As a branding coach, I talk about branding a lot…
What makes a brand truly effective? Is it a stunning color combination? The perfectly crafted business plan? Or a jaw-dropping logo? Actually, it’s none of those things. Yes, they help – don’t get me wrong. But, a logo doesn’t build a brand. A business plan doesn’t foster a community. Colors will never make up for what a brand lacks.
Here are my 6 essentials for creating an effective brand.
1. Mission Statement
First, you need clarity on your branding – how will your customers know what to think of you if you’re not clear on that yourself? A mission statement is a brief sentence that describes your business. It provides information on who you are, what you offer and who you serve. Without a mission statement you don’t have a basis for your brand. It becomes exponentially harder speak directly to your audience without creating your brands baseline.
2. Your Voice
Your brand voice is the purposeful expression of your brand through words. This means the way you write blog posts, Instagram captions and how you reply to emails is all a part of your brand voice. More importantly, the description of brand voice points to your purpose behind the words. Choose your words carefully and with purpose to foster a community and elevate your brand.
3. Target Audience
Your target audience is the group of people you direct your marketing towards. Identifying your target audience, and speaking directly to them, allows you to effectively create products and services they need. Without a target audience, is like screaming at a wall. In order to connect with them effectively you’ll need to know who they are, what they need and how you can solve a problem for them.
4. Design That Attracts Your Target Audience
To have a professional business, it’s vital to invest in a design that attracts your target audience. It is vital that your brand identity (colors, logos, visuals) invite your ideal client and not repeal them. If your target is young and hip, you don’t want your brand identity to be something that attracts someone who is older. A professional design creates a sense of authority, experience and trust. In terms of your visual identity, this includes choosing a color palette, deciding on your typography (fonts), and establishing a logo along with guidelines for usage.
Stay branded and keep branded. One of the most important and effective steps of creating a brand is integration. When posting on social media, keep the same posting format. When posting pictures, always watermark your pictures. Use the same color palette and typography when possible.
Consistency builds brand recognition. Brand recognition grows your audience. Consistency goes farther than a consistent brand appearance. Using the color palette you created is easy. Consistency means showing up when you say you’re going to. Sending an email to your clients when promised. Consistency can be hard – especially in your first year. So, take it slow and under promise. When you show up and they in the eyes of your target audience then they will sit down and listen to what you have to say.
What’s essential to your brand? Tell me about it in the comments!