Think of some brands that you have a positive association with. They are memorable, right? But how do they do that? They get themselves in your psyche, so that you think of them before considering any other option.
But HOW? It starts with a plan. All brands have the same core elements. It’s easy enough to come up with a name, give it a logo and make a simple website online. But without a plan, your efforts to get your business seen might actually be hurting your business, rather than helping it.
Ask yourself these questions:
What’s my purpose? It’s might sound wishy-washy, but it is important to understand the purpose of why you’ve built your brand. If you’re not clear on what you’re all about, how is your customer going to know? More than ever, customers want to connect with the business’ they are supporting.
Take a moment to brainstorm your purpose. Come on, get your pen and paper out. It really helps to have it in writing! If nothing springs to mind instantly, just start off by writing what you do. Then ask yourself why you do that – write down your answer. Then ask again. But WHY? After a few goes of asking ‘but why?’ you should be able to start to get a sense of your deeper purpose. Once you are clear on what your purpose is, you can then set about communicating that through your brand identity.
Who is my customer? Understanding your ideal customer is lets you make confident branding and marketing decisions. It helps to picture a real person – best case scenario is someone you know well. You can have more than one customer prototype, if your marketing to a few different audiences.
The more you can get insight into their habits, wants and needs, the more you’ll be able to speak their language when you’re marketing to them. Whenever making a decision on your brand, take a moment to consider how they might think about it. Or find someone who fits your prototype and actually ask them!
Can my customers find me easily? There are a few things to consider when it comes to brand visibility. It’s all about directing your marketing efforts to the audience that you want to reach. Your business’ name can play a big role in how visible you are online. If your name is hard to spell, vague, or generic, then it may make you hard to find.
If you’re just starting out, consider reviewing your name to make sure it’s something recognisable, easy to spell, and won’t be confused with a competitor! Ideally, come up with a handle (username) that you can use across all social media platforms. Once you’ve got a catchy business name, consider where your customers spend their time online and how you can reach them. Are they on Facebook or TikTok? Then think about what they’re doing there. Are they scrolling mindlessly or looking for engagement? What mood are they in? What would make them trust you? This all helps you make sure that you’re building a strategy that is going to get you noticed online.
Is my brand consistent? Unfortunately, it’s not just as simple as using your logo across all your platforms. Your tone of voice, aesthetic and how you communicate with your audience needs to give an overall feeling of consistency.
Your voice should be recognisable across all the platforms you use, so that your customers know what to expect from you – and come to trust you. The same way you’ve got a picture of your ideal customer, you should take some time to establish what the personality of your brand is. It can help to get clear on what you are going to be sharing on socials. Sometimes a roster of three to five ‘types’ of content can give you some direction. Likewise, planning a colour scheme, tone of voice, or even just choosing a specific Instagram filter to use for every image you post can make sure that you keep your branding tight.
Are my visuals adding to my brand identity? Sure, using stock images and anything you find on the internet can be the easy way to build your website and social media posts. But they can actually damage your brand identity because they don’t come across as authentic.
Customers these days are looking for connection and a big part of that is feeling like they see the personality of your business come through. Putting the effort in to make sure your brand identity is made up of images, videos, etc., that are unique to your brand and will help your customers form a positive association with you.
Remember that your brand identity isn’t just how your customers perceive you visually, it’s how they feel when they interact with you. With a plan set in place, you’ll be able to cut through the noise and build a strong relationship with your customers. Get them onside by sharing your purpose and creating a cohesive brand identity.
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