Take a look at your business’ brand. Is it made up of different colors, logos, and voices? What do you think your brand says about your business? Studies show that 45% of a brand’s image can be attributed to what it says and how it says it, so it’s important to consider how others view your brand when you’re creating or modifying it.
Here are 10 ways to build your business’ identity through your branding:
1. Giving it a name. If you are a new business, the first part of your brand you should establish is your name. Your name doesn’t need to describe exactly what you do, but it should be relevant and easy to remember. If you’d like to include what you do in your name, a tagline can be added to your logo and other locations where your name appears. When you name products or services, apply brand names to all of the products and services you offer so people will associate them with your brand.
2. Reaching your audience. Your business has a target audience and your brand should speak to this group. To inform your branding and other marketing strategies, you should create a customer persona to help focus your marketing efforts. To help you, we’ve created a Customer Persona Checklist.
3. Doing as you say. Your business has a set of morals and values that guides it. These values can inform your mission statement or other marketing content, as well as your brand. What matters more, though, is how you act on those morals and values. Your customer service, community involvement, and other actions should reflect the values associated with your business. This past holiday season, Pulse sponsored dinners for homeless shelter residents and marched in the Festival of Lights Parade to show how we act on the values associated with our brand.
4. Showing your true colors. Color can affect a person’s mood and purchasing decisions. It can also affect their perceptions of brands by increasing brand recognition up to 80%. Make sure you choose colors that are associated with your product or service when developing your brand. For example, if you are an environmentally-friendly company, green would be a wise choice as many people associate the color with the environment.
5. Creating images. The most widely used and important image you will create is your logo, which should reflect your brand’s colors and chosen font. But your logo isn’t the only image that will represent your brand. Along with your logo, visuals included on your website, social media outlets, and other marketing materials make up your branding. Ideally, you should use photos or videos of your actual products. If this is not possible, you should choose images or illustrations that accurately represent your business.
6. Raising your voice and tone. As you create marketing content, remember that how you say something matters just as much as what you say. Be mindful of your voice and tone by using language in a way that is understandable, yet personable. This is especially important if you are in a more complex industry like finance, where it can be easy for your clients to misunderstand certain jargon or references. Remember, your voice and tone establish your brand’s personality in written marketing materials. For advice on crafting marketing content that speaks to your audience, check out our Content Writing Checklist.
7. Finding your type. The type of font you use is part of your branding. From your logo to your website, this font will appear on all of your written materials. Make sure you choose a legible font that matches the tone of your brand. For example, sans serif fonts are considered modern, while fonts with serifs are more formal. Where your content will be viewed factors into this decision as well, since sans serif fonts are easier to read online.
8. Having standards. Once your brand has been established, it may be a good idea to develop a style guide. A style guide is a set of standards for your business’ marketing materials. All of your employees should be aware of this guide to ensure that your brand is well-represented. It should be updated as your branding and marketing strategies change. To get started, check out our Beginner’s Guide to Creating a Style Guide.
9. Being consistent. Brand consistency is more than just using the same colors, logos, and images across your marketing materials. Although this is important to your brand’s image, the experience your customers have with your business matters just as much. For example, 60% of Millennials expect consistency while interacting with a brand. Your personality and values should be reflected in every interaction your customer has with you whether it’s online, in person, or over the phone.
10. Staying current. Design trends come and go. Make sure that your branding is keeping up the changing times by rebranding regularly. You should design your branding with this growth in mind so that rebrands are not too drastic. Go for fonts and colors that are timeless, rather than fashionable. This will keep your brand from looking dated. Refreshing your brand’s look will establish your relevance to your target audience.
Creating a brand for a new business or rebranding a current business can be an exciting time. You have the opportunity to create your business’ identity and present it to your target audience on your own terms.