What is Branding & The Right Way to Brand
4 key points to branding
Branding your business is one of the most important aspects of setting up a company. Many new businesses fail to think about branding because they don’t understand the importance of what a brand is and ultimately they end up with a logo and think that’s it.
Likewise, many inexperienced brand designers don’t fully understand branding and will design a logo and think they just created you a brand. This guide will help you to understand what creating a brand is really about.
This is not branding
A logo is not a brand, it is only one aspect of branding your business.
To establish a brand and keep its consistency, you’ll need a brand style guide. Your brand style guide is all about how you present yourself to the public
What is a style guide?
A Style Guide is a document that will cover all the aspects of your businesses brand. Everything from your values, personality, visual identity and tone of voice.
The Style Guide will outline how each element works with the others. There are clear and consistent guidelines how were, when and how to use each element. This makes sure your brand is represented clearly each and every time.
In short, the Style Guide is the most important element of branding.
Below are 4 key areas of a style guide so you can ensure that you are delivering the best possible branding.
Values are the core of what your business is and does, and thus, should be reflected in every piece of content you share.
You will need to consider what values your business has, how these relate to your customer and ensure that they come across in your marketing and brand.
Values could be anything from your approach to business, the way you treat customers or even the environment. A strong value will resonate with your target audience and help create loyal customers.
Examples of a key-value could be:
“To create a high-quality product, fit for the purpose that is sustainable and has zero to little impact on the environment”
“To spread knowledge, in a non bias way to enrich peoples lives”
As long as your values are honest and consistent you are well on your way to creating a strong brand.
Brand personality helps you connect to your audience on an emotional level and makes you different from your competition.
Think of your brand as an individual, what character traits would it have, would it be fun, outgoing, larger than life. Serious, reserved, but loyal. These are important questions to define an answer to.
Your brand’s personality will allow you to engage with customers in a way that feels human and natural. People do not warm to robots and corporations, they warm to people. Giving your brand human-like characteristics will allow your audience to feel more connected.
3. Visual Identity
Visual identity is historically what people think of when they hear “brand”. It covers your logo, colour palette, typography, layout guides and all other visual elements. You need clear, the consistent guideline of how to use each one.
A strong visual identity that reflects your brand’s personality and values will help it to stand out from the crowd.
4. Tone of Voice
If your brand had a voice, what would it sound like? Defining your brand voice will help to solidify your aspired brand image in the minds of your customers.
The tone of voice closet links in with personality as it needs to be reflective of how the brand’s personality traits come across. There is no point having a fun, non-corporate tone of voice with a personality that is serious. The tone of voice needs to feel natural.
When defining your brand’s tone of voice you will need to think of words, phrases, grammar and pacing of how your brand speaks. Most small companies use the Tone of Voice of the person who is creating your content, but this doesn’t always match your brand’s values or personality.
Does your brand tell people what “we” have done or does it tell people what “we can do for you”. It’s very different and mixing the two will cause confusion.
Bonus - Consistency
The most important aspect of branding is consistency across all channels and media. Often different people work within your organisation and put out communication and materials into the world. It’s critical that these people understand and know your brand so that they represent the brand in the way that you and your customers expect.
If you are looking for branding why not get in touch and speak to us about how we can help take your brand to the next level.