Knock-out Branding that Kills the Competition!
Alright, PUT ‘EM up! Let’s fight, that’s right! With a right, left, right, left you’re toothless… (Oops, sorry! I went to see “Straight out of Compton” this weekend). What??
Seriously, if you are in business and trying to figure this “thing” out; this is how you may feel on a daily basis. As the social and digital media landscape gets increasingly competitive, it’s important to brand yourself by clearly conveying your businesses focus, credibility and unique contributions. You must constantly be creative with how you’re going to set yourself a part from the rest!
Simply putting on a lab coat does not make you a doctor any more than carrying a weapon on your person makes you a cop. Yet many branding efforts do just that- focus solely on dressing up without a true purpose. Perceptions are formed by every communication, every action and every interaction of a business. So, here are some big bad branding moves that’ll knock-out any competition and crown you the reigning champ.
1. IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU (Gasp, I know right!)
When people understand what you are about, they are drawn to you, and they have an experience with your business that matches their expectations.
- Identify who your target market/audience is and make sure your goals are aligned.
- Know that your brand is a vital organ that needs to stay healthy and it is ever changing.
- As you move forward, measure your client’s reactions and tweak your message and design as you would with any other part of your thriving business. But remain consistent!
- I honestly think businesses miss this fact the most….When attempting to convince potential clients…KEEP IT SIMPLE: Find a simple, smooth and uncluttered way to convey why they should choose you over your competition through your branding message.
2. HIRE A PROFESSIONAL!
Your brand should stand on its own and provide an instant mental link to your company. It’s easy to skip on this step and say self… I don’t need a professional. I can whip up a cool logo in word and write a catchy tag line and call it a day. Well, even though you know your business and services inside and out, a professional graphic designer:
- Has access to professional software to create an original, recognizable design as opposed to over used clipart that may be used by another company and cause confusion for your brand.
- Knows what colors are best suited for specific industries, which fonts people respond to, when and how to use space, characters and images.
- Discovers the true essence of your business by defining your unique voice and determining where you best fit within your market environment.
- Gives you a leg up on the competition today and benefits your company everyday down the road. Your company looks professional when you hand out a business card, or when someone sees your website or store sign and most importantly builds trust with your potential clients.
3. BUILD YOUR BRANDING KIT
Sending your logo, colors and slogan to a graphic designer to build you a flyer is not enough. It leaves the door open for creative interpretation of your brand and inconsistency. Your branding kit is essential to operations. It provides:
- Continuity across the board in all media arenas (print and online).
- Simplification of the graphic design process with guidelines on exactly what can and cannot be done with your brand.
- The exact dimensions, fonts, color codes and specifications of your brand. All reds are not created equal!
- Time and money savings and prevent endless adjustments and modifications of your visual identity
A branding kit should be professionally created, available in PDF format, send via email and shared on the organization’s website for even easier access.
I read once, that a good brand “convinces the head, touches the heart and engages the hands.” What are you doing to strengthen and sustain your business?