1. Always Do Your Research
The first priority in proper branding is understanding your identity as a business. Document the following and make sure everyone in your organization understands:
Your mission statement: A short statement of an organization’s purpose and identifies the goal of its operations
The company vision: Clearly and concisely communicates your business’s overall goals
A statement of value: States your core values and beliefs
Your company SWAT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Advantages and Threats)
Once you understand who you’re company is, then it’s time to research who you ideal customer is and how to speak to them. Your messaging and voice needs to be carefully constructed in order to speak to and attract customers you do want and repel those you don’t want.
The best way to understand your ideal customer is by creating a customer avatar (it helps to picture a very specific person) Fill out the following fields:
Age, Gender, Marital/Family Status, Location, Occupation, Income, Education
Goals, Challenges, Pain Points: understand what the goal of your customer is and how your product can help them achieve that goal, what factors in the past may have prevented them from meeting that goal, their pain points (specific problems that prospective customers of your business are experiencing)
Values: what does your avatar value personally and in doing business (cost, quality, loyalty ect.)
Sources of information: where does your audience get their news, what publications do they read, what media are they influenced by, what groups are they a part of and who are they influenced by socially
2. Determine Your Brand Positioning
Positioning identifies what differentiates you from your competitors and helps people understand, value and identify with your brand. I think the simplest way to understand and know how to position your company is to create a chart with your competitors and plot various factors that influence purchase.
An example in how positioning can differentiate your company in a saturated market: PRIUS VS. TESLA
Tesla entered the electric vehicle marketplace with a luxury sports model when at the time the market valued economy over luxury. Tesla decided not to compete with the Chevy Volt or Toyota hybrids and went after a high end market. These ads communicate the different positions of each market, budget versus luxury.
3. Building Your Brand Voice
A good brand speaks with a distinctive voice and with unified messaging across all platforms that resonates with their target audience
In every touchpoint with your target audience you should use your brand voice to build out a personality this includes your ads, website, social media and blogs to name just a few.
Here’s a few things to consider when building out your brand voice:
How do you want your customers to perceive you?
Tone: More consequential businesses dealing with serious subject matters like a lawyer or doctor’s office may benefit from a formal tone, where as a taco shop on the beach would benefit from a laid back surfer vibe.
What’s your story?
A good story is used to create a connection by building intimacy and trust with your target audience. Tell your story in a way that your customers can relate to, will understand you, and makes them like you- humility and authenticity are key.
Ensure you have a clear set of beliefs and message consistency across all your touchpoints, you want to avoid any contradictory information.
Refer back to your statement of value, company vision or mission statement when developing your messaging also imagine speaking directly to your avatar when creating your copy.
4. Design Aesthetics
Your design aesthetic creates a visual language that should make your brand instantly recognizable! Your aesthetic must resonate with your target audience and should rise above the clutter.
Design elements typically include:
• A logotype and submarks for varying applications
• Colour scheme and textures
• Imagery: keep style, focus and colors consistent whenever possible in your photography, illustrations or for icons
• Sensory items: this could include the texture and weights used in packaging and print materials, or it could include visuals like animations or other interactive qualities
Choose Colours Wisely
Colour selection has a HUGE IMPACT on consumer’s buying decisions. Here’s a quick guide to go over color expressions, but remember this isn’t set in stone as different cultures may be influenced by colour differently. Always do your research!