WHAT DOES BRANDING REALLY MEAN?
Everyone knows that branding is important. However, who knows what it actually means? I’ll give you a clue, it’s probably a lot, lot, more than what first comes to mind. Recently I’ve blogged about some of the different elements that can help to shape and build your brand identity, but with this post I wanted to give you a quick reminder of what branding actually means.
IS THERE ONE DEFINITION?
In a word, no. There are many definitions of branding, championed by lots of different people and companies. But the goal is always the same – making your brand to stand out. You want to be unique to you. And you want to capture your ideal client’s attention from the moment they discover you. So how do you do that? Well, you need to know both your brand, and them, inside out.
What’s your message? What’s your mission statement? What makes your client tick? What do they think, or feel, when they see your branding? Are you giving them a consistent experience? Nail the answers to these questions and your ideal clients won’t just know about you, they’ll like and trust you, which will keep them coming back for more.
Now, at the heart of everyone’s goals when it comes to branding is one key, key, word – ‘WANT.’ Creating the elements of your branding (I’ll come onto them soon) controls how your company is seen by your ideal client, but only consistency across every touch point ensures you’ll turn the perception you WANT to create, into a reality.
WHAT DOES BRANDING INCLUDE?
There are lots of elements involved in successful branding, and you may have seen me discussing them before. Logos, websites, colour palettes, business cards – all of those things are key. BUT, on their own, they’re just not enough.
Before you get to that stage, you have to have the foundations in place. And you’ll only get there by understanding your company, your values, your ideal client and defining how you want to be seen in the world. Your branding designer or studio should always get under the skin of your business to help you create and craft your brand message or mission statement. That’s what will make your branding unique, and create the launch pad for your amazing ideas.
And once you have that, you need to stay consistent to it whenever you’re interacting with your ideal client, whether that is on social media and your tone of voice or in person. This process is always a journey for you and your business, with the end goal of creating a seamless, experience for your ideal client from the moment they notice you, to placing an order, to receiving it.
HOW BRANDING WORKS
There are twenty-one touchpoints now when it comes to reaching and speaking to your audience. TWENTY-ONE. So one cool element is never going to be enough to help you achieve your goals on its own – that’s just impossible.
What does work, is having an integrated, consistent brand message. That’s where the branding journey really begins, and my advice would be to keep it in your mind, whenever you’re working. If you’re anything like me that’ll be 24/7, then!
From the products you create, the posts you share on social, the website you build and even what you say on a facebook live, you need to be consistent to build the relationship with your ideal client.
Use your mission statement as a filter for everything you do, and it if doesn’t feel right – don’t share it.
WHAT BRANDING ISN’T
I’m going to go quick fire here as a little checklist to refer back to during your branding journey.
THE BRANDING BY NICKI DEFINITION
I’ve already spoken to you about the varying definitions of branding but I want to leave you with my definition of what branding means:
Branding is everything. It’s how you speak to your audience, and it covers everything you put out into the world. Right now, it’s more important than ever to get it right.
And by getting it right, I mean making sure everything stays consistent and true to you, your story and your brand’s mission statement. From the images you share, to your website and the words you use, every seemingly ‘little’ decision can have a massive impact on anything from followers you gain to the profit you make.
I really hope this little blog gets you all inspired and thinking about your branding differently as a whole. If you’d like to know more detail about some branding essentials that will help create the framework for you to make it happen, this free guide will be right up your street. Check it out.