What is branding?
Your business brand is your identity and your message. It’s the package you put out to your customers. It reflects what your business is about, what it stands for and how it does business. It makes your business stand out in the crowd and should be recognisable to your customer base. Your branding includes your visual identity (colors, fonts, images), tone and personality of communication and should be consistent across the whole business.
Why is branding so important?
Branding is a fundamental way to market your business and can influence how people perceive your product or service, drive new business and increase awareness. It makes your business identifiable and distinguishes it from other competitors. Branding is represented in all aspects of your business from advertising, merchandise, reputation, customer service and logos. All of these elements work together to create your business brand identity.
How to review and refresh your branding?
Your brand should be reviewed periodically to assess its relevance. Ask yourself some of these questions:
- does your brand promote your point of difference?
- how is your business currently perceived in the marketplace?
- does the brand match your current business mission?
- what branding is being used by competitors and how does your compare?
- Is the branding in line with your communication style?
Refreshing your brand doesn’t necessarily mean changing it completely. Any change will however require an investment of time, money and energy and therefore should only be done if it will create more value for your business. Consider some of these questions before you make any changes:
- What difference will refreshing the brand make?
- How will refreshing the brand improve my business?
- What do I need to do to refresh my brand if at all?
Refreshing your branding may include:
Often subtle changes to your business logo can improve your brand. A change of font, additional color, removal or addition of a graphic element or slight color tone changes can all lead to brand enhancement. In some cases a complete logo change will be required. This can sometimes be tricky as while this has the ability to draw in new customers you also have the potential to lose existing clients who don’t like the change.
Even if the logo remains the same the brand elements that support the logo such as logo placement or layout on marketing and business documents, tone of text or the voice of the brand, expanse of the colour pallet or a change of overall font can have an impact. Reviewing the businesses taglines or mission statements and messaging can improve relevance. Do they communicate who the business is today to the correct audience? Are they written in a voice that reflects your business and industry? Think of who your customers are, what is on their minds and how that relates to your product or service. The imagery you use to market your business must also match the identity you are creating with your brand. Don’t underestimate how much value quality images can add to your brand.
Ensure any changes you make are reflected in every aspect of your business. Your brand must be consistent in all areas in order to be a success. Produce brand guidelines that outline all of your key brand elements to ensure you stay on track and any new developments are consistent. Get excited about your brand refresh and then communicate it out to your customers. Use the rebranding as an engagement tool with new and existing customers and an opportunity to enhance the overall value of your business.