In the wild (and wonderful!) marketing world, you never stop hearing about branding. The reason is simple, branding is your business’s face. Literally. Ok, well, maybe not literally but most often it is the first thing people see, it is the look and feel of your organization.
A brand is more than aesthetics: Branding shows potential and current clients who you are, what you do and who you serve.
The look of an organization is important. On a daily basis we make snap judgment decisions about things based upon our visual analysis of them. It is involuntary and part of human psychology; we are visual creatures and what we see is what we assume we get. People say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but we do, over and over again. So branding isn’t just about how pretty your logo is but what it says about your organization.
The process of creating the perfect brand for your organization must come in steps. Each step builds upon the next to create the ultimate visual story. This is where we introduce Web Marketing Therapy’s Hierarchy of Brand Needs . A step by step look at the process of brand construction:
Consider this mantra; In order to reach “Strong Branding Actualization” one must satisfy all branding needs beforehand. Here are the steps:
1. Identify Your Uniqueness: Who are you? What do you do? Whom do you serve? You must first understand who you are, where you stand and what your goals are for your organization before you can build a brand.
Are you a small flower shop with aspirations for going big? Then take that into account when you are developing your brand. If you want to target more sophisticated clients then make sure to communicate that goal when in the development stages. Take the time to think about things before you move forward.
2. Make Your Mark: Create a logo for your organization from the answers to the questions in the previous stage of branding needs. This logo will help define the characteristics of your brand and will showcase to clients and consumers who your organization is.
If you are a financial advising company and you want to communicate dependability, stability and trustworthiness think of visuals that represent those characteristics; pillar, mountains, and buildings. Classic colors are also important; a royal blue can feel secure and timeless. Don’t go with something just because you “like it” -make sure the visual is serving a purpose, in this case communicating to clients who you are.
3. Conceive Collateral: From your new logo you will be able to build business cards and other collateral, furthering the creation and development of the look and feel of your brand. Great design with a clear message helps build a great reputation.
Make sure the look and feel of your logo translates to the look and feel of your business cards and other collateral. Keep font and color choices consistent. If your logo is simple and modern keep the rest of your brand the same way! You want your clients to know who you are and to recognize you!
4. Pursue Web Presence: From the process of satisfying your first 3 branding needs you can now create a website that encompasses the look and feel of your brand. This will allow you to position your organization in the most visible place in the world!
This is worth reiterating; keep your organization’s look consistent! Your website (and Facebook, blog, YouTube, Twitter and more!) should be an extension of everything mentioned above. And above all, keep your website simple and easy to navigate. People want to get to the meat of your site immediately (that means no landing pages) or they will just click their little butts over to another site in a heartbeat.
5. Strong Brand Actualization: Congratulations! You have created a brand that allows you to take on more business with a clear sense of where your organization is positioned. You now have the ability to focus on increases in productivity on many different levels for your organization.
Your brand does a lot of communication work for you – image matters. A strong easy to recognize logo takes the message of your organization directly to the client and validates that you are established and professional. A clean, easy to navigate website makes people want to work with you because information about your services and/or products is easy to find and that makes you seem legitimate and knowledgeable. So get out there and put that brand to work for you.