How to Master Your Branding
We often think of branding as a logo and marketing collateral. We think of it as the colours, fonts, and imagery we use as part of our branding. However, you'd be making a mistake to think this is the most important part of branding. So what is branding? and how can you improve your branding in order to sell yourself, your services or your products?
Your branding isn't just about your logo, it's about the way your brand looks, sounds and feels to your customers. In an oversaturated marketplace it's worth remembering that your branding is everything. Your value isn't found in what you're selling. It's found in the fact that you're the one selling it, which is why it's crucial to get your brand right in order to sell.
You've probably heard the famous Simon Sinek talk about your 'why', or perhaps even read the book. He says, 'people don't buy what you do, people buy why you do it'. So why do you do what you do? This is something you should think about and write down as a constant reminder. I like to start from the top and work down for this exercise. For example, Sassy Digital helps small businesses look good online. Why do we do this? Because in my previous agency-led jobs in London I disagreed with the culture, the treatment of clients, dishonest rates (amongst other things) so I decided we would help smaller businesses at more honest prices because it genuinely puts a smile on my face to see my clients happy with their new site, their social media, or branding.
Once you've written down your why, it should help you with the following three considerations...
How does your business...
First and foremost you should think about how your brand sounds. The way you write about your business including on your website, social media and even in emails to customers or clients should reflect who your brand is and what it stands for.
You've probably heard people speak about Tone of Voice, which is definitely a good place to start. You've got to develop a consistent Tone of Voice so that anything you write can be instantly recognised as something from your brand. I'm not saying it has to be different from anyone else's Tone of Voice, but it definitely has to have some consistency.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Is your brand an extension of you, or is it a more professional or corporate body?
What kind of language does your brand use? e.g. do you use more professional words, or casual
How do you talk to your customer?
What person are you speaking in? I.e. first, second, third
How does the way you write solve your customer's problem or persuade them to buy from you?
Once you've got the way you sound nailed, it's time to move onto looks. Yes this is linked to your logo, colours and typeface.
Remember that when you're creating marketing collateral, it's important to use the same fonts, colours and similar imagery to those that you'll find in your brand guidelines (this is a document that keeps all of your logos, colour ways, fonts, all in one place so that no matter who you enlist to help with your branding it will never become diluted. Usually your designer will produce a brand guidelines document along with your logo and if they haven't you should ask them to produce one!
Your looks are also about your imagery - if you could encapsulate your brand into one image what would that image be?
Make sure that when you're taking original content for your marketing material, that you always consider 'is this in line with my brand, is this what I want my brand to look like?' Another thing we would recommend is editing your images consistently, so using the same filter across all of your photos. For example if your brand is colourful, use something that heightens the saturation of your images, and if you're branding is monotone you could simply use the same black and white filter.
The way your brand feels is a combination of how it sounds and looks. Once everything is pulled together in it's separate elements how does it feel. For example, one of our beauty clients does very boho chic hair, specialising in Weddings and her tone of voice, brand name and colours reflects her style of hair - natural, tousled and soft. This makes the whole brand feel personable, relatable and approachable. Her brand feels like a warm summers day spent with friends.
Sassy Digital to me feels approachable, professional and helpful. We always try to share as much as we can, and be as helpful as we can to our clients. We are that friend that tells you the honest truth, pulls you from the edge of despair and says everything is going to be ok, we'll sort it out!
So how does your brand feel?
If you want to know more about branding, we're holding a Digital Marketing and Training day on 3rd October 2018, and we would love you to come along!