Good branding isn’t accidental. It’s largely driven by intention, although some of the elements that make up a solid brand may be discovered by chance. Whether you’re starting from scratch or are planning a much-needed rebrand, there are some things you’ll want to keep in mind. In doing so, you’ll be acting strategically and placing your business in a much better position to succeed in the long term. This post covers the fundamentals of a business brand, how to create a brand that reflects your values and resonates with your audience, as well as some final pointers for building your brand.
Your business brand is comprised of three main components: message, tone, and identity.
Your brand message is your foundation. It is your underlying value proposition, the thing that appeals to the values and desires of your target audience, making your business relatable. Many of your other decisions and their success will depend on that core message.
Therefore, it needs to be direct, unchanging, and true to your business. If you’re unsure of it, if it doesn’t accurately represent your business, or if it changes from month to month, the trust your audience has in your business will also waiver.
Tone enlivens and solidifies your brand message. Without tone, your message runs the risk of being disjointed or confusing, and failing to resonate with your audience. If you can’t build your brand, you can’t build your audience and you can’t build your buisness. To avoid that, convey your message impactfully via tone.
Brand tone, simply put, is how you say what you say, how you state and restate your primary message. Just as tone of voice affects how people perceive what you say in-person, it affects how people understand your messaging. It is achieved by the words you choose and your style of communication. While your brand message conveys information to your target audience, your tone influences how they feel about that information.
Brand identity results from the integrity of your message and tone. You can attempt to convey what you stand for and use the right tone to achieve that, but how consistently you do so and the content you use to continually reinforce it matters. A company that sticks to a solid message and tone has a strong brand identity. It knows who it is and this gives its audience confidence in agreeing to that. Does your brand appear confident, authoritative, and secure? Or does it seem shaky, timid and unpredictable?
The way you present your business overall, as well as the tone you use, can either strengthen or weaken your credibility.
The best way to make your messaging clear and confident is by weaving it into your content across all mediums. From your website and blog to your emails and social media and beyond, your messaging should be the common thread. How can there be any misunderstanding it if you restate it at every opportunity?
Each piece of content you produce should back up what you’ve already stated about your core values, your mission, who you cater to, what you hope to do for them, and so on. The more you emphasize these things, the stronger your brand becomes. They become what you’re known for and by.
In addition to authentic content, there’s something else you need for a stable brand: a memorable logo. If your logo is forgettable, your business will be as well. If you want to develop a reputation, you need a recognizable logo that people instantly associate with your business.
Now, to be clear, memorability is not the only consideration here since it can be positive or negative. You wouldn’t want to go the sensational route, which isn’t known for longevity, or use imagery that’s unrelated to your business. Instead, your logo should be a clear and obvious reflection of your business. There should be no disconnect between your logo and your messaging.
After all, the two will often be presented together on your website, social media accounts, signage, in your email signature, and so forth. They need to complement each other rather than clashing or causing your audience confusion.
Message, tone, identity, content, and a logo form the basic structure of a brand. The more you strengthen and improve those individual elements, while still ensuring that they work together, the better the results will be overall. Here are three final tips for building your business brand:
Are you establishing a new company or revamping an existing one? Regardless, it can be helpful to do some research before making final decisions. First and foremost, you’ll want to get an accurate, in-depth understanding of your audience. What you learn will influence all of your decisions, which hopefully will be made with audience appeal in mind.
Competitor research is important. You’ll especially want to examine what others in your industry are doing in the way of branding, but you can also take lessons from those who’ve been successful in other industries.
Of course, you’ll want to be careful not to resemble other brands too closely, as this would be detrimental to your business. The key is to take effective patterns and strategies and make them your own. This will enhance your value proposition, really showcasing what sets you apart. And that’s the whole point of a brand!
Keep in mind these tips and pointers as you carefully craft a brand that will stand the test of time and bring you plenty of new and repeat business.