“I’m a small business with a small budget, why should I spend money to create a brand? Isn’t that sort of thing just for the big boys with big money and bigger competitors?”
On the contrary, branding is a vital ingredient to attract customers and keep customers. Without a meaningful brand, no one will know who you are, or more importantly, what you stand for, and will have nothing to buy into?
Branding is so much more than just a logo, it is a valuable marketing tool designed to represent you and to be your shop window.
The way your business is perceived can be the difference between success and failure. It’s way beyond a company slogan or corporate colour, it’s more of a persona, the face of your company, clearly and consistently communicating to your audience, your intent and the benefits working with a business like yours.
In this blog, we will give you tips to take into account when creating your brand, and explain the importance of branding in a little more detail.
1. Do I really need a brand?
Brand helps potential audiences understand more about your company and if you’re likely to be right for them. It will influence their first impression form the basis of the way you will interact going forwards. It will also play a part in their likelihood to use you again. For this reason, you need to make sure you have a strong brand, which represents you in a positive light. If you are a very small business it’s likely to be a reflection of your personality or business ethos. If you’re a large business the brand may be driven by unforeseen factors: Stakeholders, Corporate agreement (franchise), management, competition, market forces.
Most brands have one of six key elements:
Whatever your size, with a brand in place, it will be easier for you to remain focused on your objectives, and it’s the driver for communicating what you do and how, in a consistent way.
2. How do I define my brand?
Imagine your company is a person, what kind of personality do they have?
What do they look like?
What do they ‘sound’ like – Simple, straight talking? Warm and friendly? Knowledgeable and innovative?
How would they stand out in a room full of people?
What are the distinctive features that make them memorable – for the right reasons?
Using this analogy will help you understand how you interact with your potential or existing customers/clients.
Essentially your brand needs to be a visual summary of what they want you to be to them, tailor it so that it is and you will increase the likelihood of them using you, again and again.
3. Sounds simple – I can do it myself and save money.
By going it alone you may save money, but you risk giving the wrong message to your clients by creating the wrong image. Hiring rtfacts may add to costs initially but will certainly earn you money in the long run. Our experience and expertise will add professionalism to your brand and innovative ways to attract customers/clients will be used.
4. Do they really need to know that?
The answer is most likely yes. It is important to brief the designer with as much information as possible as this will heavily influence the end result of your brand and outcome.
• Who are you
• Who are your customers
• Who are your competitors
• What you do
• What do your competitors do well
• What do your competitors do badly
• What’s your background
• What you want to achieve
• How do you want to be perceived
• What your target market is looking for
To compliment the above information a recent rtfacts brief sited the following reasons for a brand refresh:
• We are now a business with a stock market value of £xxxx millions
• Our operations have expanded in both breadth and depth
• Our capabilities, reputation and market profile have increased considerably
• We are about to move to a high profile and very new headquarters
Visually we need to be Simple, professional, modern, understated elegance, financially secure and strong.
Emotionally we need to have Integrity, Expertise, Professionalism, Enduring, Entrepreneurialism.
You also need to think about how you plan to use your brand. We will then make sure the look and feel works across all mediums – New and Old, from stationery to brochures or website to digital signage.
5. These are a few of my favourite things
When it comes to the look and feel of you brand, let rtfacts guide you with colour, typography and photography. Always keep your target market in mind and what will appeal to them rather than what appeals to you personally. Often clients get too caught up in their own likes and dislikes and forget about the main objectives of the brand.
6. Why a brand voice and what does it say?
Creating a unique personality for your customers/clients to connect with will set you apart from your competitors and keep you at the forefront of their minds the next time they need your product/services. It will also help you attract the right kind of customers/clients.
Your brand voice will communicate what makes you better than the rest, how you serve your customers/clients, your customer benefits, product quality/value, and your unique selling point (e.g. eco friendly, value for money, or homemade).
7. So where do we go from here?
Keep a high profile, use your brand consistently as a constant reminder to your customers/clients. Ensure all staff emails contain a signature with your logo, company slogan and a link to your website. Leave your business card with anyone of interest.
In short, always present your brand professionally and make sure the use of your brand always adheres to the brand guidelines across all media, to avoid confusion.
Finally don’t forget to stick to your brand promise. Keeping your word will keep customers/clients happy and will prompt them to spread the word.
If you are looking to create a new brand or are in need of a brand refresh, don’t hesitate to contact us today, we will be happy to discuss what we can do for you over tea or coffee.
Call us on 01442266590
or email email@example.com