Branding – at a minimum, it’s your logo. But for a savvy business, it’s much more. Think about all your graphics, the images you use, how you choose to communicate about what you do. For a business with a physical presence, it might also be the music you have playing, scents you disperse, even your lighting. Essentially, it’s a conglomeration of all the individual elements that form your clients’ experiences of your business.
And that can mean a lot of elements to keep a track of and be consistent about. Creating a brand guide is a great way to start corralling all that information into one place, so your team and contractors can be consistent in developing your brand recognition.
Why is it worth making the effort?
Consistency and efficiency
For starters, it sure makes life easier in the long run if you have clarity about your brand. Instead of making a decision every time you are faced with a brand choice, you can refer to what your brand guidelines are. Also, having templates and procedures in place makes everything so much more consistent and simpler (for example, having templates for social media, or a specific protocol for how your team welcomes clients).
Back up your marketing message
Branding also helps reinforce your marketing message. If you’re telling the world that you’re slick, efficient, and cutting edge, your branding should subtly back this up through a consistent look and feel – same applies if you’re homely and comforting, or cheap and cheerful. You’ll get less value from your marketing investment if your brand clashes with the message you’re communicating.
When your branding is on point, people know it’s your business at a glance. From the phrases you use to your social media images, as people get to know your business, they should be able to instantly recognise it, because – you guessed it – you’re consistent about how you present yourself. In a busy market, being recognised is vital.
Support your staff be your ambassadors
When your brand is clear, your staff can be your advocates with greater ease. They know the expectations on how to present the business and conduct themselves. A team member from a discount store behaves differently to one in a high-end boutique. Why? Because the brand values are different. If you can’t articulate what your brand is about, how can you expect your team to reflect your brand? Make it easy for them – both in terms of knowing what the brand stands for, and creating procedures and templates that make consistency the norm.
Do you know what your brand is about? Need help to define it or refine it?
Anna heads up the amazing team at CreativeIQ. Most brand and business consultants are either very creative or excel at strategy and analysis. What makes Anna special is her ability to do both! That’s how CreativeIQ was born. She loves strategy and finding creative ways to solve problems.
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