When you think of branding, you may initially think of hot irons and the distinct smell of burning hair; however, after a quick reframing of your thoughts to a marketing perspective, you’re more likely to think about colors and logos. While this isn’t far off, developing an effective brand goes deeper than just the aesthetic component. A competitive branding strategy also includes elements such as having a clear mission, highlighting your strengths and using a consistent voice; all of which create an overall package impacting how your business is perceived by current and future clients. Knowing exactly what your brand is and applying it across your entire business makes you more visible to potential clients and builds brand loyalty, setting you apart from the competition.
But how do you go about developing a comprehensive brand?
Define Your Brand
Define before you design! It’s easy to get lost in the fun of designing your brand; however, you first want to define exactly what your brand is representing. First impressions often happen digitally in today’s world, whether through websites or social media, so you want to ensure your business is being represented as accurately as possible.
What is the goal or mission of your business? How do you want your business to be perceived? These are great questions to ask yourself as you start defining your brand. Once you establish an overall mission, it might make sense to develop a tagline, as well, which can serve as a quick and efficient overview of your goals that will stick in your customers’ minds. For example, “Proven genetics, trusted brand” or “Family raised, quality beef.”
Having a defined purpose for your business allows you to also establish a “voice” that can be carried throughout all of your assets. Developing a consistency to the language and style of writing used to tell your story – from the about page on your website to a print advertisement – reinforces your credibility as a purposeful business. Entrepreneur said it best: “Branding gives your audience a clear sense of purpose and direction – a credible voice that people want to listen to.”
Design Your Brand
With your purpose defined, you can now begin the fun process of designing the aesthetics of your brand. Some helpful tips when curating your aesthetic are to keep it simple, relevant and recognizable. Having a color palette in mind that represents your business is helpful as you or a designer begin the process of developing your logo. The Logo Company has a great breakdown of the psychology of color and a color emotion guide that can help you in the process of narrowing down your selection by selecting colors that convey your mission and appeal to target customers.
Utilizing similar businesses for inspiration can be helpful in the initial design process. Think of companies whose aesthetic and logos appeal to you and what makes them so attractive but be sure to curate a unique look of your own to really stand out. You also want to keep in mind that the logo, colors and fonts you choose should be able to be implemented across your business, whether they’re printed materials, social media graphics or your website. By creating aesthetically pleasing, consistent designs in your assets, you convey a sense of quality and trustworthiness, just like utilizing high-quality images in your materials.
Implement Your Brand Across Your Business
Having a comprehensive brand developed is only the start; to truly be effective it must be implemented. Your brand should be the defining factor in every aspect of your business. The big hitters are, of course, your website and social media platforms. Someone who visits your social media account should be able to gather the overall goals and mission behind your business just as easily as a person who goes to the “about” page on your website. While it may not be as detailed, this snapshot should provide them with what they need to begin determining if you are the right fit for their needs. Other areas to implement your brand that may easily be overlooked include mundane business items such as business cards, letterhead, official documents and general communications.
The more exposure your brand receives, the more relevant it is to customers. A great way to increase exposure is to improve or increase your online presence. This includes updating your website consistently, as we discussed in Why It’s Important to Have an Effective Website… and Keep It Updated, and posting regularly on social media. Choosing the right social media platforms to utilize can help make consistency easier. Social Media Explained and How to Make It Work for You provides a breakdown of each platform and content examples.
Regardless of the medium, consistency is key. Customers trust brands that maintain consistency as they appear more stable and confident in their product. Combine that with comprehensive branding and your business will always stay top of mind!
The process of fine-tuning your brand may seem time consuming now; however, when well defined and implemented, it can help you outdo your competition, setting you apart in a crowded market later.
BluePrint Media can help you develop, design and implement a comprehensive brand for your business. Click here to get started.
Emily grew up in rural Connecticut with a passion for agriculture. She attended Texas A&M University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science and a master’s degree in ruminant nutrition. Emily has joined the BluePrint team as a designer and feature writer after previously working in feed sales and as the marketing manager for a large ranching operation in central Texas. Emily and her husband look forward to raising their family in the agricultural community they both love.