This is the sixth in a series of how-to articles by Vivant on things that matter in branding, marketing and digital presence for businesses. We hope they clear a few things up for you!
Your logo is not your brand. It’s as simple as that. Your logo is part of it, but your brand identity is so much more – and it’s not just physical things either.
When you start a company, your objective is most likely to grow it into a brand that will be trusted by your clientele and can be expanded in the future. Even established brands regularly do brand identity analyses and shift their marketing objectives to accommodate new principles or different values. Times change, and so should your brand. Here are a few things to consider when thinking about your business’ brand identity.
VISUAL IDENTITY: The most obvious part of it all, your visual branding is often the first thing potential clients will see about you. Make sure it’s of a high quality: in the digital age, there are good and bad designers out there. Your visual identity will likely evolve, too – what’s good and what works today might not be what’s best tomorrow. Keep things fresh.
VALUES: Don’t tell people what your mission, vision and values are upfront. Work those principles into your message, be somewhat subtle about them – because chances are, if your business really does live by them, they’ll be obvious to your clients anyway. Know what your values are and show them, rather than talk about them.
CORE CONCEPTS: What is it that your business wants to achieve? It’s not just about the end-user experience; it’s about what you want to do best, what you’d like to achieve internally as well as when you’re faced with your clients. Remember, your first objective is not to take care of your clients; take care of your employees, because then they will take care of your clients. I believe Sir Richard Branson said that.
MARKETING: No business can make money without marketing. Even countries have marketing strategies. There’s absolutely no reason for you to neglect your marketing efforts – and we’re not saying that because we’re a brand development company ourselves. We’ve seen firsthand what a difference a good marketing strategy does to a well-made brand. Good marketing builds trust – if your brand is out there and familiar to a wider audience, it’s more likely potential clients will choose you over your competitors.
STRUCTURE: Know how your business works. When you’ve got a good internal structure, your operations will be streamlined and it’ll be easier to convey a message of professionalism to your clients and your own employees. It’s nicer to work for a well-organised company than for one that’s organised chaos. Besides, a business cannot expand when there is no structure to do so. Think of it like a car: your values that your clients see are like the body work. But it’s no use being pretty on the outside without a purring engine underneath the bonnet. Make it look good and perform well too. And lastly:
PATIENCE: Brand identity takes time to develop. Yes, you can get a marketing company to give it a push and a business coach to structure it and all that, but ultimately, trust is earned. It’s not easy to run a business and build a brand – we know that ourselves. Be patient with your enterprise and be patient with your brand. Success will come.
We hope this has been informative – look out for our next article in the How To series by Vivant Studios.