We’ve all heard the term and we all understand that a brand is a business; the name of which is the all-encompassing thing that IS a business, but when you strip back the fancy lingo, it’s important to understand the real meaning behind branding and its actual purposes - leading with a brand strategy.
So, what is branding? Branding is the vision that defines your business, where you see it heading and what your goals and values are. Essentially, what your business represents to your target audience. Defining your business’s brand can be time-consuming, tricky and requires at least 3 cups of coffee per sitting to get you through the nitty-gritty around what is needed in order to define your brand.
First off, what you need to understand about your business is that your vision for its future needs clearly defined goals. Define your vision and break that vision down into actionable goals. Creating short term and long term goals will help you understand where your brand currently is and where you want your brand to sit.
Another great exercise that will help you to define your brand is to do some visual research....hello Pinterest!
Start creating boards with colours, typography and design elements that really resonate with you. This fun little exercise will help you define your style, and figure out what you like and dislike in terms of visuals. This will help guide you towards your final vision of your brand's visual appearance. And it’s important to note here that searching for typography that you like is SUPER important - having the correct typography on your website can really make a difference.
Your font reflects your brand’s voice and personality and sets the tone for your brand. Typography can be the make and break factor on your website, so it's important to get it right!
Once you’ve figured out your aesthetic and goals, it’s important to understand your brand's core values. A core value is something that you won't sacrifice in order to reach your goals. This could be something as simple as always being honest and timely! Ultimately, core values represent your business and the level of professionalism that you deliver to your clients and/or your audience.
Next up is defining your audience. Who is your ideal market, who is interested in your product or service and what are their motives and behaviours? Your target market is the group of individuals that you are producing for; the people who are most likely to purchase from you and help to organically spread the word about your brand. Creating a consumer persona will help to understand your audience and how best to communicate with them.
A consumer persona helps to build a more detailed picture of your customer. This includes what they value in a brand, their preferred communication channel, and how many times they need to view a product before being persuaded into purchasing.
Now that you’ve nutted out your brand goals, your vision, your aesthetic and your target market it’s time to figure out your strategy for implementation!
First off, let’s look at your goals. Out of the list that you have written, figure out which of your goals are most attainable right now. Next, create a loose timeline for the remainder of your list. This will help you plan out a content calendar, in which you need in order to launch your brand. Now, you will be able to figure out what resources you need to create, what items you need to produce and which promotions/campaigns you need to create.
We've created this great free resource for you to dive into your very own brand strategy in 1-hour (or less!). Download it below. x