People often think that branding begins and ends with choosing a logo for their stationery, marketing materials or web site – but it’s so much more. The fact is, a strong brand is one of the most valuable assets your business can possess.
Appealing graphics are important, of course, but the essence of any brand is more about the intangible qualities that define you. It’s nothing less than your identity as a business.
As an exercise, think of some of your favourite companies, and note the first thing that comes to mind. You might think of phrases such as: ‘good value for money’, ‘reliable’, ‘a bit pricey, but extremely high quality’, ‘top notch customer service,’ or ‘technical innovation’.
None of these perceptions will have much to do with the brand’s logo, as such, but when you do see the logo, you automatically associate those qualities with the business.
A blueprint for branding
Indeed, designing your logo or visual identity should only be done after you’ve answered such important questions as:
- What does your company do, and why do you do it?
- What quality or strength are you most proud of?
- What thoughts or feelings do you want clients to associate with your business?
- What makes you different from your competitors?
- What can customers expect from your company?
Thinking about your answers to these questions, now consider how well your brand currently reflects your business, as well as what you want to achieve in the future.
A strong brand is one that represents your company’s core values, is recognisable and memorable, appeals to your target customers – and puts you ahead of the competition. All of your communications with the public should reinforce your relationship with existing customers, and create an identity that will draw new customers to you.
Whether it’s devising the perfect strapline or creating a new brochure, it all comes down to deciding what your message is, and making sure all of your marketing efforts stay consistent with that message.
So next time you’re creating a new brochure, composing a new tweet, or looking to exhibit at an event, keep asking yourself ‘Does this support my brand? Is this helping me achieve my goals? And is this the right way for me to spend my marketing budget?’
At Sixothree, we can work with you to develop a strong brand and a robust marketing strategy. We specialise in helping small and medium-sized companies make the most of their marketing efforts by offering a flexible array of services to suit your requirements and budget.
If you have any questions or would like to talk about how Sixothree can help you develop your brand, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Karen on 0161 694 9619.