Did you know it takes an average person to see your brand ten times before they engage with your business? Good branding helps define your company and makes it more identifiable to your customers. Things that help make a consistent brand include elements such as name, logo, tagline, fonts, color schemes, and graphics. The marketplace is full of instantly recognizable brands with which customers create an emotional bond — from Nike to McDonald’s and even Apple. Is your company’s brand as clear and powerful as it could be?
To help determine whether you need to take a fresh look at your branding, ask yourself these questions: Do your customers and your employees tend to misinterpret your mission or the benefits of your products or services? If you put all of your marketing materials side by side, do they each look different from the others? Does your team disagree about who your customers should be and what needs you should be meeting for them?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, then it may be time to get started on developing a new brand or enhancing the one you have. When you do, consider the following:
What are the unique selling points of your products or services?
Think about what truly makes you different as compared with your competitors. It can be just about any benefit — such as a better price, superior quality, or outstanding customer service.
What is your company’s mission?
A mission statement is important since it helps educate potential customers about your business and defines employee expectations. It can also help you decide on a succinct tagline to represent your company. How do you want customers to perceive your company? This encourages a discussion of your company’s personality. For instance, you may want your business to be seen as fun, innovative, socially responsible, experienced, or especially attentive to customer needs.
Who are your customers?
You need to have a clear picture of your current and prospective customers including demographics, needs, habits, and desires. Focus groups and surveys can help you understand your customers better, and doing such research will help you avoid making incorrect assumptions.
The information generated by these questions will help lay the foundation for building a brand that has meaning for your target audience. Once your brand is in place, remember the importance of consistent use. Use the elements of your new brand on all communications including internal documents, invoices, advertising and marketing materials, business cards, and your website. The more often your customers see this consistent branding, the more familiar they’ll become with the advantages of your company.