Branding 101: Branding Basics to Help Your Business

As I’ve said many times before – you have a brand whether you like it or not.

What you can do is focus your brand so that you have a better opportunity to deliver a brand experience that customers will love and potential customers will be intrigued by.

Let’s take a look at some…

Branding 101 Basics:

WHO ARE YOU?

Take a close look at your company and why it exists in your market. What is your story? Sometimes the product or service that we are selling has a positive benefit within our local communities. If this sounds like you, then part of your brand experience is how you benefit the community. You are now selling something with a by-product involving a social benefit. A recycler would fit into this model nicely. This would make an outstanding brand story.

YOUR BRAND NAME…

In my daily reading of my favorite blogs from around the planet, one I especially enjoy is David Airey from Scotland. The discussion there centered on company naming and the use of mongrams. If you’d like to use initials as your name be sure that, that is how you answer your telephone and it is how you are known. Many times I seen companies use a monogram as their logo but answer the phone as a full or partial name. This is absolutely confusing to your customers. Personally I frown on monograms because they say nothing about what your company does. It doesn’t inspire. Over time after a brand has matured can monograms take on a meaningful life of their own. Examples could be IBM, A&P and BMW. None of these companies started out this way.

As a fall back, you could adopt a monogram as an icon that works with the main name. I did this with a firm named Commerceworx and it’s monogram CWX.

YOUR BRAND IMAGE

What can you do to strengthen your brand image?

One excellent way is to choose a color icon. ING Direct does it with orange. UPS with brown. Use a color palette that uniquely identifies your company within it’s market environment. Take a look at all the competition and choose a color that all the rest are not using and then incorporate that color in everything that you do. Another thing to remember is to make sure that all your marketing materials portray a professional brand image. Every item should be consistent. There is nothing more important than this when you want your audience to take you seriously as a professional. An inconsistent brand image not only confuses the viewer but does nothing to help build your brand story. You want to build a culture of familiarity. Over time the viewer builds a comfort level and trust with your brand image.

YOUR BRAND LOGO

As with your brand image your brand logo identifies who you are. If it has been professionally developed it will be consistent with your color icons and total brand image. Your brand logo should position your company from an emotional vantage point. In the hands of a professional, your logo can make your company look bigger if you wish. It can position you as a progressive or a traditional company. How old a company do you want to appear? Your brand logo communicates on an emotional level. Your brand logo is the introduction to your over all brand experience. Be sure it tells the story you want told. Amateurs design logos as art. Brand professionals design communications solutions – there is a huge and costly difference. The cost is price of communicating an effective brand message.

YOUR PERSONAL BRAND

Your personal brand is every bit as important to your overall corporate brand in that it too must be consistent with what you brand stands for. If you have taken the time to discover and analyze your corporate brand, the brand values you possess should be a part of your personal brand as well. In your day-to-day operation of your company, how you are perceived also impacts your overall brand experience for your customers. Whether they trust you, enjoy your company or look to you for advice speaks to how successfully you’ve grown your brand. Since you are your brand, it benefits you stay on top of every touch point of brand.

These are just some of the Brand Basics you should adopt to increase sales with a successful brand.

Ed Roach

For more than 30 years, I have worked with hundreds of successful small businesses by helping them develop unique brand positioning strategies that differentiates them from their competition. I appreciate working with companies who see the value of going beyond mere slogans and have a desire to sell from compelling positions. I consult predominantly with businesses facilitating my proprietary branding process. This branding process effectively focuses a company's brand delivering a positioning strategy that can be taken to their marketplace.

I have international speaking experience and am the author of "101 Branding Tips," Practical advice for your brand that you can use today. I'm also a "expert panellist" with Bob Proctor (from The Secret)'s Matrixx Events in Toronto.

I have been interviewed in all media and I also blog extensively and uses the digital realm on the web to connect and promote my services world-wide.

I have international speaking experience including a recent event in Prague, in the Czech Republic and is the author of "101 Branding Tips," Practical advice for your brand that you can use today, the book is available on Amazon.com and the Amazon Kindle store.

My clients are from Canada, The United States, Ukraine, India, United Arab Emirates and Tanzania.

I recently facilitated a workshop in San Diego aimed at teaching Graphic Design companies how to build brands for their customers.

Comments

  1. Nadine,

    Are you deaing at retail level (with the public)? or are you manufacturing a product?

  2. Nadine, I misspelled dealing above.

  3. Vikram,

    Let’s not forget sport’s teams who could do more to take advantage of maskots. They are excellent icons of personality for brands.

    Great link to vote on your favorite icon! All readers of this article should cast their ballot – may the best character win!

  4. A happy medium between corporate branding (what I call a “forced emotional connection”) and personal branding (aah, “natural emotional connection”) is Mascot Branding. We can think of many famous companies who use mascots to personify their own service, or their “evil” competitor, a lousy or great customer: In fact, we can vote on them and see the winner parade at NY’s Advertising Week “Favorite Icon”.

    ~ Vikram
    PersonalBrandMarketing.com

  5. I agree 100% with the concept of branding. My website is being built on a shoestring but I try to be consistent with color and font from page to page.

  6. You be amazed at how people relate to both colors and font combinations on websites. It is a very overlooked attribute when designing a website.