12 Jan Marketing 101: Branding
Much like individual’s companies have personas, this is essentially a company’s brand. Your brand includes a variety of elements which communicate your individual presence and promise in the market place. You want to design a brand for your company and use it to stand out in the marketplace, build loyal consumers, and be easily recognized.
Over the years there have been iconic brands. For instance, think of Nike. Their trademark logo can be spotted on shoes, apparel, equipment, accessories and services. Beyond the logo, they use a particular font, voice, and look for their advertisements. I could likely show you an ad without the logo and most of us could still connect Nike with it. Their entire personality is behind their name. When a consumer makes a purchase, they get a promise from Nike that their item is made of high quality materials, well designed, and built to last. They are a company that stands behind their products. All of those feelings, assurances, visuals, and connections you feel are their branding at work.
One of the first branding tasks company owners are excited to do is design a logo. That can often solidify a true start to an official company. This is a great starting point, but when designing you need to think of its future. Think of all the places it will be and that is true for every element of your branding. In 2017 that means what will it look like on a business card, but also on Facebook.
From there it is about designing an online presence, a voice for your content, a look and feel on your website, social platforms and search engines. If you make a tangible product it is also your packaging material, your labels, your containers, etc. All of these elements need to be cohesive. Create a set of guidelines that can be shared with employees that outline font styles, sizes, colors, logos, standard company images, and a face (a character, mascot or person).
Creating guidelines keeps your brand yours. It can also help you keep your original mission, values and goals for the brand as your team and company grow. As time passes, this brand can grow and change as long as it is consistent. Nike in 1980 looked different than Nike today, but the brand message and feel remains the same.
This brand is the platform from which all your marketing will stem. This is the best place to start but it can be a bit of a discovery process. Need some tips getting started? Check out this article from Entrepreneur that will guide you on your way.