01 Jan Branding 101: Getting Clear on Your Message
Many business owners try to create their brand based on what they think their customers will want, but this results in a brand has nothing to do with the real value of their business. It never feels quite right to the business owner because they are projecting an image that feels inauthentic.
Others start with a pet idea for a logo or business name that has great significance to them for personal reasons, but means nothing to their target market. In fact- they may unwittingly be sending out the completely opposite message than the one they would like customers to receive.
In both cases, these businesses are missing an opportunity to truly connect and communicate with their target market. They are missing out on the power of an effective and authentic brand.
So if that’s how it’s not done – where do good brands come from?
The short answer is that good brands are about real relationships- your relationship with your customers. And creating this takes work.
The long answer is that a lot goes into creating a brand. You dig into what’s on offer. You ask questions, investigate. Who are you serving? Why? What’s your story?
And then there’s the research – the industry analysis, surveying the brandscape- what are your competitors doing- and what are they not doing? You also need to take much closer look at your target market. How does your product/ service/ idea fit into their lives? What benefits does it provide? What does it mean to them?
Next we really break it down- how should your brand be positioned in this market? How do you want to be perceived? What are your key points of difference? And just as important- what points of parity do you need to establish?
If you are clear on all the above you are half way there. You know what you have to communicate, but you still need to know how. What combination of words and imagery will convey all this meaning?
You can start to answer the how by defining your brand personality, by deciding what kind of feelings and qualities we want people to associate with our brand.
Now you are ready to choose your brand elements– the parts of your brand people will actually see- what goes on the sign, the cards, the website, the packaging. And how do you figure that out? That’s another blog post!