What IS brand strategy and design?!
Brand strategy and design are the most critical element of building any successful business. Basically, it's the process of creating and maintaining the tone of your company and forming a consistent look and feel for your products and/or services. Without these two aspects of developing your business, it's like going on a trip without having a destination in mind.
Your brand is the overall face of your business. Most importantly, it's what customers see when they're introduced to your brand. It's the main thing you want customers to remember when they think of your company. Plus, it's what sets you apart from your competitors.
To create a powerful brand, you must have a clear vision for your company and your products or services. You need to understand what you're selling and why customers should choose you. You also need to create a unique visual identity for your brand that reflects your main mission and values.
Your brand should always be consistent across all of your marketing collateral, from your ads to your website. You should also make sure that your brand is represented in your product and services, so your customers will easily associate you with what you offer.
Either/Or = Neither/Nor
Many brands are successful with one or the other, which can cause business owners to hit a plateau in growth. For instance, you can have great brand design and offer excellent products, but if you don't have an effective brand strategy, you'll struggle to get noticed. On the other hand, you can have a great brand strategy, but if your design isn't up to par, you'll have a hard time converting potential sales.
Large companies are less likely to struggle with these issues because they have marketing teams and large budgets to help design a winning strategy, regardless of the quality of their product or service. That's how you get a company like Starbucks having coffee shops everywhere, yet we can all agree that they don't have the best coffee.
That's why if you're a small business or startup, having both elements is essential!
Where Do I Start?
If you're one of those brands that don't have the budget to hire an in-house brand strategy team, don't stress. As an independant branding and design firm, we help our clients narrow their focus down to these 3 key aspects: Personality, Clarity, and Consistency.
Here's a breakdown of what they should mean to you and your business:
• Brand Personality
The goal of developing your brand's personality is to be memorable and appealing. It's the way your brand is presented to the world and should always have a tone that's tailored to the specific needs of the target market AND the company itself.
There are many different types of brand personalities, each having its own effectiveness. Casual brands usually need a fun and welcoming tone, while professional brands tend to need a more formal and conservative tone.
Finding the personality of your brand is usually as easy as adopting the core personality traits of your target audience. At the same time, it's shocking to see how many miss this simple step in brand building.
• Brand Clarity
If you've ever worked (and succeeded) in sales, you know that clarity is the most important factor when introducing a customer to a product or service. Having a brand that is clear and easy to understand is key to building trust and credibility with your customers.
Plus, it helps the customer feel confident in their choice because they know what to expect.
Sales funnels, product demonstrations, and other marketing methods hinge on breaking down products and services into simple bite-size chunks that are easy to consume. It gives you a chance to address each customer's specific needs and easily overcome any objectives that may come up.
Plus, it helps you deliver your product and service more efficiently and effectively.
• Brand Consistency
Obviously, staying consistent with the quality of your products and services is the backbone of any successful brand, but it doesn't stop there. Staying constant with your look and messaging across your various platforms like websites, social media, vehicle wraps, and other marketing collateral is just as crucial.
Not only does it build a sense of trust and credibility, but it also makes it easier for customers to associate you with your products and services.
The process of Brand Strategy and Design isn't some mythical creature that's impossible to tame, but it does take some trial and error to master.
There are many things about running a business that are completely out of your control and can doom a venture from the start. That's why focusing on the core aspects that you can control, like brand personality, clarity, and consistency, are your strongest tools to help navigate the treacherous waters of entrepreneurship.