Branding Your Business

“Your brand is the single most important investment you can make in your business.” ~ ~ ~ Steve Forbes

Establish Your Brand

Your brand is the sum total of everything that you present to the marketplace. It represents who you are and where you’re going; it is what sets you apart from your competitors; and it is your promise to your customers.

Contrary to popular belief, your logo is not your brand. Your logo is the cornerstone to the visual representation of your brand, and it is often a good starting point in developing your brand identity.

Your brand has a personality, and you need to define it, or the market will define it for you, and you might not like that definition. Your brand identity also needs to include the foundations of your business.

What are you trying to accomplish with your business? What are your reasons for starting your business? What value are you providing and to whom.

 

Pro Tip: This is your WHY. Why did you start this business and why do you continue it?

  • A clothing line may have a mission to make people feel more comfortable while at work.
  • A plumber may have a mission to keep homes functioning at 100%, so his clients aren’t inconvenienced.
  • An attorney may have a mission to make the divorce process as painless as possible.

What are the notable items about your products or services that make people want to buy? Features are aspects of your product or service, while benefits are the advantages of these features that solve a problem and make the customer’s life better. 

 

Pro Tip: Benefits sell (not features).

For example:

  • The more expensive dishwasher is quieter (feature) which means I can run it any time because it won’t wake the baby (benefit).
  • The new car has handsfree phone (feature) which makes it safer for me to talk while I’m driving (benefit).
  • That attorney is open after regular business hours (feature) so that I can go after work and I don’t have to take vacation time (benefit).

Tone of voice will come across in all of your interactions with your clients – your written words on your website, in your social media, on your invoices, brochures and trade show booths; in your spoken words in commercials, videos, and the way your team answers the phone (yes, the whole team needs to understand and portray your branding), and in the colors you chose for your logo and uniforms. Your voice needs to represent you properly and speak to your ideal customer in a way that will get the response you want.

 

Pro Tip: Who do you want to attract to your business? Talk to them.

For example:

  • Are you expected to be an expert in a serious field (doctor, attorney, commercial realtor, etc)? Your tone will be more official and informative.
  • Are you a skateboard brand talking to a more low-key, fun-loving audience? Your tone will be more casual, and probably even include slang or jargon.
woman on laptop sitting on couch

Deliver Your Brand

Once you have defined the thoughts, beliefs, and actions of your brand, then you will execute this branding and share it with the public.

Day to day execution of the brand means all of your defining characteristics need to carry through all of your interactions – logos, printed materials, social media, uniforms, charming attitude presented by all team members and processes (proposals, meetings, follow-ups).

All of these factors work together to help your clients form their own opinions of you and your company. You want to stay true to your brand in all instances, so that you present a cohesive and consistent image to your clients.

People do business with people they know, like and trust.

All of your branding efforts work together to project you as the company you want to be, so you can attract the clients you want to work with.