WTF is Branding.
It only takes seconds for someone to decide if you’re trustworthy and competent, and research shows that first impressions are very difficult to change. The same is true when it comes to brands.
When we are exposed to a brand for the very first time, We are asking ourselves, Subconsciously, Three main questions
- Can I trust this brand?
- Is this brand capable of meeting my expectations?
- How is this different/better than others?
The magic potion that answers these questions without even being asked directly is what called ‘Branding’. Yes!! Branding is all about creating trust, meeting expectations & making it distinct or better. Branding is what that provides your business, a great first impression & is also a campaign that delivers long-term results.
Now, How the heck to brand.
Four pillars to establish a strong brand identity in the contemporary world.
Visual Brand Identity.
First things first. Visual identity is made up of the visible images associated with your brand. They are the elements that guide customers to perceive your brand visually in their memory.
Basic Elements of VBI:
- Physical Marketing Materials (Brochure, Business card, Banners, Posters, Flyers, Stickers..)
- Online Marketing Materials (Social media posts, Mailer Design, Videos, Presentations..)
- Digital Signage
- Store Environment & Atmosphere.
These should be designed with utmost attention to details, wherein factors like colour psychology, target audience research should be put to use. One grave mistake that small businesses tend to make is to compromise quality on these visual brand elements therein failing at the very first level of building brand trust and credibility.
Don’t be penny wise pound foolish on this matter. Hire professionals in building your brand identity, there are a really impressive number of brand agencies like us out there who put their caffeine-infused blood & sweat to bring out the best results possible.
Messages delivered as stories can be 22x more memorable than facts. But we all seem to fall into the trap of throwing out facts and figures which end up falling on deaf ears. Thereby failing miserably to create a memory or impression which is the very essence of brand marketing.
Stories can be told through quality content and impressive visuals. Your story can be educational, emotional, entertaining or even inspiring one. Try including the Reason you have started, What drives you every day, What you strive to be & Values you stand for.
‘People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe’ — Simon Sinek.
Brand voice is not about hiring a person to yell at passersby to get them into your store, but in case if you employ one, What does he gonna say, Does he gonna whisper, ‘Hey Ladies & Gentlemen, Welcome to our store’ or does he gonna rapt, ‘Yov boys & girls, hasta la vista’. Determining that is much similar to determining your brand voice.
The personality of your brand is determined by the words you use and the sentences you write. It may be in your print materials, commercials, websites or for that matter wherever it’s possible. This is known as brand voice.
Brand voice is a crucial part of your business identity. It keeps you distinct from your competitors. It’s usually referred to emulate your target audience and match their speaking style so that an instant connection is established.
Have your own interesting website and be present on relevant social media channels. If you are selling a product be present on Amazon. If you are a retail/restaurant be there on Instagram which people are using to see photos of the place they gonna visit beforehand. If you provide professional services like us, LinkedIn is mandatory. When your business model relies heavily on you yourself i.e a writer, blogger, influencer type then Twitter or Facebook would be the right match.
And being present is not posting kitten gifs once a week/month, be f*&#** present for real. Post useful & relevant content for your target audience, Consistency is the key. Try to be different than better. That’s how you win the game online.
If done right, the level of brand awareness one could create in the digital — marketplace is utterly unimaginable unlike in the past where the internet hasn’t evolved, especially for the businesses.
If your product quality is good and if you are taking these four pillars of branding seriously and putting the efforts required, then Your Brand Means Business.