Whether you have an online business or an offline one, branding plays an important part in establishing and taking your business places. Branding not only helps you standardize what and how you communicate to your customers but also helps boost your brand’s recall value.
An effective branding strategy can elevate your business in this ever-competitive business market.
So, what exactly is a brand?
Your brand is much more than the colour of your logo or the advertisements you run — It encompasses several things. However, the most important aspects of branding are – does your brand deliver what it promises and does it stay true to the branding guidelines (visual branding).
Take, for example, you’re a small to midsize online business selling kidswear. When you first began your business, the quality of your products was impeccable. But say over time, your quality reduces – it could be for a variety of reasons. Maybe you’re outsourcing them from a different agent, or you want to earn more profit so you’re selling cheaper products at a higher price, etc. Nevertheless, the point is you’ve grown as a business but the quality is not the same.
Do you think it will affect your business? The answer is a well-resounding ‘yes’ because now, more than ever your brand comes to the picture. Not only does selling low-quality products make you lose customers it also results in damaging your brands’ reputation. Hence, it is very important that you never compromise on your brand.
Taking a cue from this example, it is vital that you formulate branding guidelines so that you never compromise your brand. For your ease, we’re listing down 5 things that you should not compromise on.
The 5 Main Things
Develop your brand identity
Brand logo and brand colours are the two main aspects of brand identity. Developing them goes a long way when it comes to presenting your brand to your customers.
A few things to keep in mind:
- Make sure that your logo corresponds to your brand colours. You can ensure this by creating a brand style guideline
- Keep your font colour and text consistent throughout your website
- Include your logo in all formal communication, social media channels and emails
As you can see in the image above, our logo colours and website colours correspond to each other.
What this does is, it helps improve the recall value and whenever your customer views these colours or logo they will be able to easily identify your brand.
2. Formulate your brands’ voice
According to CoSchedule, ‘brand voice refers to the personality and emotion infused into a company’s communications.’
Thus the voice of your brand determines how you interact and communicate with your customers.
Formulating your brands’ voice is important as it helps your customers visualise your intent. Moreover, a strong brand voice helps send out a clear message as it is consistent and remains unchanging
Note: Do not confuse your brands’ voice with the tone. Your brands’ voice remains constant whereas your tone can change depending on the situation and what you need to convey.
Here is an example of a brand voice for better understanding.
3. Decide on a brand tagline
A tagline goes a long way in making a brand to be memorable in the eyes of the customer. Not only should your tagline reflect your brand but it should also be short and simple. A complicated tagline no matter how good, isn’t going to be memorable to the customer.
Take, for example, when you hear this ‘just do it’ what is the first thing that strikes your mind? Chances are you recall ‘Nike’ the brand that’s associated with the tagline.
In short, a good tagline would be concise and capture the essence of your brand.
4. Stick to standard branding collateral
Branding collateral matters much more than you think. For that very reason, it is important that you stick to your branding rules anywhere and everywhere. This includes logo, font style, font colour, brand colours, palettes and other on-brand elements.
For example, if you release posters on your social media channel make sure every poster has the logo, the brand name and same font. Your website design should complement your social media image, your email communication, marketing, advertisement, etc.
One way of ensuring that you always have standard branding in place is to prepare a branding guideline. This way you would never make a mistake.
Here are two examples of brand guides by popular brands known to almost all
5. Be true to your brand
Lastly, it is crucial that you stay true to your brand. More often than not, brands fail when they don’t live up to their own promise and compromise on quality. Quality is vital when you want customers to return to you again and again.
Say, for instance, you’re an e-commerce business or you sell hosting services. It is important that your service doesn’t change. If it does change, it should always be for the better where your customer is looking forward to continuing their association with you.
Branding your business is not a difficult task nor is it expensive. On the contrary, building your brand can be an exciting and creative activity. However, remember branding does require a strategy and brainstorming. Once you’ve set your branding guidelines in place the rest automatically falls into place and you can always work on making it better.
Do you have your own business and have you prepared your branding strategy? If yes, we would love to know how your experience has been. Do leave a comment below sharing your tips with us!
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