today we have a post from our fabulous expert partner in branding: Kim Timothy, the Owner & Creative Director ofBoutique By Design
We acknowledge them daily. We use them continually. We embrace them in every aspect of our lives. And yet, when it comes to our own businesses they’re often dismissed, ignored or misunderstood. Let’s change that. Today is the day to recognize and realize yours. Today is the day we explore your BRAND.
Step 1: Breathe
Now exhale and calm that crushing panic in the pit of your stomach. Branding has become a model that most consider overwhelming. Truth is, once you grasp the basics of branding it will become quite easy to do. Promise!
Step 2: Understand
First we must understand what a brand is. Simply put, your brand is the “personality” of your business. It is an overall summery of your business’ offering and the essence of what will be delivered or experienced. It is not just a logo. It is a graphic system, an appearance, a message, a method of conduct, and a unique identity. If you are not there to describe or define your business in person, a brand is what will get the job done for you.
Step 3: Analyze
The Brand Checklist
Having a strong, consistent and memorable brand is THE key to success in business. The following checklist will help you to define your brand’s achievements and downfalls.
Consider each point as it pertains to your business and be sure to be honest with yourself. Do a little, no, huge victory dance for every “yes” you answer and pay close attention to every “no”. This is where change is needed.
- You have a business plan that, even in the simplest form, outlines your business mission, vision, goals and competitor research.
- You can define your business in a concise manner and without hesitation.
- Your brand has personality and is unique.
- When you look at the brand of your competitors, yours stands out and is more memorable.
- You know what your customers think and feel about your company and its products/services.
- You are the sole designer or you hire a designer to create & manage your brand graphics.
- You have a logo.
- You use this exact logo on all of your promotional materials – printed materials, website, blog, social media etc
- The tagline on your logo is your business’ motto and/or describes what your business offers.
- You have a visual brand standard – i.e. you always use the same fonts, colours, tagline, and graphics on everything you design for your business.
- If a person were to view your website, they would instantly associate it with your blog, social media and printed materials. Its 100% consistent on every platform.
- Your customers would miss your business if it didn’t exist.
Step 4: Results
Understanding your brand will not only increase your own knowledge, it will also build awareness within your target market, generate exceptional income, build solid customer loyalty and deliver astonishing success. Your answers to the above checklist are the key to achieving it all. Embrace the “yeses” and learn from the “nos”. Make changes slowly if needed, but be sure to evolve. Your brand will thank you!