You can't always see it, but it's the most important part of your business.
What is brand and branding?
It’s a logo?
Well, yes, in a way, but a logo is only just a sliver of what makes up your “brand.” Before we get into this, we want to let you know we detest meaningless industry jargon. We’re straight shooters. Many may think “brand” and “branding” are just that, meaningless industry jargon, but it’s not. It’s an essential part of your business, and it begins the day you start your business. It’s not static. It’s very fluid. If you’re not careful, it can get out of line with your overall goals as a business.
A brand is how others feel about your product, service, and, ultimately, your company. Follow us here. Let’s say that you have a favorite musical group. That musical group is known for their upbeat, major key, poppy music. When you think about this music group, you think words such as carefree, cheery, smiling, optimistic. It’s just not their music. The upbeat interviews they conduct reinforce all of these characteristics. Their brand is the sum of all of those parts and, ultimately, how that sum makes you feel.
Let’s extend on this musical example; what if your bright and cheery favorite musical act released a new album. You jump on your streaming service, and the cover is solid black. The logo changed to one that isn’t curvy to one that features hard edges and lightning bolts in the background. You start listening to the first song, and instead of the open and airy piano in major key featured in previous music, you hear a wall of sound that features a guitar with heavy distortion in a brooding minor-key chord progression.
You would be confused. Your band, according to your perception, is now officially off-brand. The brand was 100% built within your brain. Your opinion instantly changes, therefore their brand has been personally changed for you.
Brand is not just a logo or a wordmark. Every single action you take as a comapny builds it. A logo design means as much on that spectrum as to how your receptionist answers the phone.
Okay, great, thanks for the story, but how can building a "brand" get me more business?
With a well-defined and authentic branding strategy, you will be able to live up to the expectations that you set within the mind of the customer or client. Their interactions with you will be consistent. You will live up to your brand each time. It will build loyalty and make it easier and more gratifying for them to spread the message about your business.
Clearly defining yourself (correctly) makes it easier to do business with you.
Is there a template for a great brand?
In the end, you want loyalty from your clients and customers and for them to spread your name through their social channels. How you get to that destination is not always the same. First, you have to define your audience and give them something authentic. If you get nothing else from this page, remember this, be authentic. Never take people for suckers and provide them with something that’s not 100% authentically you. It will take three seconds for the average person to see the ruse and disregard you and your business if you come off as something that you’re not.
So to answer the question, no. There is no template. You have to look at the playing field and understand where you fit in. Like everything else in life, you do the research and build the plan to succeed in that space. What works for Nike may not work for an accounting firm in Iowa.