Branding for Dummies

Written by Kyle O.

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There’s a reason that lots of companies hire agencies to develop a brand identity. Branding goes beyond your company’s logo, slogan, and style – it creates the feeling that people have about your brand. Creating a successful brand requires finesse and a targeted plan. This week’s blog is an introduction to branding for dummies, where we’ll discuss some key concepts inspiration for how you can make a name for your products or services and your company. 

Identify Your Brands 

Before you can start to brand your company, you’ll need to pinpoint which products or services are key to your organization. In some cases, your brand may exemplify your whole company. If you own a company with a niche service, for example, that service may deserve your full branding efforts. If you have a larger portfolio of products, each may require individual branding efforts that ladder up into an overarching brand and voice for your company. Mortgage companies, for example, may want to brand themselves as experts in the realm of non-conventional financing, with several branded services under that umbrella. 

Sharpen Your Message 

Once you’ve identified the structure of your brand or brands, you’ll need to give it a unique voice. Consider your mission and your goals for the future. How do you want customers to perceive your company? If you work in a saturated market, you’ll want to find a way to distinguish your products through your messaging in some unique ways. Is your company, product, or service reliable? Fun? State-of-the-art? This is a good time to determine the way you’d like to be perceived and compare that with how you’re currently perceived, if your company is established. Market research is a key tool to determine any disparities between the message you want to deliver and the one you’re delivering now. 

Create a Unique Identity 

You’ll need to create a unique brand identity through your brand name, logo, design elements, content, and other elements. Your brand’s visual appearance and top-level messaging are the first information potential customers receive about your company, and they often can make the difference between whether someone proceeds down the customer pipeline or not. Consistency is key when it comes to your brand identity, so making a branding guideline is a great idea once you’ve nailed down the look and feel you want. You will also need to trademark and otherwise legally protect your brand identity once it is finalized. 

Determine Messaging Pathways 

Once you have a grasp on your brand, you’ll need to leverage different ways to deliver it to your potential and existing customers. Some brands are best marketed through social media channels, for example, while others may rely more heavily on other types of publicity. You can develop individual campaigns to highlight various promotions or products, with specialized design elements that ladder up to your overarching brand. 

Track Your Progress 

As with any new strategy your company employs, it’s key to monitor and evaluate the success of your newly formed brand and the ways in which you are marketing it to your customers. With key analytics and market research, you can continuously evaluate how far you’ve come in reaching the goals you set out from the beginning. 

Enlist a Professional 

Taking on the creation or re-branding of a brand can easily become a full-time job for you or another employee. If you don’t have the bandwidth or expertise on your team to execute the task, you can always work with a marketing or brand consultant on a contract basis. Over time, your creating a strong brand presence can ensure your customers understand the clear message you want to deliver and respect the products or services you deliver.