Yesterday I wrote about the essential rules of branding or Branding 101. Today I found an infographic that does a great job of visualizing the branding process. Your brand is essentially the identity of your business. It is what people expect of you and it’s the gut feeling they get when they think of you. That’s why it’s incredibly important to brand on purpose. That way you have a goal of what you want those thoughts and feelings to be. There’s a lot of planning and strategy that goes into the brand before you even build your logo and from there you have no shortage branding chores to finish.
When the world is nearly drowning in clutter of too much advertising, your brand is the most important tool your company has when it comes to making sure you stand out in your customers mind. Just because you’re running a one-person-show doesn’t mean you can’t have a great brand. Here are some great ways to build the solo brand.
1. Be Visual – There are too many names in the world to compete with. Create a visual identity to help people recognize and remember you. Take the time to find the perfect image to help people remember at least one part of your name.
2. Make Sure It’s Tweetable – Netflix suffered when they found out that their spinoff brand ‘Qwikster’ was already taken as a Twitter handle but someone who insisted on tweeting about their drug use. A clever name isn’t enough anymore, you need to make sure it’s socially available or you’ll be giving yourself a branding handicap.
3. Have Some Fun – You should definitely be serious about what you do, but not so serious that you adopt a 0 fun policy. Fun brands are more memorable and easier to interact with. It doesn’t have to be all business all the time and creating a unique personality will help you differentiate from your competitors.
4. Say It Loud – Develop a brand that you can be proud of. Make sure it’s not just something to grab people’s attention, but something that identifies who you are, what you do and why it matters.
5. Brand Everything Consistently - Use the same branding guidelines on anything that represents you. Your logo, your tagline, your color scheme and even the fonts you use should be the same on anything that has your name associated with it.
“Branding” is one of those magic marketing buzzwords that everyone is talking about but no one ever explains very well. A brand is essentially an identity and personality. Whatever people think of when they hear a brand’s name is a part of that brand. So how to you get a brand? Most of the brands people are talking about are large businesses that have already proven to be successful, but what about the new brands? What about all the new business or smaller companies trying to make a name for themselves in the massive universe of the brands? Start with a good foundation and the rest will follow. Here are 5 rules to help get you on your way to brand stardom.
1. Follow Your Passion – If you are about to start a business or are running a business that you’re not passionate about, GET OUT NOW! Figure out what you love and what you’re passionate about and start moving in that direction. It will make everything else a lot easier.
2. Baby Steps – Start with something you can handle, don’t try to jump ahead 10 years. Business takes time and so does branding. Start with one product and do everything right instead of trying to put out too much and missing several important marks.
3. Trust Your Gut – Starting off you might not have the resources to invest in a lot of research so you need to rely on your gut. That doesn’t mean to act impulsively, but to instead use your logic and experience to figure things out.
4. Team Up To Keep Growing – You may hit a point where you don’t have the resources to keep growing as you would like. When that happens, find someone who does have those resources and work out a deal.
5. Don’t Stop Paying Attention…EVER – As your company grows and your responsibilities change, the one thing you should never lose sight of is your brand. You created it and you know exactly what it should be so don’t let anyone else take over for you.
Your brand is the most important asset your company has. It’s what people think of when they hear your name, what people feel when they see your product and what they say when they are talking about your company. Your brand is also one of the morst permanent aspects of your company. Don’t get me wrong, your brand can survive change, but it shouldn’t change often. Here are a few good reasons why you should put more time into your brand upfront instead of continually changing it down the road.
1. Brand loyalty is hard to earn and harder to earn again and again – Once you do your job of giving the customer something they want that they can depend on and a relationship they value you will earn their loyalty. Once you have that, it’s easier for them to come back and do business with you again. If you rebrand, you have to prove yourself again by starting from scratch and under higher scrutiny.
2. Re-branding loses the attention of the general public – Unless you have the resources to buy enough advertising to let the world and all of your customers know about the rebrand, you are going to lose the ones wh don’t have time to pay attention. They may be used to seeing a certain color box on the shelf or going to a certain website, and when it’s not there they might just move on to the next best thing.
3. The “almost-customers” will forget about you – There is this magic marketing tool you may have heard of called “Word Of Mouth”. This means that your current customers are happy enough to tell other people about your company, your product and/or your service. If you do something drastic like a name change all of that praise will have fallen on deaf ears. They may have heard their friends talk about “Acme Company” thousands of times but never “Acme Supreme”. If it’s not what there friends told them to buy, they have no reason to buy it.