Without a doubt, you've heard a lot of buzz about branding, but do you truly understand what it means for your business? Think about some of the most recognizable brands in the world. Nike. McDonalds. Apple. Time and time again, these brands deliver the same quality products and customer experience. Their logos are always consistent, and when you choose to interact with these brands, you know almost exactly what to expect.
Looking to these internationally recognized brands can help you with your own branding strategy. You're allowed to have plenty of creative output, but once you decide on a logo design and how you want your business to be represented, you need to work within that framework going forward.
Here are 7 things that you will want to keep consistent to market your business:
1. The name of your business.
This is, or at least should be, pretty obvious. If you are constantly changing your name and re-inventing your brand, your audience will not recognize you or worse, lose faith in your ability to maintain a solid identity.
2. Your logo design.
Considering that the brain digests visual content faster than text, your logo is often what makes your brand memorable. Take the time to think carefully about the design of your logo and how you want your brand to be represented. Since there are so many factors that go into a good logo design, it's best to partner with a professional design firm for this critical aspect of your branding.
3. The colors you use.
It's no surprise that color plays an important role in marketing. Color psychology is a hot topic in the marketing world as it can touch on cultural differences, cause context to be misinterpreted, and evoke emotion. Make yourself aware of what the underlying meaning of the various colors are (i.e.: green is considered to be peaceful while blue is linked to trust and strength) before selecting colors for your brand.
4. Your slogan.
Your slogan is a key component of creating a memorable brand. The best slogans are short and sweet, yet are able to summarize what your brand is all about. I recently came across a list of the most memorable slogans of all time, and it's definitely worth reviewing as you create a catchy slogan for your own brand.
5. Your brand's voice.
This is especially important in a world where social media, podcasts, and blogging are used to help define a brand's voice. Imagine if Tiffany & Co, an internationally renowned luxury jeweler targeting a wealthy and educated audience, suddenly started misspelling words or made grammatical errors on its social media posts? The audience would quickly jump to the assumption that Tiffany's is not the caliber of brand that they once placed on a pedestal.
6. Your story.
Your story is one of the biggest reasons why people are driven to do business with your company. For example, Tom's, originally founded as a shoe company, has become famous for it's desire to help communities in need. For every pair of shoes purchased, Tom's will donate a pair to a child in need. Tom's philanthropic mindset became a major defining point in the brand's identity.
7. Your promise.
This is what you promise to deliver to your customers every time they encounter your brand. It may be that your brand chooses to differentiate itself with a superior customer service experience. Always following through on this promise is what separates a company with a solid branding strategy from one that could use improvement.
You owe it to yourself to be OCD about your brand, and being consistent with these 7 things can help you instrumentally with your branding strategy. Good luck!