Everything you do should start with your brand. Your brand is a multi-layered, evolving unit. It’s not an afterthought or a static thing. It goes beyond your logo, tagline, and business card. Good branding matters, and you can measure the strength of your branding through various components.
Key 1 – Brand Messaging
This is the voice of your business. It’s all about what you say and how to say it. Messaging style and strategy is so important because it helps define you as a brand and makes you memorable to customers. Brand messaging encompasses your tagline, story, brand personality, and position. It also includes your market copy–the words you use online in the digital space (i.e. social media, your website, etc) and offline in your physical marketing collateral (i.e brochures, signage, etc). Your messaging should be consistent across all mediums. For example, on social media your messaging should present a common theme throughout your posts, videos, and more. However, consistent messaging doesn’t mean saying the same thing on each social media apps. You should be able to adapt on each platform, which becomes much easier once you’ve nailed down your brand personality.
You should choose a brand personality that is true and authentic to your business. Your brand traits are what you’ll be known for outside of our business. Are you funny? Sassy? Rebellious? Uplifting? Think about specific traits that you want employee’s or your customers to use when describing your brand. This will help your customers intimately get to know you and what to expect.
Your brand story is significant because it lets your audience know your motivation for your business, and why you get up and do what you do everyday. It adds credibility to your business and tells people why they should care. Your story should grab your audience’s attention, hopefully setting you apart from everyone else.
Key 2 – Brand Visuals
Brand Visuals is another key component in branding. Your visual brand impression is made in a matter of seconds to a consumer. It includes elements such as your logo, graphics/imagery, typefaces, and your color palette. Potential customers should feel attracted to your visual identity, and it should fit with your overall brand strategy.
You should use the same fonts, imagery, and colors in your logo throughout your website, marketing collateral (i.e. business cards, flyers, etc), and social media pages. Your visuals should be consistent on every platform to the point where customers can recognize you and your style without having to see your logo. Some things to consider when choosing a logo is versatility— are you able to use it in multiple ways. Is it timeless and simple? You want your logo to be easily recognizable.
Key 3 – Brand Emotions
The last component you should be thinking about is your brand’s emotion. Consider how you want people to feel when they encounter your brand. Is it luxurious? Affordable? Comforting? Inclusive?
Consider some of the luxury brands, such as Tesla and Gucci, and some affordable brands like Walmart and Fashion Nova. Consumers know what to expect when they purchase from each of these brands based on the company’s marketing and maybe even past experiences. For instance, you know when you purchase from the more affordable brands that you will get a good deal, but you probably won’t get the same level of quality. Why? Because these brands know that their consumers value the price and functionality more than other things.
The same concept applies to hotels. Five star hotels have 10x more amenities than 3 star hotels. They may cost more, but they deliver on the experience. Tapping into your brand’s emotion can give you the competitive edge you need, as it lets your consumers know exactly what to expect when purchasing your product or service.
Whether you’re a small business that’s just getting your feet off the ground or you’ve been in the industry for a while, brand messaging, visuals, and emotions will help elevate you in your market and make you stand out from your competition. Implementing a strong brand strategy that includes these three factors will generate awareness and create loyalty with your customers.
If you’re not quite sure if your brand messaging, visuals, and emotions are in sync, I recommend doing an audit. Download our mini brand audit checklist to get you started off on the right foot.