The process of branding your business is a necessary step to building a business with a strong reputation, but unfortunately, not every business has the time or the money to develop every aspect of their branding.
Too often the branding process gets simplified down to just creating a logo for your business, and while that is part of the process, it is not enough.
The logo is part of a business’s visual identity which covers all of the visual aspects of a brand. However, there is a big difference between visual identity and branding, and just making a logo without completing the full process isn’t setting your business up for the long term. To simplify the branding process, you need to determine what the most important steps are to get the brand you want.
Here are 7 steps to simplify the branding process:
Research Your Buyer Personas
Understanding who your customers are is an important step in creating a brand that will reach them. A buyer persona goes in depth into the things that motivate your customers. Your buyer persona profiles will identify the types of customers you have, what kind of jobs they have, where they go to find information, and what roles and responsibilities they have. This information helps you to understand them and find ways to connect with them.
Develop Your Mission Statement
Your mission statement is what drives your business internally and externally. It is the core purpose and answers the question why your business exists. Your mission statement also helps to clarify your message and is driving factor in developing your visual identity and the entire branding process. Your mission statement should inspire people and help people to understand the true value of what your business does.
Determine The Key Pillars Of Your Brand
Your brand pillars are the main aspects of your brand that someone will experience when they interact with your brand. These pillars are largely influenced by your core values and are the things that make your brand stand out. A brand pillar is something that is unique about your business. They are the things you would want your customers to say about when they are telling people about your brand.
Create A Logo And Tagline
Your logo is the icon that people identify with your brand. It has a huge impact on the first impression that someone gets of your business, and also tells them what to expect from your business. Your logo should be an expression of who you are as a brand and communicate what you and what your care about. Brands like Nike or Apple can afford to use their standalone icon as their logo design because of the reputation and brand recognition they have built. For a smaller business, you will want to communicate who you are through your logo.
Determine Your Tone Of Voice
Your tone of voice is an aspect of branding that often gets overlooked, but has great impact on how someone will perceive your brand. Whether you take the time to determine it, the copy on your website and all other branded material will have a specific tone that add to the brand experience. If you neglect to find your voice as a business, you can create a lot of confusion for your customers and sometimes sound like you have multiple personalities. Determine what tone to use for all of your copy will contribute to creating a great experience that is consistent with your brand.
Determine YourBrand Message
What do you tell people when they ask you what your business does? Your elevator pitch is a great way to find out if you have aclear brand message. You should be able to tell somebody what your business does in a sentence or two and it should be easy for you to spout off to anyone who asks. Your brand message is the way that you communicate the overall value that you bring to somebody who buys your product or uses your services.
Use It Consistently
Once you have developed these aspects of your brand and created a visual identity, you can now use it on all of your marketing material. Using your branding consistently is how you will begin to build trust with your customers and create a strong reputation. Your website, business cards, print materials, and everything else brand related should all look the same and sound the same.
The process of branding helps businesses to connect with their customers and communicate who they are. While there are ways to simplify the branding process, it important that you do it right the first time so that you can start building a strong reputation. For most businesses it is a good idea to hire a branding company to get it done professionally. Branding has a significant emotional impact on people in the way they perceive businesses and make business decisions.