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What exactly does "branding" mean?

Branding is defined as "the promotion of a particular product or company by means of advertising and distinctive design." In other words, branding is SO MUCH more than a logo and a color palette. Over the years, I've come to realize how many business owners truly don't have a specific brand, or even know what that means.


Establishing a brand is hard work and takes time. Ultimately, your brand is how your business and yourself are perceived to others. I always ask my clients.. "how would your customers describe you and your services in a room full of people when you aren't present?" That's it. Your brand is your voice - it is your look and feel and how you carry that across all aspects of your business.


TARGET AUDIENCE


The first thing to consider when thinking about your brand is your target audience. All services you provide and content you create should be there to serve and connect with your target audience. So, consider who it is you want to attract.


For example, as a wedding photographer, you are looking to attract newly engaged couples that are planning a wedding.


Of course, this isn't to turn others away. It is simply about attracting the customers that you would like to work with. If you are looking to expand your business in a certain area or target audience, you would adjust your messaging to reach that area. So, your branding should represent those you want to work with. It's basically the same as the saying "dress for the job you want, not the job you have." So, present yourself for the audience you want to attract.


VISUAL IDENTITY


Next up, your visual identity. This term encompasses those parts of your brand that others can physically see. So, your logo, color palette, type face, etc are all part of your visual identity. A brand is not just your logo. I repeat, a brand is not just your logo. When creating your visual identity it is important to consider ALL parts, and how you want to be perceived/who you want to attract.


For example, a restaurant that is family friendly and casual should have a visual identity that communicates just that. The type and colors you use should be more playful and casual. On the flip side, a restaurant that is upscale dining and cocktails, they would want to use a more sophisticated color palette and type face to attract the customers they serve.


CONSISTENCY


Once you have your target audience and visual identity nailed down, you'll want to carry that across ALL platforms. Meaning, your signage, marketing, website etc should remain consistent with the choices you have made for your brand. In time, the consistency will create brand recognition.


For example, Starbucks has impeccable brand recognition. Their color palette and type remain the same across all locations as well as through their marketing efforts. So, when you see their logo mark (the woman in the circle) or that green awning, you recognize it immediately, without the need for "Starbucks" to be right underneath.


WEBSITE AND MARKETING


I could go on and on about coaching you about the content you share on your website and marketing (this includes social media), however the most important thing to consider is your target audience. Your website copy and marketing copy should reflect the type of person you wish to serve, and make them feel comfortable. Show your expertise in the field but don't overload. Keeping things simple and telling others how you can help them or serve them will keep them coming back.


VOICE


Your voice (not literally, but figuratively through your content and perception), is the last and arguably most important part of your branding. Perception is what keeps new clients interested in what you're doing.


For example, if a friend says "I'm looking for a Realtor that serves blank area, do you know of anyone?" Immediately you are going to recommend a Realtor in that area, who not only knows what they are doing but that will work hard to get your friend exactly what they are looking for while also making them feel comfortable and heard, right? That Realtor is perceived as that way, from not only their in-person interactions, but the way their visual identity, website, and overall voice present them as.



Establishing a brand that is recognizable and trustworthy is hard work, no doubt about it. But it's also imperative to keep current customers recommending you, and new customers attracted to you. So, wether you are looking to rebrand an already existing business, or starting out fresh, I can help you create a brand that screams YOU. Let's chat.






xo Rebecca

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