Branding is what sets you apart from competition and is the best way to communicate your internal values with new customers.
While taglines, logo design, and packaging are important, what’s even more crucial is that you understand how your brand will influence your customers, make a stake in the market, and react to conflict or change.
If you want your business to succeed long-term, you need to invest in branding. The sooner you do this, the better, as you’ll create a solid foundation of loyal customers who will promote and uplift your brand.
What is a brand?
The word brand comes from the Ancient Norse language. The root word brandr means to burn and was initially used to describe a burning piece of wood. Eventually, the word became associated with the burnt brand marks that ranchers used to signify cattle ownership.
Nowadays, branding signifies promotional materials owned by a company that are used for advertising and design. Your brand also represents your business in the market and is the basis for public opinion of your business.
More than just a logo, your brand is the soul of your company. It tells your customers who you are and what you’re all about, without them ever having to see your products.
Why your brand identity matters
These days, consumers expect more from branding than simply a good looking logo. They want to feel confident investing their money in brands that are personable and socially aware.
Branding today is synonymous with the emotional reaction your company evokes in customers. Your brand is the perception of your company in the public eye and is the cornerstone of your entire business practice.
Business branding must-haves
While your brand’s needs may vary depending on your business or target market, a solid logo is always a must-have, whether it be a brandmark, wordmark, or some combination of the two.
The next important pieces are your colours, fonts, and photography. Colours are so important for a brand because different colours bring up emotions for consumers. The right tone of blue can make your viewer feel calm and relaxed, and set them up in the right headspace to view your spa package, concert tickets, or dinner menu.
Fonts and photography are important because continuity is key. Your viewer can move between your website, social media, and ads, and can be sure that they’re interacting with the same brand they grew to love and trust initially.
As well, creative features such as custom illustrations can be a great way to stand apart from your competitors. We live in such a visual society and people love interacting with interesting imagery. Art brings us all together and togetherness is what every brand should aim for.
The keyword with branding is TRUST. Consistency builds trust in the minds of consumers. Trust in your business means more customers, more sales, more longevity for your brand.
Branding elements that every business needs:
- Brand guidelines
- Brand values
- Brand colours
- Brand fonts
Branding mistakes to avoid
One of the biggest mistakes we see clients make is building their brand too late. Too often, business owners think, “I’ll get my company busy and off the ground and then invest in the branding...” What’s missing in this line of thinking is the fact that you can begin pushing your brand awareness long before your company is running full-time. Make people fall in love with your company and brand from initial contact, and then try to sell them your product later. Clients that try to do this the other way around have much less success.
Another common mistake new businesses make is not doing their homework. When you meet with your brand designer, it’s helpful to bring some visuals to your initial meeting. Take five minutes to scroll through Pinterest or Google and save some images that you like. They don’t have to be relevant to your brand at all, but your designer can talk through them with you and try to break down what you like about them, then find visual patterns between them.
What happens if you start your branding too late?
The biggest issue in starting your branding too late is that you’ll end up spending way more than necessary. Many clients don’t want to spend too much on their company from the start, because they feel that they can invest more as they make more. But that’s not always true.
If you have capital at the beginning, invest it early. The cost to rebrand, re-design your logo, and start from square one when you’re already at square eight, will end up costing more. Not to mention, you’ll lose and confuse the niche that you’ve spent time building trust with already.
That being said, there’s nothing wrong with a good old-fashioned rebrand down the road if your client base and business direction change, but investing with intention at the beginning is always the best bet.
If you believe in your business idea, go all in!
Ready to build your brand? Contact us.