Tools and insights to help you identify your branding needs.
WHAT IS BRANDING?
Traditionally, a brand was considered a logo, a product or some sort of identifier or physical mark on a product or service. Today, the word brand implies a more wholistic interpretation that includes a well thought out plan with guidelines, goals, and objectives. Brands are concepts or ideas that inspire emotions and mental associations that can remain in our minds for years to come.
With brands, every touchpoint matters, which makes for infinite possibilities and transformations, constantly defined and redefined by brand owners and their understanding of the consumers who love their brands.
WHAT IS BRANDING?
Now that we’ve discussed what a brand is, the act of branding getting your audience to resonate and associate with your brand. Branding is more than a logo, website or a few social media posts. Branding is how you feel, how you make your audience feel, how you sound, what you do and what you stand for.
Many companies associate branding with marketing. If marketing is getting your brand out there, then branding is attaching something meaningful to the brand, so that your audience will support your brand.
But let’s be clear. Once your brand is established and you’ve outlined essentials like target audience, values, mission, products, services, everything you do thereafter is branding. The way you converse about your brand, the vendors and partners you align with, the way you share your business on social media—it’s all branding.
WHAT IS A PERSONAL BRAND?
A personal brand your individual story, what you stand for, believe in, the values you embrace and how you communicate those values. Your personal brand should highlight your cause, strengths and speak to your target audience or potential community of supporters or followers.
Personal brands are very similar to a corporate brand in that you must express your value to customers and distinguish yourself from competitors. Both corporate and personal brands are unique identities, that thrive when they show clear value to consumers or clients.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF POWERFUL BRANDING?
Sets you apart from the competition
Generates new business opportunities
Promotes longevity and staying power
Increases company value
Inspires your team and community
WHAT IS BRAND DISCOVERY?
Brand discovery is about establishing, brand authenticity. It’s your own research project designed to answer these questions:
Who we are?
Who do we say we are?
What do outsiders say we are?
With strategic methods from focus groups, in-depth competitor analysis, to auditing existing materials or surveys you can embark on a journey to build the foundation for your brand. You wouldn’t build your house on unsteady ground, your brand should be treated with the same care.
WHAT IS A BRAND STRATEGY AND WHY DO I NEED IT?
Once you understand your brand based on findings of your brand discovery exercises it’s time to strategize. Brand strategy is the blueprint that provides, guidance and purpose as to why you are engaging your audience. Your messaging, where and how you communicate it to the audience is what makes your brand unique. Remember, a cohesive brand strategy is a foundation, to establishing a valuable timeless brand.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BRAND IDENTITY AND POSITIONING?
You hear the word branding and it all sounds the same. But brand identity and brand positioning are very different. Brand identity is the image you present to your audience and consumers. It creates a positive user experience and it includes your logo, color palette, collateral and is the consistency between your visuals and messaging. Your brand identity should invoke emotions while allowing you to understand how your consumers feel.
Brand positioning is how your brand appears in the market. After conducting a comprehensive competitive analysis you can start to imagine how you will make your brand stand out by highlighting positive differences. During the positioning process, you’ll establish what makes consumers love you and what you need to do to keep them loyal and engaged. While brand identity and brand positioning are closely related, understanding your brand’s position in the market is the first step, before you embark on the visual design journey.