If you own or run a business these days, having a strong brand is more important than ever. Strong brands build strong businesses. There is so much competition for your customers’ attention, if you don’t get noticed in a split second, you may never be noticed.
The goal of good branding is to build a solid relationship with your customer. The more people are familiar with your brand, the better chance they will like and trust it, and especially if it aligns with their own beliefs and values. So, it makes sense that companies with great branding have better opportunities to generate more sales. Want to make sure you have a badass brand? Here are a few tips:
1. USE A PROFESSIONAL TO DESIGN YOUR BRAND.
Currently, there are many cheap and easy ways to get logos designed online but keep in mind that, as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. Does this overnight logo solution truly represent your business investment? What you may not get is a well thought out brand designed specifically for your business strategy and target market. Every business is different and there should be many questions asked to ensure the right look and feel is being developed to help build your business for success.
2. BE AUTHENTIC.
A good designer should ask the right questions to make sure your brand is authentic and sends the proper message. No one likes to be misled. Don’t say you are the biggest this or best that unless you are. Products become brands when people start to trust what will occur when they interact with that brand. Staying true to your message and vision will create loyal customers. Your target market will see through you if you’re not authentic. You may get them in the door once but if their experience doesn’t match up with what the brand represents, there’s a good chance they won’t return.
3. CONSISTENCY IS KING.
No matter what your business is, it needs to present its message consistently with every consumer touch point, be it online, in print, or at street level. People start to trust and respond to a brand once they are familiar with it and understand what your brand represents. A good example of this is the brand experience Starbucks has created for its customers. People go there and pay a premium for their coffee because they know they will get great service and enjoy the product. You won’t hesitate to step into a Starbucks for this same brand experience whether you are in London, Ontario or in Hong Kong. This is branding at its finest because they have delivered consistently in the past and promise to continue to in the future.
4. DO YOU HAVE A NICHE?
Have you ever heard of the saying “Jack of all trades, master of none”? Yeah, you don’t want to be Jack. That’s why you don’t hire a plumber to do your electrical or a lawyer to diagnose that cough you have. Focus on what you do best and do it! Build a small but loyal following rather than trying to appeal to the widest market possible; they won’t be so loyal. It’s easier to attract consumers who are already interested in your products or services than putting effort and resources into trying to sway someone who isn’t ready.
5. BE BADASS!
Products or businesses don’t become brands by simply being ordinary. Be willing to step out and separate yourself from the herd. Ordinary is safe. The ones who go the unconventional route with their brand will get recognized. Don’t be afraid of breaking out of the preconceived notion of what a brand in your market should be like.
A good designer will be able to help guide you with concepts that address different brand directions to see what feels right for you. It’s sometimes hard to choose a direction at this stage but go with your gut and bring it to life!
Investing in your brand is critical for business success and should be part of your business plan and not an afterthought. You don’t have to spend a lot but at the very least your brand should be consistent for the stage that your business is in. Do you have a badass brand?
Written by Jason Recker R.G.D