One of the key components for marketing yourself or your business is your company’s branding. When we say branding, we use it as a collective term for your company logo, strapline, colour scheme, iconography, typeface etc. – these can be applied to your website, printed material, e-mails, letterheads and promotional items (e.g. pens or notepads).
Your branding is your promise to your customers, telling them what they can expect from your products and services. Your brand is who you are, who your customers think you are and who you want to be. Branding extends to every aspect of your business, including e-mail signatures, social media profiles, staff uniforms and dress codes and how you answer the telephone and introduce yourself to customers.
While branding is more than just a logo, your logo is the very foundation of your brand – it is the key aspect that will stick in your customers’ minds and will be easily recognisable and relatable to you and your company.
Create a great logo for your business, place it everywhere – the more commonplace your logo becomes, the more likely it is that customers will recognise and remember you.
It is also important that you create a “voice” for your brand, which is used in all forms of written communication, including e-mails and social media posts. The vocabulary and tone used needs to reflect your company’s values; are you formal or friendly? Are your products aimed towards adults or children?
Some advantages of branding include:
- Awareness – The more work a branding company puts into their work, the more awareness can be created. Memorable aspects of branding such as colours, shapes, iconography and straplines can stick in the consumers’ minds and will ensure that they remember your company or product.
- Consistency within the marketplace – The more often your branding is seen by consumers, the more often it will be considered for use or purchase. If the branding and identity are kept consistent throughout, this will reassure your customers that the quality of your products or services are also consistent.
Conversely, some disadvantages of branding include:
- Can become commonplace – While the goal of branding or re-branding a product, company or service is to become the standard, the goal is not to become a generic term for a product or line or products – e.g. “Coke” is often used by people who want any cola drink offered.
- Negative attributes – If a product or company is involved with some negative event or publicity, this can easily ruin the reputation of the product or company and thus will cause consumers to associate their branding and logos with said negativity, potentially causing loss of profits and customer base.
It is more important than ever that your voice reflects the brand you are creating. Spend time reflecting on what you want to be and your tone in the marketplace. Then encourage the use of this tone through all your marketing channels.