Having your own business is a huge achievement, but how many of us have an all-encompassing and fully rounded brand where our offer and identity is crystal clear?
I have spent a lot of time learning to create a clear brand that fully represents my business and although I am mostly happy with how my brand looks and feels, there is always ever-evolving work to do and improvements to be made. I have definitely made some mistakes along the way and gone off road slightly leaving my brand looking and sounding confused. But all these mistakes have been crucial into forming my brand.
The power of brand is a strong one as it gives your audience a clear understanding of who you are, what you stand for and what you’re offering. A good brand knows who they are and who they’re talking to – as well as, vitally, who they are not talking to – and all businesses, no matter how large or small, need to get on board with the power of brand for their business.
Here are my top 5 tips on how to transition your business into a brand.
Know your look
When starting my business, I worked with my web designer to create a brand palette featuring the key colourways that I wanted my brand to be. I decided on gold, aqua and dusty pink and this is the aesthetic that is mainly (as I said, I’m still learning!) present throughout my brand touch points: my website, literature, social media channels etc.
I am quite strict with myself in keeping to these colours as much as I can throughout all platforms and I try to at least have a hint of one or all of them in my imagery, where possible, to really ensure I have the subliminal branding element.
Know your sound
I work with a lot of my clients on their tone of voice and really defining how they sound – both acoustically and written word. So that means what language they use, what tone, what phraseology and patterns. Getting this set up from the start can really help generate a strong and identifiable tone which, eventually, allows your audience to identify you by your language and language structure alone.
Know what you stand for
Values exercises are one of the starting points with my clients as it can really establish who they are, what they believe in, what their business represents and how this is translated into their offer and all over look and feel. Naming your values really does offer a thread throughout your brand and knowing your values can be a real sense check when you’re not sure of something – often uncertainty emerges when something doesn’t quite sit within your values.
Be socially media strict
It’s taken me a while to get the hang of this and working with an external social media expert has really helped me keep on track of what I am doing and saying. A brand’s social media page attracts followers that want to hear from them and their business – not what they had for dinner or a picture of them with their friend’s baby (I have been guilty of posting both!). When posting – especially to Instagram – always keep the end audience in mind. Would this post and image really appeal to them? What value or entertainment does it offer? I’m not saying that all your posts should be purely on brand message, there is no harm posting a few personal posts too as audiences want to see the people behind the brand, but make sure the posts have a hook or a relatable association with brand offer.
Ask for feedback!
So many business owners just go it alone and ‘think’ they know how their audience interprets their brand. What has been a big lesson for me is to ask questions and ask for feedback as, more often than not, another person’s interpretation of your brand can be different to yours. This feedback is vital as it gives vital insight into how your brand is perceived which can enlist changes and innovation – keep asking and keep learning.