I’m sorry to be the one to break it to you… but building a brand isn’t something you can check off your list once and you’re done.
A brand is as complex as a person. It’s made up of so many elements – only one of which is the logo. Because of this, they need constant TLC and nurturing. That’s not to scare you, only to highlight the possibilities to grow your business once you connect these important dots.
So, if a brand isn’t a logo – what exactly is it?
A brand is an experience.
From the very first interaction with your brand through to the very last, your brand creates an experience for your customers. That leaves them feeling a certain way about you and they carry this impression with them. You have the ability to craft this experience to ensure it delivers exactly the feeling you intend. Start with figuring out what that feeling is and work back through every step of your customer journey to build it into every step.
A brand is a promise.
Everything about your brand builds up to a promise in the mind of your customer. This is the “one thing” that you deliver every single time. It’s a foundational element of your product or service. Figure out what you want to deliver to your customers every time, and ensure you do that. Work out what it will take for you to deliver that consistently.
A brand is a personality.
Like a person, your brand has personality traits that make it a unique ‘being’ in the world. Personality for your brand guides the way you interact with anyone and everyone (from your customers, to your suppliers, your collaboration partners, etc.). It guides your point of view, your voice, your visual identity. It can be that one thing that helps to set you apart from your competitors. You may well be performing the same service or delivering the same product as everyone else, but brand personality helps define HOW you do that.
A brand is a voice.
Defining the way your brand ‘sounds’ in every piece of copy or social media caption is as much your brand as your logo is. The job of your copy is to attract and connect with your audience, so it’s important that it sounds like it’s coming from your brand only. To define your brand voice, start with your brand personality. If your brand was that ‘person’, what kind of things would they talk about? What kind of tone and language would they use? Write one sentence about your brand voice and you’ll be your copywriter’s new best friend.
All these things work together to make up your brand.
And once those amazing pieces of the puzzle do come together, you start to get some strong foundations to grow your business. Your messages become cohesive and more potent. Your team all starts to pull in the same direction with a clear path on what your brand exists to deliver. Your relationships with customers, suppliers, partners become more connected. This helps to keep them coming back to you, and advocating for you. And keeping those existing customers happy is more cost effective in the long run than spending money on acquiring new customers.
That, my friends, is what a brand really is. So much more than a logo. There’s no right or wrong time to sit down and think about this stuff, but as you head into planning for next year, it would be well worth your while to carve out a little time to think it through.
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