A Guest Post from James Trotter of Colour Graphics
You may know that branding is essential; however, you may not know why. Businesses aspire to build a brand, creating a promotional plan and ordering all kinds of promotional accessories from banner stands to business cards.
Branding is not just about splashing your logo on everything, although this is part of branding. It’s more about what your business is, your team, your customers…the emotional experience of buying from you.
What is Branding?
Your brand is what your product or service is. It’s about why people need it, how they feel about buying and using it, how your business communicates with customers and so forth. It colours everything you do. It’s about how your products and business look, with logo and colour—and it’s also the feeling behind those things. Why is your logo red, and why does red work better than blue? Questions like this shape your brand and the way it is communicated to your target audience.
Branding is about asking questions of your business. Knowing both your business and your customers equates to knowing the unique relationship between the two.
Branding creates loyalty, among other things, and so creating a business brand is simply essential. Making your way to owning a strong brand is simpler with these top 10 branding wins:
- Brand Definition: Ask yourself a heap of questions from your customers’ point of view. Review what you offer, and pinpoint the space in the market that the business occupies, too. From this point, work out what emotions and needs your customers will have when it comes to buying, or not buying, your product or service.
- Customer Persona or Character: Many larger brands create a brand character or persona to help them understand their ideal client’s basic needs. They create a customer avatar, based on the consumer who is most likely to buy their products, imagining how that person will react to packaging, etc. It is vital that you fully understand your ideal customer whilst branding.
- Business Drive: Your business is a living, breathing entity. You need to understand what drives it and who your brand heroes are. Branding is essentially about the emotions of your customers and of your business. The Virgin group of businesses, for example, are known for being different, outlandish and working outside of predefined rules—all in pursuit of a stellar customer experience. Air travel has been revolutionised by Virgin Travel. Have you ever heard anyone complain about Virgin?
- Long-Term Relationships: Branding is about building long-term relationships with customers. This is where many businesses falter. They raise expectations, make promises…and then disappoint.
- Consistency: Consistency is key—not just in terms of branded visuals, but in the tone and voice you use to create the expectations that customers will have of your products and services. Suddenly changing your voice or alternating between tones based on your mood or external circumstances will send conflicting messages and cause confusion around your brand.
- Variety: On one hand, branding must promote consistency; on the other, the same boring message over and over can cause your ideal client to lose interest. Vary your messages, within branded parameters.
- Individuality: Big brand names spend thousands (even millions) on research related to branding, and mimicking their results is never a good idea. Not only could this land you in a state of legal bother, you may find your brand being viewed as a poor second-round choice that will eventually drown in a sea of similar products—due to its lack of uniqueness.
- Audaciousness: We are often counselled to be cautious. Many brands are blanketed in layers of bureaucracy that prevent them from quickly adapting to their customers’ changing needs. Do everything you can to save your decision-making process from being bogged down under layers of red tape.
- Communication: An area that is often overlooked is communication with customers. Many brands choose to communicate through discounts and special offers alone. Offering indiscriminate discounts all of the time will lead to the wrong kind of message being received. People want to interact with people. Be the brand that does that, and you will stand out from the competition.
- Branding Understanding: Slapping your logo on every available white space is not branding. Branding is so much more. It should be fluid and engaging. Your customers are intelligent beings with the power to experience what you put forth and then tell others about your product or service. Branding is the only way to harness this benefit.
Colour Graphics is print and design company with a difference – they have been putting customer needs at the forefront of their business for decades. Using the latest technology, they have remained at the forefront of the competition, creating a brand that customers know they can trust but be wowed by too.