Branding! It’s kind of intimidating right…? It doesn’t have to be! Simply put, branding is what you put forth to your customers that sets you apart. But in reality, it is so much more. At first glance, your brand is a visual representation of your business. This includes your logo, color palette, imagery and typography. This is all very important but in order to create a strong brand, you need to have a solid brand identity. If you don’t know who you are, your mission or purpose, it will be difficult to connect with your ideal client. So what makes a strong brand? Here are a few of the elements that make a strong brand.
Most importantly, you need to understand your target audience. Who do you want to use your service or product? By understanding who your ideal client is, you will be able to tailor your message to that audience. A helpful way to determine your ideal audience is to create a buyer persona. A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal client or customer that you can use to help gain insight into their behaviors. You should list the demographics, socio-economic background, where they shop, what social media platforms they would use, etc. This will help you to determine your target audience’s needs and wants which will help you best understand how to sell your products or services. Over time your brand might evolve and so will your audience, so it’s important to always re-evaluate your buyer persona.
Your brand’s mission defines your objectives and purpose which is used to guide your business. The mission tells your consumers what it is you are going to do and how you are going to do it. Patagonia has a great example of a great mission statement. They’ve since updated it, but I think this encompasses what a mission statement should include. Check it out below.
Your brand values are guiding principles that steer the ship that is your business. They allow your brand to communicate what it stands for, and this, in turn, helps shape your message. Having strong core values can also set you apart from your competitors. Examples of core values are Diversity, sustainability, leadership, collaboration and compassion.
Although this is the most fun aspect to work on when branding, it’s not the most important. Color palettes, fonts and other design elements are exciting to create but make sure everything that you do in branding should be tied into your purpose, mission and values. When you know those, then your brand aesthetic will take shape. Your logo is your company’s visual representation of your brand so make sure that it is well thought out and meaningful.
These are just four elements but there is so much more that goes into creating a strong, cohesive brand. Whether you are just starting out or working on a re-brand, go back and revisit these elements periodically to make sure that they continue to align with your mission.
If you are feeling overwhelmed with your branding or re-branding needs, feel free to set up a discovery call and we can see how to get you moving forward!