Effective branding has a dramatic positive impact on a company’s success. A brand is a lot more than just a logo or a name associated with a product or service. Your brand image helps people identify your product or service with certain qualities, values, and experiences. Your brand image can help create a perceived expectation of the experience your customers, or potential customers will receive when purchasing your products and services.
A brand is how a product, company, or service is perceived by the public, the brand’s customers, and its potential customers. You’ve likely heard the phrase, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” A brand is a way to create recognition and distinguish a particular product or service from similar ones in the market. Creating a clear and valuable brand is key in building authentic customer experiences through all touchpoints.
Foundational Elements of a Brand
In creating your brand strategy, consider both extrinsic and intrinsic qualities of your business, and the distinctive features of your product, or your services such as quality, design, or personality. . In creating your brand architecture, keep in mind you want to create a positive, consistent, memorable, identity and experience no matter what platform or place your brand has a presence. This includes your physical location if you have a store or office, your website, your social media presence, and any advertising you might do.
Intrinsic Brand Characteristics
Intrinsic brand qualities include things such as reputation, customer experience, feelings, purpose, and perceived value. A brand can define some of these things by having a clear mission statement, vision statement, value proposition, and a strong positioning statement. As you consider these things, think about not just WHAT you do, but WHY you are doing it. Does your brand have a story? Was it created because you had a mission? A Vision? Did you have a problem and create a unique solution for it, that you can now share with others? Consider this advice:
“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. What you do simply proves what you believe.”Simon Sinek, Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Others to Take Action
- Mission Statement: Defines why you do what you do, and the benefit your customer will get.
- Vision Statement: Defines the ultimate outcome for your business, your product, and your customers.
- Value Proposition: Your value proposition should explain how your product solves problems or improves situations, what specific benefits customers can expect, and why customers should choose your product over that of your competitors.
- Positioning Statement: A positioning statement should, in one sentence define the following:
- Your target audience
- Identify the market category of your product, and its appeal over your competitors.
- The benefits or results of working with your brand. How does your brand solve your customers’ problems?
- Evidence that your brand will deliver on its promise.
The following “fill in the blank” template can help you brainstorm and create a positioning statement for your brand:
” For (Your Target Audience), (Your Brand) is the ideal (category of your product) that delivers (point of distinction from your competitors), so they can (describe the experience or benefits they will receive) because (Evidence: the reason to believe you will deliver on your promise).”
Extrinsic Brand Qualities
Extrinsic brand qualities include how your brand looks and feels across all its platforms and places where it meets and interacts with its future, current, and past customers and clients. Extrinsic brand qualities include name, logo, brand colors, brand fonts or typography, tone of communication, or images.
It’s a great idea to put together a brand board. This will help you clearly define for all of your departments the initial look and feel of colors, fonts, logos, and tone for your business. You’ll find an example of our agency brand board below. If you’d like more ideas and templates you can find more on Canva.com.
If you are creating a brand for the first time, or perhaps decide it is time for a re-brand, there are many resources to help you and many are free. Canva.com has a design school section, found on their “Learn” tab, with a course on Branding Your Business. If you want to explore color palettes, coolers.co has a free color palette generator. If you’d like to talk to someone about creating a strong brand business, we’d love to help you. Just reach out to us on our Contact Us page.