What do you want your business to be known for? As a company people can trust, perhaps an organization that soothes people’s fears, or maybe just an institution that stands out? Whatever it is, the connection people forge with your business flows from your branding and, as I’ll explain below, your choices can create a lifelong relationship or burn your company in an instant.
Recommended reading: How to Engage your Audience with the Art of Storytelling
Develop a mission statement that clearly explains your USP - Unique Selling Proposition
In a crowded market place it’s essential you show your target audience why you’re special, different, and the right choice for them. How do you do this? With a mission statement that clearly explains your USP.
While businesses change over time and their USP can evolve, you must think very carefully about what makes you unique – right now and into the future (as far as you’ve planned for it). Careful consideration of your USP is essential because it underpins every other facet of your branding. So ask yourself this: “who do we want to buy our goods?” and “why is our business the best option for them?” Once you have the answer to these questions, then fine-tune your mission statement, giving you the foundation to get your branding absolutely spot on.
USP is about the product but also about the channel you deliver your product, it’s essential that you can provide an added value in every part of your company so customers see the whole benefits of your brand.
Build a connection with your customers by using emotions across your branding
People have a variety of reasons for buying the goods and services they do – the cheapest option, the most stylish choice, or simply the closest one on the shelf. Though these are all valid factors that influence customer buying decisions, there’s another that often shines through – an emotional connection to the brand.
Around 95% of our decisions are made through unconscious urges, the largest of which is emotion. Slogans are an ideal place to start with emotive branding, and Dr Pepper’s “What’s the Worst That Could Happen?” is a fine example – see the ad below, featuring a young Jesse Eisenberg.
However, you must make emotions integral to your branding. For instance, people connect with human faces and this presents an opportunity for your business to build a bond with your customers. While creating your own images is expensive, a cheaper option for adding a human touch to your branding is to source pictures of people from an image library. Of course, that’s just one way of using emotions in your branding – you could also use pictures of animals, warm colors, or Dr Pepper’s fear tactic. What’s important is emotions build connections, so use them.
Stand out from your rivals with a fab logo that’s simple and memorable
The Beatles are a musical institution, with the highest record sales of any artist and a cultural impact that will (probably) never be matched. A huge part of The Beatles’ success is down to making their message simple and memorable – something that covers every part of the band, from the unfussy chord changes through to their uniform moptops.
While your brand will do (extraordinarily) well to be The Beatles of your industry, you can use the teachings of the fab four to develop excellent branding. How? With a fab logo that’s simple and memorable.
Though there’s no exact science to creating a perfect brand logo, there are some things you to consider on your strive to perfection. You should decide whether you want to ape The Beatles by using a stylized take on your company name, or aim for a memorable graphic (such as the Nike swoosh).
Another thing to consider is the color scheme, as this should ideally be tied to the coloring you use throughout your branding – to keep things simple and memorable. I’ll end by showing you my favorite brand logo, from Morton Salt.
Make your business as transparent as possible – people can see what you’re up to anyway
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, these three social platforms alone have billions of daily users and give voice to their thoughts. In an age where social media can raise a brand in an instant and crush it just as quickly, like Fyre and Fyre Festival, being transparent in your branding is at least as important as being persuasive.
Where once your business’s private affairs remained private, your dirty laundry is now public property and if you try and shield it you’ll be caught out, shamed and crucified. So, perhaps the simplest tip you’ll take away from this article is that if you want people to trust your brand (and buy into your business) be truthful. I’ll end with a news clip that sums up how just how valuable it is to remain truthful in your branding:
Great branding isn’t about waving a magic wand and seeing a connection with your customers appear out of thin smoke. Branding is fluid and nuanced, but above all, it’s about getting your message across in a way people can relate to and believe. So take away the top tips in this article and use them today to get your branding spot on in 2019 and beyond.