If you are right at the beginning of setting up a company then you must consider your branding. Why?
Branding, by definition, is a marketing practice in which a company creates a name, symbol or design that is easily identifiable as belonging to the company. But it is much deeper than that: branding is absolutely critical to a business because of the overall impact it makes on your company.
Branding affects how people perceive your business, it can drive new customers and increase awareness. It is a way of distinguishing yourself from the competitors and clarifying what it is you offer that makes you the better choice. Your brand is built to be a true representation of who you are as a business, and how you wish to be remembered.
There are many areas that are used to develop a brand including advertising, customer service, promotional merchandise, reputation, and logo. All of these elements work together to create one unique and (hopefully) attention-grabbing professional profile. Your branding will also inform how you present yourself online, so ask yourself, what is your brand voice?
But how can I do that? You have to first know your Ws. Who, What, Where, When and the biggest one, WHY? Think about the following:
1) Your brand heart
Your brand heart is an articulation of your beliefs, specifically your:
- Purpose: Why does the business exist?
- Vision: What future do you want to help create?
- Mission: How will you create that future?
- Values: Who are you? How do you work?
This is the core of who you are. Your brand voice is simply a tool to express it. (For example, if your organic snack brand is all about saving the planet and building community, your brand voice probably wouldn’t be snarky and sarcastic.)
2) Personas: Who are you trying to attract?
Personas help you identify who these people are. This is important for your brand voice because you want to speak in a way that connects with them.
3) Competitive analysis: You don’t want to sound the same as your competition, so it’s important to know who you’re competing with and how to differentiate.
Once you have a deep understanding of your brand’s DNA you can start to think about how to express it through your brand voice.
Try this exercise, answer the following questions as honestly as you can. Grab a pen and paper, and a coffee. Take some time to consider each point.
- What does your company do?
- Why was your company started?
- What are your company’s core values and principles?
- What type of person will use your company?
- Why will your clients choose your company rather than a competitor?
- Which other companies do you admire?
- Does anything annoy you about your industry or competitors? Why?
- Describe your company as if it were a person
- What are your brand’s voice limits? What are your brand’s subjects to avoid?
- When people interact with your company, how do we want them to feel?
Now you have the skeleton of your branding, it’s time to put some muscles on those bones. Next time, how to write your first posts as a business on social media. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help developing your online presence.