Is branding marketing? Does having a good logo mean you have a good brand? There are many questions aiming to clarify what exactly branding is, when you should brand and how to brand most successfully. From hearing people tell their stories, to books, to working directly with up and coming companies, I’ve learned a few tid bits that I hope will help you and your brand tremendously.
Branding may not be the first thing you see as a priority when starting out, but it’s ultra beneficial to brand before anyone even knows who you are or what you do. That said, below are a few techniques that will help you brand your company, startup or even yourself.
Best applied in the early stages of brand development, these tips will help anyone at any time.
1. Start with emotion
Your brand is what people talk about. It’s the persona that people feel and connect with. It’s what they talk about when they’re out with their friends and pops into their head throughout the day.
It’s an internal connection that should not be taken for granted. A brand is a gut feeling that resonates into customer satisfaction and loyalty bringing higher value across the board.
You have to start with emotion. People make decisions emotionally and justify them later rationally. You brand catches the emotion and your back-story will satisfy the rational.
2. Represent your why
When framing your brand, start with why you do what you do, then follow with how you do it and what you do. This is a proven technique that will also bring clarity to you and your team.
The why is what sells and what makes people want to work for you. It’s attractive and it’s always there, you are always doing what you do for a reason – be sure not to overlook it.
3. Nourish your internal brand
You brand is your mission that connects everyone involved. Before you start out on an expedition together, be sure that everyone is emotionally dedicated to the trip, knows why they’re there and knows the destination with a rough guide to getting there. Start walking with everyone in sync and sharing the same perspective outcome.
Once you solidify your brand, or mission, make it clear to everyone involved. Write it down on the walls and on cards, place them on everyone’s desk – make it known and have fun with it.
The brand puts everyone on the same page. When each individual knows where everyone is working towards, they can easily make decisions based on whether or not they comply.
4. Keep it focused
Even if your startup or company does 124 things, you need to hone it down and keep it simple. Focus is more powerful. Simplicity and clarity are far superior to clutter.
Beyond your fundamental brand, it’s important to be able to tell people who you are and explain why people should care and believe you in no more than 3 reasons.
Studies show that after 3, sales drop. More is not more. Keep it focused.
5. Think long-term
Initially setting your brand, you want to keep it pin-tip focused and stick to it, but once you begin growing, you may find your company expanding, doing other things and developing a slightly different public image.
Try not to limit your potential to evolve and adapt when setting your brand early.
Only change if it represents what the larger audience sees fit. If you’ve been working true to your brand for months and are itching to change but the public is just starting to understand and see who you are, you’ll crush your potential for growth. Instead, let them lead, evolve and adapt and move with it.
Have fun and keep it fresh
Developing something is exciting, whether a startup or a personal brand. It offers you and your team a chance to be creative and original, while really looking into the heart of what you do.
Have I missed any essentials? Non-essentials? What do you find most useful or difficult within your branding strategy?