“What Is Branding?”…
You start to hear people uncomfortably shuffling, struggling where to begin to answer what seems a fairly straightforward question.
From time to time, you also hear the question “Why’s your brand image so important?” and likewise it causes much stress in the person looking to answer.
In this article, you will find out what exactly is “Branding” and why it is so important to your business and your finances that you should dedicate some time to it.
So What is Branding?
There’s a common misconception about branding.
A lot of people think branding is just logo, letterheads and business cards. Some even go as far as saying branding is your design and colour palettes that accompany your logo.
But after reading this, you’ll know exactly why this is just the tip of the iceberg in branding.
If we take a step back from the detail and intricacies of branding, the whole purpose behind one of the most important yet tricky skill of establishing a brilliant and memorable brand; is to establish a unique and identifiable presence in your market that connects with your target audience.
At the end of the day that’s what you want to do right?
We as consumers are bombarded with thousands of adverts on a daily basis. We may only remember a small percentage of those because of their branding.
Phones. We think of Apple.
Handbags we think of LV.
Watches we think of Rolex.
Fast food we think of McDonalds.
Sportswear we think of Nike.
These are of course, huge brands on an international scale, however the same concepts can be translated to a national, regional or even local level.
If you’re successful, and connect with your client on a deeper level, an emotional level, that’s when your brand really excels and takes your business into overdrive.
What would it mean to your business if you were the first construction company, or the first architect people think of when they are looking for your services in your region?
So what makes up a good brand?
As mentioned before, its about creating a presence (the easy part) that connects with your target audience (the hard part) on a deeper, more meaningful way.
Let’s look at the easy part of branding:
More common features of branding:
Probably the most commonly thought of feature of a branding. As it’s the most the most noticeable way of distinguishing your business to a competitors, your logo should be identifiable, unique and aligns with your company persona and values.
Many people don’t think a business name is part of your branding but it can actually help your branding a great deal by naming your business right.
Depending on which sector you are operating in, it maybe common to name your business after your name (such as consultancy, solicitors or other professional services such as accountant) however, using a bit of creativity and thought, you can capitalize on creating a memorable name which stands for your businesses value.
Look at the likes of Zapia (IT brand), Interserve (construction brand), Countrywide (Estate agency brand), Rightmove (online property portal).
They’ve been able to come up with a more creative and infinitely more brand-able business than a business just named after the owner.
Obviously, this article isn’t telling you to change your business name straightaway, but if you are just starting your business have a think past the obvious names that you come up with.
Design and colour plays an important part in the perception of your brand. Not only do certain colours encapsulate certain feelings and moods, a professionally designed logo, website, marketing literature, business card, social media pages and anything that you put in front of clients says a lot about your business.
If you have amateurish design and the colours that represent you clash, it will give the impression that you don’t care for your business; and in turn, not care for your clients business.
Lesser known aspects of branding:
Now that we have outlined the more commonly known aspects of branding, here are probably the more important areas of branding which is going to get you results that you are looking for, and unfortunately these areas are skipped by most businesses..
The ability to emotionally affect and entice your target audience.
Every business should have a brand story that resonates with its target audience. A good brand story connects with its target audience and moves them emotionally.
Because, we get bombarded with advert daily that when something affects us emotionally, we remember the feeling.
Some brand stories can include how you created the business, why you came up with this idea, your personal journey, the issues you’ve faced which just so happens to be the same issues your target audience faces.
Great brand stories can also be brilliant ways to gain publicity through the media.
Language and Tone of voice (written and verbal)
Use of language and tone of voice is also important to stay consistent with your brand image. There’s little use in communicating with complex and long-winded wording if your core audience doesn’t use it.
Likewise, if you’re targeting professionals in the technical sector, you would find that using simple and vague language may put off the people you are trying to attract.
Ethics Goals Vision
The most successful business have a vision that resonates with its target audience. A vision isn’t just some chore that is made up over a day, it must be personal, it must run through you’re entire business. Your staff, your processes, your services.
It is the foundation, which your business should be built and acts as a moral compass when you have hard decisions to make. The ethics and vision should run through your branding to retain the consistency, so this includes your logo, your language and tone of voice, your website, your blogs…. Everything.
The importance of branding to your profits in the property sector
Positioning your business and your brand correctly can have a huge affect in the price you sell your services and your overall profit margins.
If you are able to create and maintain a consistent brand image, targeted at the right people, which resonates with them, you will undoubtedly make it easier to attract them to become your client.
It also means that you wont have to spend as much time and money to invest into getting your business well known as people who interact with your business will having a more lasting impact on them.
By position your brand and your business correctly, you are able to come across professional with expertise, which allows you to price your products and services higher; therefore increasing your profit margins whilst doing the exact same amount of work.
No more lowering your prices to dangerous levels to win contracts.
A simple example of this is Marks and Spencer’s “Not Just” adverts for food.
They could just highlight some exotic food in their adverts, but they wanted to strengthen their brand by creating mouth-watering adverts to differentiate the standard of quality in their food; and hence, justify charging more than competitors.
If you’re currently competing against other by lowering your prices, then contact us to see if there is a way to break this cycle. Rebranding could be one solution for your business, however may not be right for all. Drop us a message and we can delve into your business to see other opportunities.