Image is everything – a statement that while cliché, bare some truths in business. Developing and implementing a brand can be both exciting and daunting, and is a necessity in today’s consumer world for both the small player and large corporation alike. However, despite the mass of advertising and business imagery pushed out at the public, there is still room for originality.
From an early age children seek attention from their parents. The fight to be noticed continues through the school years as the now teenagers develop their skills and establish ways to advertise their talents. Individuality shows through in the way they act, the clothes they wear and the relationships they develop — this is personal branding in its infancy.
As people get older, not much changes. This longing to be recognised is as human a need as any. The desire to stand out is normal in both everyday personal life and business. When it comes to business however, the reasons and approaches are obviously quite different.
Whether for increased market share, better returns, or more efficient ways of working, companies wish to gain the trust and respect of its prospects. So how is this done? The fact remains that well implemented business branding and advertising is integral to standing out from competitors.
Branding is an important consideration and requires the people responsible for it to be conscious of the message and image it projects. This for one reason is due to it appearing on everything from company mail outs, stationery, email, vehicles, uniforms and website. Constantly in the public eye, the aim is for it to be remembered – and for the right reasons.
But what works well?
Consider colours and typography, modern and fresh logo design, whether it reflects your business culture and strategy. Also, why not put it to your customers? Whether a new creation or a brand refresh, find out what they think to help establish a solution to your requirements.
But don’t stop there. The term branding does not simply encompass a logo and an appropriate font type. In addition to company branding (both internal and external), there is employee branding, branding strategy, branding marketing, research, design and development. Furthermore, there is the management of the branding process which includes the creation, refresh and maintenance cycles.
But why brand?
The whole point of branding is to establish an identity. Just as sports teams wear uniforms and countries fly flags, businesses decorate themselves in order to be remembered and to form a unified front. Your brand should be a reflection of what your business does and how it does it. It should represent the essence of your business name.
The benefit is that once familiar with your brand, your customers’ awareness grows. It can stand out like a lighthouse to a land-bound vessel. As a recognised beacon, the consumers’ thoughts are stimulated and associated with the feelings felt about that brand whether good or bad.
Well branded businesses appeal to the target market through aesthetically pleasing designs that convey both professionalism and a unified look. The ‘trusted brands’ such as ‘IKEA’, ‘Sony’ and ‘Toyota’ have all created long standing, well-respected household names that reap benefits including a willingness from buyers to pay more for their products and services. This is the customer mindset that businesses, including yours, should be aiming for.
For the time invested in business branding, the hard work can certainly pay off. By creating a well positioned, original and fresh concept, you can come out ahead of your competitors.