There are really four things that I believe you need to define to build a successful, profitable brand:
Your vision, your values, your visuals, and your voice.
Branding is often misused synonymously in the online, entrepreneur world with your visual identity. That, however, is only a part of your business’ brand.
Even as a brand designer, I will tell you that the visuals have to come after the vision and values. Without that initial work, you don’t have a starting point for the direction of your designs.
When building a brand, you need to have clear goals for your business, defined values, and a definite message about what you stand for and how you’re going to make that vision come to life. Together, these will serve as the foundation for everything else, including your visuals. The final step will be delivering that message through a distinct voice, which is often forgotten when people talk about branding.
Your Business Vision and Values
“What is your vision for the future?” This question may seem daunting, but you will be one step closer to success if you can answer it with clarity and specificity. Your brand’s vision should include both a mission statement and company values. These two elements make up the foundation of how people perceive your business.
Your vision provides direction for where you want to go with your company’s mission or goal in mind, and values are what you build on to achieve success. Company values are way more than just words on a page — they’re behaviors that become habits for everything you do. Ask yourself: What kind of business do you want to be associated with? What kind of people do you want as a part of your business? What are the qualities that attract people to your business and keep them coming back?
As a small business owner, your business is also likely an extension of who you are and what you value. In fact, business owners who align their business principles with their personal values see an increase in business success, business reputation, and employee productivity!
The power of visuals in marketing can’t be overlooked.
Your logo is a powerful way to show what your brand stands for. With the right visuals, you can communicate with potential customers and cultivate an aesthetic that will resonate deeply with those who see it.
Compelling visuals — including but not limited to your logo — are a key component of any successful brand and can be the difference between conversion and loss of interest. This is because while words may get lost in translation, an image’s message will always come through loud and clear. Your imagery should always keep your audience in mind. What kind of colors will translate your message to them best? What attracts customers or clients to an existing business in your industry? How can you find a way to stand out from those existing businesses?
Always use professional photography and graphics that are consistent with your brand identity. Working with a designer can be an intimidating process, but by clearly articulating your vision and values, you help the design process go much more smoothly. A good designer will listen to what’s most important to you for them to do their best work!
Last but not least, your brand voice. Defining your voice is key to having a clear message for your customers. It will make it much easier when you are trying to build consistency with things such as social media pages, email campaigns, and more; at that point, everything should be coming from one place.
It’s essential to be mindful of the voice you want your brand to communicate, and that goes double when outsourcing. If there are inconsistencies in tone between different types of content from the company and a hired freelancer, it could lead to a lot of confusion!
Put it together
Understanding why you need to do what you need as a business owner is the most important part of running one. Business owners are constantly bombarded with advice from ‘experts’ on blogs, magazines, and social media. It can be challenging to sift through everything when trying to make decisions about your company’s branding without understanding how all these various components work together.
It’s time to consider your own brand. Are you building the best brand experience for your ideal customer? If you can check off those four V’s by taking inventory of your current strategy, you can see exactly how to improve and grow.
If you feel like your business is in a rut or stuck without any way out, don’t worry! When you are ready to make some changes and want that extra push, I’m here to help. Schedule a brand fit call with me for an expert opinion on how your business’ branding is performing. I promise that you will walk away feeling empowered with knowledge on how to better position your brand and clarity on how to move forward.
Don’t hesitate another minute – schedule an appointment today!