When asked about branding, most people think about the logo. But, your brand is YOU! It is an accumulation of visuals, behaviors, and processes that work harmoniously together to form an impression on the world around us.
The word "brand" is derived from the Ancient Norse word "brandr" which means, to burn wood. Later, this method was used to brand animals with a distinct mark so people would know who owned the cattle. In modern times, a mark, or logo, is used to identify a company.
The visual attributes of a brand is how our customers identify us, but they become loyal to and follow the brand because of their experiences interacting with us and the quality of the product/service we offer. Brand consistency can help drive this response. Without it, our brand and our messaging can appear disjointed. Consistency is reflected through our collateral, our messaging and tone, and how we choose to shape our consumer's experience.
How can we strengthen our brand?
Know your audience
Who are they and what do they care about? Do you offer anything that's unique to the market? How do you address any pain points?
Shape their experiences
It's not enough to be fun to work with. We should always look for ways to improve the journey a customer takes with us from the initial first meeting through delivery of the final service or product. Subtle details can make a difference.
Create visual consistency
From logos to type to color to imagery, it should all hang together like one cohesive package. The way your brand looks should reflect your brand's personality.
Know your competition
What does your competition do that they get right? Where are they weak? There may be opportunity here to find a true differentiator or selling point that becomes appealing to a potential client.
Assess your business's strengths and weaknesses
Have honest discussions with customers and employees. As daunting as this can be, this new information will help us elevate our brand because we will know exactly where to focus our energies that make a real difference.
We're all inherently creative and the more we flex that muscle, the stronger we become. Look for opportunities to do things differently and be willing to take calculated risks even if they scare you. What hasn't a client seen yet?
Commit to your brand, your mission, and how you share it with the world. If something doesn't work we can always improve or change it.
Brands are meant to be adaptable. Our goals, our focus, and the world is always changing around us and we have to be willing to adapt as we move ahead. Don't rest on what is working today - always look ahead for new possibilities.