Knowing why you need to create a brand and how to go about it are two very different things.
There are many businesses out there who think that once you’ve got a logo, that’s it, branding done. Not so. A brand is made up of several parts, not just a logo.
Brand = Visual identity* + product or service + customer experience
*(logo, colours, fonts, style and so on)
Done well, these things combine to give your customers the kind of positive feeling they don’t get from buying the same product or service from someone else. So it’s not all about the ‘look’, it’s about the ‘feel’ too. Really, it’s your way of saying “this is what we’re all about”.
Large companies throw oodles of cash at this every year and employ teams of strategy and creative bods to define and design their brand. But what if you’re a small business that doesn’t have a huge marketing budget? What if you’re just starting out and don’t even know where to begin? What if you’ve reached a crossroads in your business and are confused about which direction to take?
Mention the words Brand Strategy and this can send many a small business owner into a spin. It sounds complicated and expensive, but really, it’s all about capturing your business in a nutshell.
Say what? Let me explain, it goes like this. You need to do the background thinking.
- Research your market
- Understand what it is that you’re offering and what problem you solve for your clients
- Know your competition
- Understand why you’re different
Then, try and explain all of this in just three words. That’s right, just three.
The principle is that you don’t need overly complicated strategy documents, but you do need a starting point. You need a centre of gravity for your business that forms the basis for all the other bits of marketing like logo, website or store design, your customer service policy, how you talk to your customers and whether you specialise in product A or B.
The three word ‘nutshell’ challenge can be a bit tricky straight off, so why not start by writing a whole sentence about why you are in business. You should be able to do that fairly easily if you’ve done some of the background thinking listed above.
Copy Kite – helping businesses to communicate their ideas in Plain English and with personality.
Your sentence might be longer than this, or fairly short and snappy. It doesn’t matter either way.
Then, cut out the froth and distill your sentence down to the three most important words. In this example they’d be:
Communicate. Plain English. Personality.
There you have it. The essence of your brand. (Or my brand in this instance, but you get the idea!).
Like a nut, all the goodness is contained on the inside. but it’s all neatly wrapped up in simple shell – three powerful little words. It’s a pretty hard shell too, which means you can balance the rest of your marketing on it. Those three words will keep your business focused and your activity on track.
So you see, branding….it’s not so baffling after all. Just go nuts with it!