Think of a brand. Apple. Nike. Mercedes. Coca Cola. McDonalds. All internationally recognised companies, that as soon as you see their logos, you immediately know who they are. The strongest brand identities are instantly recognisable, even to the little people, and immediately convey a message about that business. Their Marketing departments are working on overload to constantly develop and promote their brands, knowing that it will directly have an effect on their sales and market share.
A brand identity is more than just a great logo design though. Whilst it contributes, a brand is how a potential customer perceives your company. Think, website, your social media presence, your marketing material. It’s the summation of everything you show in your shop window, which then determines whether someone uses or buys from you.
STRONG BRANDING MAKES YOU MEMORABLE
The key aim is to ensure that customers remember your business. Ensuring you have a strong brand name and logo helps to keep your company in the minds of your existing and potential customers. By having a great overall brand, you are likely to retain custom (brand loyalty), as well as also gaining new business from recommendations from your loyal customers. People want to be associated with great brands.
You might be thinking to yourself, “I don’t have the budget to build a brand like these big companies”, but in actual fact, there are little steps that you can take towards making yourself more recognisable. For example, using the same fonts and colours across all of your existing marketing materials is good practice. Also ensure that your brand in print is also reflected in your digital marketing, such as your website.
TRUST IS BUILT THROUGH BRAND RECOGNITION
Regardless of the size of your company or the time your company has been in existence, creating a strong brand identity creates the image of a well-known, established business. A business that has a brand identity, is more likely to be seen as experienced, as well as being seen as reliable and trustworthy, compared to an unbranded business.
Of course, there will always be people who won’t judge a book by its cover, however, those types of buyers are far and few between. If you want to get noticed by people, you need to get your brand identity ship-shape.
ENSURE YOUR BRAND STANDS OUT AGAINST YOUR COMPETITORS
You want your company to stand out in a crowded marketplace. Companies are always looking for ways to make sure that their brand stands out against their competitors. For smaller, less established businesses, investing in your brand identity can help you compete with larger companies and help you to start winning more of the business you want.
The quality of your brand, that is perceived from your customers, can be used to differentiate and allow you to add a premium to your prices.
TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR BRAND IDENTITY
There are several things you can do to improve your brand identity:
1) Do an audit of your existing marketing materials
Are you using the same logo across all platforms? Ensure you’re using the same fonts, brand colours, and other design elements. Are you consistent?
2) Content messaging
Is your content across your marketing communications an accurate representation of who you are as a company? Does your messaging have a clear tone and an individual message?
3) Create a long term plan
Are there things you can update yourself right now, to at least make it more cohesive? If bigger changes are needed, what is your budget? What time scales are you going to put in place?
4) Ensure all staff are on-board
A brand isn’t just about appearance, it’s the experience customers have when interacting with any part of your company. Embody your brand values as a team.
Firestone Creative offer a wide range of branding services, giving you support every step of the way. Get in touch today to find out more.