Understanding your Brand

February 16th 2012       Sally Ormond       Branding, making the most of your brand, marketing materials, Website copywriting

What is your brand?

A simple enough question, but one that leaves many people scratching their head.

If you think you know, write it down as simply as possible and put it to one side. After reading this post take another look at it and see how close you were.

What is your brand?

When you started out, you probably spent a lot of time thinking about your brand. For many people, that meant sitting with a graphic designer to come up with a really cool logo.

Once you had that, you probably visited your web designer who put together a fab website with loads of cool gizmos on it – and that was it; your business was launched.

So, is that right? You have a logo, therefore you have a brand?

It’s not really that straightforward because branding isn’t just about your logo – its about:

  • Colour
  • Graphics
  • Images
  • Words
  • Design
  • Perception
  • It’s about you

What are your values?

Taking a step back, do you really understand your values, who your customers are and what their needs are?

Granted, that’s a lot to get your head round, but it’s vital if you are to position yourself correctly in the marketplace.

Your products and services must be ‘packaged’ to meet their needs and expectations and include:

Yes, that’s right – you are your brand. After all, when in front of a potential customer you are representing your business and your brand. If you don’t match the professional image you’re trying to portray, your customers will feel uneasy about  the mixed messages they are getting.

A consistent and well thought out brand image will instill trust.

Brand fluidity

As your business grows, your customer base will probably change so your brand must also reflect that change.

That’s why it’s a good idea to take a look at your brand image every few years to make sure it’s still reflecting a true picture of your business.

For example, this is what I saw last year when I carried out  this exercise:

Branding fludity

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see, I discovered that the balance had gone and my image was no longer consistent. Although my website had served me well, it no longer reflected my client base.

Stripping yourself bare and analysing your business in this way can be a painful operation. Over the years you become attached with images, logos and websites (however ridiculous that may sound) and the thought of change is scary.

What happens if your new look isn’t accepted by your customers?

My new site (the one you’re looking at now) is more social, contemporary and as such my logo fits better now than it did in my old site. I had a number of sleepless nights before the new site went live, but I needn’t have worried. It’s been accepted and is more in line with my business today. As a result, it’s attracting the new market that I was aiming for.

So, don’t forget. Branding is so much more than your logo – it’s about you, what you say, how you say it and how you and your marketing materials look.

Take a look at the answer you wrote down at the beginning. How close were you?

Is it time you took a good 360 degree look at your business?

Tags: Branding, making the most of your brand, marketing materials, Website copywriting
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