So you’ve decided to start a company, what’s next? Among a bunch of other things, you’re going to have to define your brand identity. No, this doesn’t mean you quickly design a logo on Canva and call it a day. Brand identity isn’t just your logo, though it does include your logo. Keep reading and we’ll give you the low-down on branding and why you need more than just a logo.
What is Branding?
In the business world, branding is the process of creating a consistent experience for those who engage with your company. This includes consistent brand colors, imagery, font, and design, as well as a logo. It goes beyond just visual elements, however, and includes the way in which you talk to your audience — AKA your copy, which should include story-based messaging. When you’re starting a new business or redesigning the brand identity of an existing business, you need to consider all of these aspects.
Why Branding is Important
If you’re reading this and thinking “Okay, I get it…but this is easy and I’m not going to spend that much time doing it,” you’re not alone. Branding might seem easy and quick but in reality, it is super hard to do this on your own. Most of the time, we are too close to our own business to build a great brand identity. It takes an outside perspective to create a true brand identity that is unique, memorable, and can withstand the test of time.
Branding Makes You Memorable
Most customers don’t buy from a company the first time they see it. Whether you’re a new or existing business, you need to work on building your customer base. To do that, you need to have a brand that people will actually remember.
If someone goes to your website and sees a bunch of different colors and fonts that don’t go together paired with messaging that they don’t relate to, they’re going to close the tab and immediately forget about you. But if they go to your site and see a beautifully-designed website with a clear brand identity visually and verbally, they’ll be drawn to your company and want to learn more. They might not buy the first time they see you, but they will remember who you are — and that’s exactly what you want.
Branding Creates a Consistent Voice
Another reason brand identity is important is that it creates a consistent brand voice, and a consistent brand voice is essential if you want to be successful. Customers buy because they read and hear things that make them want to buy (AKA story-based messaging!). You need to create a brand voice that is relatable and that speaks to your customers in a way that makes them feel understood. Then, you need to consistently use that voice throughout all of your communication.
Let’s look at an example to understand this better. Say you’re a company that is built around helping moms through childbirth, and you’ve chosen to make your brand identity an honest, no-holding-back type. You know that soon-to-be moms want to know the truth about pregnancy and childbirth, not rainbows and butterflies, so you’ve decided to be real with your potential clients. Your brand voice should mimic that identity and include this type of language on your website, content, and messaging. Your branding will consistently talk to your customers in the same way, and your customers will start to build trust with you and know that they can go to you when they need real advice…and that’s how you build a customer base and make sales. Make sense?
Branding Improves Your Social Media
If you’re on social media, you need a consistent and top-notch brand identity. And if you’re not on social media, you need to get on social media (here’s more on why). Consistent branding improves the user’s experience when they visit your social media accounts. Your goal is to make the potential customer drawn in and want to keep scrolling. Take the time to ensure that all of your content has consistent branding, as it creates a consistent user experience. And, it will help your brand become more memorable and recognizable. Why do you need brand recognition, you ask? Keep reading.
Branding Creates Brand Recognition
Think about brand recognition like this: If you’re going to buy a new pair of running shoes, are you going to go with Nike or with a company you’ve never heard of? If you’re like one of Nike’s millions of customers, you go with a brand you recognize and trust. As a company, you want to become a brand that potential customers recognize and trust. Chances are they aren’t going to buy from you the first time they interact with you — and that’s okay! Your goal is to keep popping up as a memorable, trustworthy brand that they start to recognize.
Then, when they’re ready for another pair of running shoes, they’ll remember you because you’re memorable, recognize you because of your consistent branding, and buy from you because your brand identity makes them trust you. What more could you ask for?
Why Branding is More Than Just a Logo
Okay, you get it, branding is important and you need to do it well. But what does that mean for you tactically? It means that you need to take time to think through each of the aspects of brand identity and build them out. Really consider the colors you will use, the logo you will design, the words you will say, the brand voice you will have, your company’s positioning, and how you will differ from other brands before you implement anything. Why? Because if your brand doesn’t provide a clear and consistent message, you’re going to lose customers.
So, yes, brand identity is inclusive of your logo, but it is certainly much more than a logo. Once you get the basics of your brand identity defined, you should go on to consider other parts of branding that will be essential to generating leads and converting those leads into sales (learn more here). Building a brand identity is hard work, but it’s well worth the time.
Thoughts on branding, logos, and brand identity? We’d love to hear ‘em! Schedule a call with Evolve Global Marketing today!