A brand is one of the most important investments a business can make. It creates a unique identity and builds a strong persona for your business. The human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text, meaning that a distinctive logo makes your brand easier to recall.
What is a Brand? It’s just a logo right? Simply put No, no it isn’t.
Your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from your competitors’. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be. Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business, large or small, retail or B2B. An effective brand strategy gives you a major edge in increasingly competitive markets. Businesses tend to start out by thinking about the product. They only start to think about the logo when it’s got to the stage where something has to go up on screen or go to print.
Take Nike for example, it only says sportswear to consumers because it spends a lot of marketing cash establishing the connection. But we will all agree that young companies or indeed most small businesses don’t have infinitely deep pockets – but, you should still at least think about what the first impression is that your name or logo is making. In a survey of over 2000 people more than half of those surveyed (55 percent) complained that too many new businesses had obscure names. Perhaps more importantly, 62 percent said they would avoid contact with businesses that did not have a clear proposition.
What Is In A Brand Name
How does your brand name stack up? Should you be particularly worried about your brand name? After all, the world’s biggest brands go to market with names that say little or nothing about the products they sell. You can use descriptive or non-descriptive logos depending on your brand strategy. Non descriptive names are better for brands that don’t want to be strongly associated with a specific product. They are also better for brands where a descriptive logo will have a negative impact.
For example brands that market products or services associated with sad or unpleasant things such as funeral homes or bug repellents. Descriptive names are visually easier to process and have a favourable impact on consumers. Given the significant impact a name can have on a company’s public perception it is imperative to get it right.
Your Brand Story
What is brand story telling? In today’s fast-paced, overly-automated, and digitally-driven society, humanity is becoming the new premium. Businesses can no longer afford to be faceless entities. To survive, businesses need to connect with audiences, pull at their heartstrings, and engage with them on a much deeper level than seen before. That’s is where culture & brand come in. Learn about your why, core values, brand vision, culture, brand touch points and brand storytelling. This is how good brands become great.
Brand storytelling is the cohesive narrative that weaves together the facts and emotions that your brand evokes. In addition to giving your customers reasons why they should buy a product or service, businesses need to start sharing the story behind their brand, why it exists, and why this matters, consistently across all communication.
Brand storytelling is no longer a nice to have. It is a need to have, and what will ultimately maximise your business’s visibility, profit, and impact. Treat it as a compass for your marketing strategy, and the result will be a brand that is as profitable as it is captivating.
Be unforgettable, in a sea of sameness. It’s not enough to have a quality product or service, you need to know how to talk about it in a way that differentiates you from the crowd. Instead of throwing facts, statistics, and testimonials at your audience, focus on making your brand thoughtful, memorable, and real. Wrap your message in a story. Storytelling will not only increase your brand favourability in your audience’s eyes, it can also be up to 22 times more memorable than facts. More than customers, build a tribe.
When crafting your messaging, think about what your audiences truly need from you (in addition to a product or service). Take Apple, for example. They sell technology, but from the beginning, their audience needed to feel that it was okay (and even encouraged) to be brave, bold, and think differently from the crowd. Tesla’s customers need to feel that it’s worthwhile to support the environment and sustainable energy.
For a brand to take off, it needs to become so much more than your product and service – and that’s where storytelling comes in.
Be human yet profitable. A brand story can do so much more than connect you with your ideal audience, get you noticed in the noise of your competitors’ messaging, and drive profits – it also has the potential to create major impact.
Your Mission Matters
A desire to “change the world” is no longer cliche so long as brands are actually acting according to their values, currently only 10% of organisations are doing this, and consumers gravitate towards brands that feel more human. It’s no coincidence that the top 10 most empathetic companies in the Global Empathy Index are amongst the most profitable and fastest growing in the world.
So…where to from here? Here are a few simple, time-tested tips:
Get a great logo. Place it everywhere.
Develop your brand messaging. What are the key messages you want to communicate about your brand? Every employee should be aware of your brand attributes.
Integrate your brand. Branding extends to every aspect of your business—how you answer your phones, what you or your salespeople wear on sales calls, your e-mail signature, everything.
Create a “voice” for your company that reflects your brand. This voice should be applied to all written communication and incorporated in the visual imagery of all materials, online and off. Is your brand friendly? Be conversational. Is it opulent? Be more formal. You get the gist.
Develop a tagline. A memorable, meaningful and concise statement that captures the essence of your brand.
Create your brand “Vision”. By using the same colour scheme, logo placement, look and feel throughout. You don’t need to be fancy, just consistent.
Be true to your brand. Customers won’t return to you—or refer you to someone else—if you don’t deliver on your brand promise.
Be consistent. I placed this point last only because it involves all of the above and is the most important tip I can give you. If you can’t do this, your attempts at establishing a brand will fail.