Whether retail or business to business, branding and brand management is one of the most important tools for business success. By investing time and energy into your brand strategy, you quickly gain an edge in your industry. But what exactly is branding and where do you even begin when it comes to your brand strategy?
Through effective branding, you are able to tell your target market what to expect from your services and products while establishing what sets you apart from your competitors. Your brand expresses who you are, who you aspire to be, and how the consumer perceives you. To sum it up: your brand is your business promise.
Are you the innovator of your industry, pushing boundaries and introducing new products constantly? Or are you the experienced industry leader, the authority in your particular business sector? You need to identify your niche, your defining business characteristics. Once you gain a clear understanding of who you are, you need to communicate this effectively through branding.
Now is when you answer the following questions: What? Who? How? and Where?
- What is your message?
- Who is your audience?
- How will you get your message across?
- Where will you advertise?
Defining your Brand
Defining your brand is not an easy process. It is time consuming and often uncomfortable. So how do you even begin defining your brand?
Answer the following questions:
- What is your business mission?
- What are the features and benefits of your services or products?
- What is the perception people have of your business currently?
- What qualities do you want associated with your company?
Answering these questions will take time and tons of research. You need to fully comprehend the needs, habits and wants of your target market and learn how they think – know what they are thinking, always! Then comes the fun stuff – design!
Your logo is a visual representation of your brand, one that captures your corporate identity and business personality, becoming the visual signifier of your company. When clients and potential clients pass by your store, in-store products, billboards, website, brochures, or social media platforms, they need to instantly recognise your business and service offerings because of your logo.
As we live in a marketing world that encompasses both print and digital marketing, you need to remember that your logo needs to work well on all marketing platforms – this is why it is important to work alongside a professional graphic designer. The logo is not to be taken lightly. Every aspect of it needs to be considered, from typography to shape and colour.
Brand Message and Brand Voice
“Storytelling” in marketing refers to the way you write and produce your brand content. Now that you know your brands vision and mission, you need to identify what stories you want to tell and what tone of voice you want to tell them in. Are you conversational? Are you professional? Are you trendy? Understand your brands tone of voice and apply it to every marketing platform.
For customers to form a powerful bond with your brand, you need to provide emotive, creative, genuine and informative content.
Some of your content and marketing materials may just be informational, such as flyers and small pamphlets. However, your story does not have to exist in text alone. Your brand message is also part of your design elements, typography, images and colours. This is why it is imperative to have a clear understanding of your brand “style.”
Brand Style Guide
Your style guide is a comprehensive manual for those who use your brand name, from printing companies to web developers and your graphic design team.
Style guides work on 2 fundamental levels. It explains why certain elements are used in your brand representation and provide practical instruction on how to organise and make use of these brand elements. Your brand style guide should be seen by your entire team, ensuring that everyone gains a clear understanding of the business and corporate identity that needs to be presented. The goal of this document is to protect the integrity of your brand so that it continues to tell the right story and get the same message across – strengthening the value of your business.
Brand Management System
People do business with companies they are familiar with. If your branding is cohesive, and managed correctly, you quickly gain value as a business and build trust with your consumer. This is because a uniform brand identity makes them feel at ease when purchasing your service or product.
With this in mind, it is vital that your brand is managed correctly. Jetline recognised a gap in the market for an effective brand management solution. Thus, the Brand Management Portal (BMP) was developed.
BMP is an all-encompassing system that works as a digital style guide. It maintains your relevant brand information and guidelines, ensuring brand uniformity across all your marketing and corporate materials.
Contact the Jetline print, design and branding experts today.