. Your brand identity will be source of which your visual identity will be derived from. If you create a logo without understanding who are, there will often be a disconnect in the mind of consumers and you will likely end up doing a brand refresh down the road.
2. What Does Your Business Do?
Your mission and vision statement provide a strong basis in understanding what your business is setting out to do. When you are branding your business, you want consumers to easily know what you do from the instant they see your logo, or interact with your business. The reason it is important to develop these statements during the branding process, is so that internally the vision is clear and everybody that works for you know what the business does, but also so that it is easy for consumers to understand what your business does.
3. Who Are Your Buyer Personas?
Before you do any designing, you should have a good understanding of who your customers are. Creating buyer personas helps you to understand more about the lifestyle and motivations of your customers and will give insight on how to connect with them on a deeper level. A buyer persona is an in depth profile of your ideal customer. It will help you understand where they go to find information on products, what they do for a living, and what they care about.
4. What Makes You Unique?
Another way to put it would be: what is your competitive advantage? A big part of your branding is finding your voice as a business and communicating how you are unique and different from all of your competitors. The unique qualities of your business must be shown through your branding, your visual identity, and even the copy on your website. You want people to be able to know the uniqueness of your brand from the first time they see your logo and interact with your brand.
5. How Can You Be Memorable?
The goal of creating a brand is to create something that will be memorable. You need to stand out from your competitors. For example, if you look at your competitors and you find that most of them use the same colors, don’t be afraid to use a different color that stands out. If everybody sounds the same when uses the same tone of voice, be different. People remember different. Your brand story and message needs to be unique and intriguing to your customers. The last thing you want to do is blend in with all your competitors.
6. What Is Your Story?
To create a great brand, words matter just as much as design. Being able to tell your brand story is one of the most powerful ways to connect with your customers. Author Seth Godin says that "People don't buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories, and magic." Telling a brand story that is memorable, truthful, and unique is how you draw people in to your buying your product. The copy on your website and in any ads that you run will help to paint the picture of your brand and actually help to show personality. People connect to stories and will remember a story more than a bullet point list of all the reasons why your brand is awesome.
7. Where Do You Want To Be In 10 Years?
A common mistake business owners make in the branding process is designing for right now, and not thinking about the future. Even if your business is small, you want to create a brand that will lead you to where you want to be 10 years from now. By developing your future story of where you want to be in 10 years, you will be able to create a brand that will take you there and will withstand the test of time. You know when your brand needs a refresh when your current branding doesn’t match up with where the business is headed. Your future story will help you get it right the first time.
Branding is all about connecting with your buyer personas on an emotional level. The goal is to evoke certain emotions out of people to create an experience that will leave someone wanting to buy your product or service above any other. Emotions play a huge role in consumer decision making and will often be the reason someone buys from you over the competition.
Read More: How to Simplify the Branding Process