Branding is a subject that causes no small amount of confusion in the business world. A brand is effectively how your company portrays itself; what it is at its core; what it considers to be important; and how it wants people to think of them. A business can exist without a brand, but given how useful good branding can be for marketing and customer perception, going without a branding initiative is unlikely to be a wise choice.
While branding may seem opaque and difficult to grasp as a concept, it can actually be simpler than you may initially expect. If you can get the following aspects of branding correct, then everyone else should fall into place naturally.
1 – A core message
To define your core message, consider the following:
- What does your business seek to do?
- How is your business different from others?
- What does your business prioritize?
- How do you want your customers to perceive your company?
When you have answers to the above, the core message of your company should begin to emerge. For example: “we want to deliver the best results at the lowest price”, or “we accept no substitute for quality”.
2 – Tone of voice
Take, for example, shampoo. The next time you’re shopping, read the labels of five or six different shampoo bottles— there’s really no better example of how branding requires a dedication to tone of voice. Some of the bottles will be very simple: “this is the product and this is how you use it”. Others will be peppy, cheerful, downright chatty. Each brand has chosen a tone of voice they wish to portray, and you need to do the same for your business. Here are a few options:
- Corporate, sensible, and controlled tone of voice.
- Upbeat, friendly, and cheerful tone of voice.
- Relaxed, easy-going, and helpful tone of voice.
- Aggressive, assertive, and powerful tone of voice.
Often, the type of business you run will lead naturally to the establishment of tone of voice. For example, if you run a child’s play group, then “upbeat, friendly, and cheerful” is the best tone of voice for you. If you’re a stockbroking form, then “aggressive, assertive, and powerful” is more likely to be a good fit.
3 – Consistency
Finally, when you have established the core values and tone of voice of your brand, you have to ensure that these are adhered to consistently throughout your business. There are various ways of achieving this, from briefing staff about the need to adhere to company policy to using specific brand management software. By ensuring cohesion across your brand, you can be sure that customers are presented with a consistent, reliable experience that always reflects well on your company.
Branding doesn’t have to be difficult. By following the three essentials above, you should be able to build a recognizable and reputable brand. With the right branding, you can push your company to new horizons, and ultimately meet your business goals in the most efficient way possible. Good luck!