Branding and Rebranding – Why and How…
Everyone keeps talking about establishing my company’s brand. Does branding even matter?
Crikey, yes. No matter what kind of business you run, from a large multi-national to a one-man start-up, establishing your brand and keeping it consistent is absolutely vital.
But I’m not even sure what ‘branding’ is, to be honest…
Basically, your brand is what tells your clients who you are, what you do, what makes you stand out from the competition and what they can expect from you. It should be a clear reflection of the personality, tone and culture of your company as it will have a massive impact on how people perceive you and your services or products.
Well, I want to be everything to everyone. I want clients from everywhere and all walks of life and…
Woah there! Hold your horses. You have to find your niche. Your brand cannot appeal to everyone – you need to decide who you are. Are you experienced and reliable? Young, energetic and exciting? Bespoke and high-end or cheap and cheerful? You can’t cover all the bases and everything about your business (your name, logo, website, advertising, copywriting, packaging etc.) should reflect the specific message you want to convey, to the specific audience you’re targeting. Effectively, your brand strategy should incorporate how, what, where, when and to whom you plan on presenting your business, services or products.
Okay, so is there anything else I need to bear in mind?
Well, remember that your brand is more than just a logo and a colour scheme. Consistency of tone and style in everything you do is really important. It needs care, research and a professional touch. At the very least you want to be asking yourself the following questions:
- What is our company “mission”? (i.e. What do we believe in? Why do we do what we do?)
- What is unique about our company, service or products?
- Who are we targeting and what do they want?
- What qualities do we want our clients to associate with our company?
Research is key here – don’t rely on what you think your clients think, know what they think. Ask as many current, former and potential clients as possible for their feedback. Take the time you need, you don’t want to have to rebrand or adjust your brand constantly. Get it right first time and you can establish a brand that will work for you for many years.
Here’s a rough guide of what even for a one-man-band needs:
- A great logo – it doesn’t have to be outstandingly unique, but it does need to be right and highly adaptable.
- A brand message. What are you trying to communicate? If you don’t know, what chance do your clients have? Have two paragraphs of text that concisely sum up what you do, why you do it and who you do it for.
- A company “voice”. Are you friendly and relaxed or formal and traditional? Whatever the answer, everything you do (logo, promotional materials, copywriting, emails, telephone manner etc.) must accurately reflect your “voice”.
- A tagline. No more than 10 words, something that is meaningful, memorable and captures the essence of your company.
- Brand consistent templates for every document your company needs – even if they’re only viewed internally. Think about colour, typography and style. They don’t need to be fancy, just consistent.
- Be true to your promise. If your brand promises something, deliver. The surest way to lose clients is to promise but not deliver.
- Be consistent. Consistency isn’t easy and it isn’t quick. However, it is vital to your brand – without it, you have no hope of establishing a clear, focused brand.
Ooh, this sounds complicated and time-consuming. I just want to concentrate on running my business…
You’re right, much of this is highly specialised and requires many years of training and experience to get right. But that’s where we come in! So, if you’re looking to start a new company, rebrand an existing one or simply refresh your existing brand, get in touch with us today and we’ll do all we can to help you get your brand established.