The devil is in the detail as you develop your online and offline branding strategy.
As you work to develop your brand remember that your brand is what makes you stand out. Your brand is the emotional connection that people make to your business. Plain and simple, it comes down to what people say about you behind your back.
With these two definitions of brand in mind, here are seven branding best practices to follow as you build your brand strategy:
Make sure your brand is sending the right message to inspire the emotions that will encourage your clients to buy. You don’t want a bank to feel whimsical and a gift shop to convey security. Determine the emotions you want to inspire before starting on the details of your brand strategy, then make sure all of the details point back to your desired emotions. How you want them to feel when they are purchasing from you and after they have taken their product away.
Fonts may seem like a minute detail when it comes to branding, however, fonts can quietly convey powerful messages to your clients. The font of your logos and headlines can communicate your brand’s personality such as friendly, trustworthy, powerful, or playful. Too many fonts can make brochures, business cards, and even websites look messy or difficult to read. You also want your fonts to be uniform and usable across all media both printed and online. The world of fonts can be overwhelming, but a good graphic designer can help steer you in the right direction. When in doubt simple is best.
3. Colours And Graphics
Like fonts, colours and graphics communicate who you are to your clients. You want your graphics to be easy to decipher when printed and viewed on a computer screen. Imagine any reaction or emotion an image or symbol can inspire and determine whether all of those reactions fit with your brand image. There are many tools that make it possible to create your own logo design and if you need to save some money, that might work for you. However a graphic designer can make sure your logo is usable in all forms of media and sends the message you want.
4. Contact Information
Your contact information should be clearly visible on all materials. Your business card, website, fliers, Facebook page, everything, should have your address, phone number and email address easily visible. Unless you want to convey you are an exclusive club, (some businesses do) people need to know how to find you.
5. Less Is More
Keep things simple and uncluttered. The fewer things to look at, the faster a person can identify your brand. People can make quick connections with clean and streamlined media.
6. Team On Board
Your team need to be advocates for your brand. They need to be taught how to convey that one thing that makes your business unique to all of your clients. If your thing is industry knowledge, all of your employees should be experts. If your thing is customer service, all of your employees should be trained to happily bend over backwards for your clients. Creating a style guide for your business provides your branding guide and minimises mixed messages.
7. All Encompassing
Every aspect of your business should convey your brand to your clients. For example, there is a restaurant that wants to be known for being kid and family friendly. It is a fast food restaurant, but employees are willing to bring out trays for loaded down parents; they walk around and refill drinks or bring condiments to the table so parents don’t have to leave their kids; there are extra nappies and wipes at changing tables in their bathroom; they have a play area, and a man that makes animal shaped balloons on Friday nights. You get the idea; everything about their business says bring your family here. Your visual media is important, but how you are living your brand is what will get customer’s attention.
The world of branding can be vast and overwhelming. Your brand must flow seamlessly between the offline and online worlds. Remember to stay true to the image you want to convey no matter what area of the business you are working on and you will be well on your way to establishing a successful brand.
Do you need help thinking through your brand strategy? JMJ EA For A Day Small Business Consulting can help you get started on the path to crafting a successful brand.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on branding, please leave a comment below.