When it comes to launching a business, a huge, huge amount of success comes down to who your business is. That may seem like an odd thing to say, but a business is a brand and you need to get that branding absolutely spot on if you want to have an edge over your competitors.
When we talk about a brand, what we are talking about is not just about what you evoke in your customers, but also the promise you are making to them. People will see an advert with your company logo on it and immediately think about what your products, the quality, the customer service, what they can expect and what ethos you uphold. It is what differentiates you from the rest of the crowd. It is about knowing who you are as a company, knowing who you want to be and knowing how people will perceive you.
Of course, defining your company’s brand isn’t easy. It is sort of like a little journey of self-discovery and this can be difficult and complex and time-consuming and, at times, a little uncomfortable. It is about knowing who you are and who you want to be. That’s why a great place to start is by imagining your company as a person.
Imagine what they look like, how they talk, how they act, who they help, what purpose they serve, what swag they have when they walk, what they wear; anything and everything. The more detail you give this person, the more it will help with your brand and the easier you will find the whole branding experience. You will have a visual representation from which to work off. Do you want your brand to be cool, traditional, classy, rough and ready like Clint Eastwood, or do you want your brand to be pretty, approachable, quaint, humanitarian and distinctive like Audrey Hepburn?
Once you have decided this and defined this, well, it is just a matter of getting your name out there with these tried and tested tips and tricks.
Come Up With A Great Logo
This is going to be the symbol – the face – of your brand. It is going to be the cornerstone of your brand, the very thing that epitomizes your identity and expresses who you are without anything else to help influence. Along with your brand name, it is going to be what makes you memorable. When you see the Chanel logo you automatically think monochrome, black and white, little black dresses, pearls and the number 5. When you see the Domino’s logo you think about their promise to deliver your food with 30 minutes. When you see the Apple logo, you think about high-performance and sexy design. So come up with a logo and then put that logo everywhere.
Come Up With A Great Message
This can all too often get lost in translation, or ignored, or forgotten about, but the messaging you use for your company will go a long way in shaping your brand. So sit down as a team and think about the key messages of your brand. Do you want to be known for your quality, or your design, or your employee benefits, or your simplicity? Perhaps you want to be known for your philanthropic causes? Maybe you just want to be known as the playful and funny alternative? Whatever it is, make sure you know it and stick to it. If you watch The Walking Dead, then you’ll know about Negan. Everyone who works for him is him. Now we’re not saying you and your employees should be sadistic, blood-hungry and irrational cool dudes, we’re just saying you should be consistent. You should all know the brand message and live by it.
Come Up With The Voice Of Your Brand
We mentioned coming up with a visual representative for your brand as a way of getting a more detailed understanding of what they will be about, and one of the most distinctive features of anyone is their voice. Clint Eastwood has that gruff voice. For years the Beckham brand suffered because of David’s high-pitched voice. Jack Nicholson, James Earl Jones, Christopher Walken, Holly Hunter, Anthony Hopkins, Burt Reynolds, Bette Davis, Kevin Spacey; all of these people are instantly recognizable for their voices. So mimic this with your brand and be consistent through all forms of communication. It doesn’t matter whether your brand is friendly, funny, conversational, formal, ritzy or rough, it just matters that you maintain it across all communications, from the fun to social media posts to blogs. Consistency is what builds a brand.
Come Up With A Way to Integrate Your Brand Everywhere
The most successful brands are the ones that integrate their branding in every aspect of their business existence possible. They uphold their branding in the way their staff answer the phones, in what their staff wear in stores, in the signwriting on company cars. The company branding is replicated in every email signature and every business card. Everything you can possibly think of needs to lead back to the overarching vibe of your brand.
Come Up With A Look And Feel
Your website, your packaging, your service, your products; they should all be on the same page in terms of look and feel. If you want to go for that old school look, the gentlemanly vibe of yesteryear, then why not show that in your brand imagery, in the big and high-quality photos on your website. If you want to give off a sophisticated feeling, then stick to a simple color palette, a cream base with dark-blue trim. Just look at what Jo Malone has achieved with these colors. They have come up with a brand image that oozes sophistication and with essentially just one color. On the other hand, BP has done the same with yellow and green. Louboutin is another great example. Barely anyone could tell you what the Louboutin logo is, what their tagline is, yet if you see a pair of high-heels with a red sole, well, you can pretty much guarantee they are the real deal. So figure out what you want to embody visually and then, once again, be consistent with it.