Branding is not just about what your logo looks like, it’s the whole company culture that surrounds your brand promise, what you offer, how you deliver it, and to whom. Your brand strategy should focus on how you wish to be perceived by the people you do business with, your target audience, and how you meet their expectations. By planning your brand positioning, you are setting up those expectations of what it is like to do business with you or to use your product; and then by practicing good brand management you are delivering on those expectations. Yes you should have a great business logo design, which of course being a designer I’m all for that…but you need more than that, you need to delve further into your brand promise and manage the whole brand building process.
Corporate Identity – Branding Development
So here’s a few guidelines to follow when working out your branding plan:
- Understand your target audience – Some questions to ask:
- How does your target audience connect with your product or service?
- Who are they?
- Why do they want or need your product or service?
- What’s in it for them?
You want to create and maintain a strong feeling with your target audience so they are partial to continually choosing you and recommending you.
Convey your message, image, written content and corporate culture for your target audience – so they understand it and so it meets their needs and expectations. Use keywords that your target audience would use. If your target audience will not recognize complex words, don’t use them; they will be useless for search engines as well. In addition, write your content for a variety of media using the same tone of voice, written style, and message…print collateral, ads, web, presentations and press releases.
2. Set up an expectation, a Brand Promise for your product or service – and then deliver on it. Create brand loyalty by meeting and exceeding your clients’ expectations. Employees who provide great service are an integral part of delivering on the expectations of your future clients. Tell clients and prospects: What makes you stand out in the crowd?
Note: If you promise something and can’t deliver, that will create a negative brand image.
3. Create your logo – Can viewers get a sense of what you do by your company name and logo? Don’t make your audience work too hard; simple is best. People are inundated with marketing messages and graphic logo images everywhere. It is important to make it easy for clients to make a connection to your brand. Creating memorable graphics & relevant tag lines should help differentiate you from your competition.
Plan on positioning your new brand logo across a variety of media – websites, e-newsletters, business cards, invoices, car wraps, pens, note pads, brochures, sell sheets, hats, clothing…what looks great on a computer screen needs to look great printed on paper. Stay away from trendy styles and colors (unless it makes sense with your customer profile). Stick to your brand promise, your brand’s message, the profile of who your best client is and design for that. Ask yourself, “Does my logo make sense for my business?
4. Be consistent – same logo, same colors, same tagline, same message and prose style, same tone of voice, same look & feel (you get the message)… across all media. Monitor the implementation by all people involved, including the person that answers the phones. Incorporate branding guidelines; make sure everyone follows them and understands why…this includes the words you use when you answer the phone, send email, speak to customers, network, tweet, post on Facebook, etc.
5. Maintain your image – appearances do matter. Tom Asacker, author of “a clear eye for branding” says that interaction among people is the most powerful creator of feelings; he calls it your most important brand enhancer. Everything that happens in your business creates your image and affects your client’s (current & future) expectations. Customer service, employee behavior, installers, delivery people, product packaging, website ease of use, phone messages, facility atmosphere and cleanliness…all of these things done correctly enforce and enhance your branding promise. Done incorrectly, well you know what that means …so be memorable in a good way.
6. Have a marketing plan – You might have a great logo, your brand promise all in place, employees up to speed, but if you don’t get the word out…using methods that reach your future clients, none of it will matter.
7. Be flexible – Your Branding plan isn’t just created and put on the shelf, never to be looked at again. If you are constantly trying to stay in touch with your customers, you will notice changes in their environments that may affect buying behaviors. Keep track of your brand positioning across all media points and how your products or services are perceived. As consumers wants and needs change you will be able to respond to these changes by altering your plan accordingly.
About Kathie Jankauskas:
Kathie Jankauskas is the owner of KJanStudio, a graphics and web design studio in Bucks County that provides award winning print and web-based marketing solutions for businesses in Bucks County and the Greater Philadelphia region. Whether starting from the beginning with a company logo design, or designing brochures, posters, and print collateral that resonate with your existing brand marketing, to developing a whole new website…KJanStudio energizes your print and web marketing collateral with compelling graphic designs for Philadelphia area busines that appeal to your future customers. Creative energy…creative solutions
Kathie is an active member of the Lower Bucks County Chamber of Commerce, having served on the Board and chaired several committees. She is currently chair of the Women’s Resource committee and a member of the Strategic Planning committee. She is vice president of the Bucks County Networks and a member of the Women’s Business Forum in Doylestown.
No comments yet.