The big companies of the world approach branding much differently than you and I should.
That’s because they aren’t constrained by trivial things like… budgets. Don’t let that discourage you, we just have to do things smarter.
Rather than get our brand in front of as many people as possible in order to increase our “brand awareness”, we’re going to make sure our brand connects solidly with the people who are likely to become our best customers.
But before we get to that, let’s talk about what a brand is — and isn’t.
Overcoming The Most Common Brand Misconception
“Your brand is your logo.” Nope! I get it, I used to think the same thing. I assumed that brand was a company’s logo, color palette, and tagline.
But let’s get that out of our heads and look at “brand” with a fresh perspective.
I want you to think of your favorite business (no, it can’t be yours). It can be a big household name, or your favorite local restaurant, doesn’t matter.
Now, if a friend asked you about that business, what would you tell them?
I’m going to trust that you gave it a little thought! 🙂 So, if a friend asked you that question, would you mention the business’s… drumroll… logo?
If you would, you’re probably a designer and should get in touch, we may be hiring.
But chances are, your opinion of their logo isn’t one of the things you’d share with a friend.
The founder of Amazon was asked what a brand is. His answer is by far my favorite definition:
“Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
— Jeff Bezos
To bring our exercise full-circle, whatever you told your friend about your favorite business is actually that business’s brand. At least to you.
And here’s where the concept of brand might feel a little “woo-woo.” A brand can be different things to different people.
So what’s the point then, if brand isn’t a concrete thing that we control? Well, you can control it. Because you get to tell the story that forms your brand in the mind of everyone your business interacts with.
And when done with intention and consistency, your brand can become a powerful tool that attracts your ideal customers. Now let’s look at how to do that.
Building A Brand For Your Ideal Customers
The biggest brands cast a wide net and try to appeal to a huge range of people, but you and I shouldn’t do that.
Because it doesn’t matter how everyone feels about your business.
What matters is how the people you want to do business with feel about your business.
So if we need to appeal to our best potential customers, we have to start by figuring out exactly who that is.
This is hard to do. Not because it’s all that difficult to figure out who you should focus on… But because no one wants to eliminate most people from their pool of potential customers!
But you can’t think about it like you’re limiting anything. Let’s say you’re a B2B company that can service twenty new customers per month. Do you really need to target everyone in order to find twenty customers?
Of course not. You can find twenty customers simply by targeting a small group of prospects who you think would make the best customers.
Now consider Coca-Cola. They need to sell to millions of customers. Not only can they afford to cast the widest of nets, they have no other choice.
So by crafting your brand to appeal to just the right people, you accomplish a few important things:
- First, you’ll know who to create your messaging for. You can use their unique terminology and make offers that will resonate with them.
- Also, you can create your visual identity, like your logo, colors, and sales materials to appeal the most to these potential customers.
- And your website can focus on answering the unique questions this group of people are likely to have, increasing the chance that they’ll take the next step with you.
- Not to mention, all your marketing activity becomes more effective and focused — and your ad investment gets spent more efficiently.
When your branding is on-point, your ideal customers feel like you’re exactly what they’ve been looking for.
If you want help learning how to build a brand that connects with your ideal customers, select one of these options:
Are Your Visual Brand Elements All That Important? (Logo, etc.)
Your logo, colors, website, and messaging are what potential customers experience from you before they do business with you.
For new prospects, how you look online is likely to be the only concept they have of your business.
So you absolutely need to pay attention to what you’re putting out there for people to see and experience.
If any of these situations sound familiar to you, you likely have a problem that’s costing sales.
- You’re a company that deals with modern technology but has an obsolete logo…
- Maybe you promise a premium product or service, yet your website is old and a hassle to navigate…
- You’re trying to convey trust and stability but your website, social media, email signature, or print materials don’t all use consistent branding elements…
These negative cues are immediately picked up on by today’s savvy consumers. It’s all they have to go on while making their mind up about your brand.
And yet these are all things that you can easily control.
With a well thought out strategy and solid implementation, you’ll be able to leverage your visual identity to form the right first impression of your brand.
So yeah, it’s important!
For a more detailed look at reasons you might need to rebrand, read our post How You’ll Know It’s Time To Rebrand.
Your Brand Has a Voice
It’s not just about how you look though. It’s also how you communicate your message.
You do have a message, right?
At S’more Brands our clients work directly with me to create the strategy for their project. And then my carefully selected and talented team implements it. I stay involved the entire way, being the advocate for our client’s business.
A typical agency works much differently…
They have sales teams who push their “productized services.” Then their freshly out of college junior employees put it together for you, following some system the agency has in place.
And for this, you get to pay for the agency’s sales rep commission, junior employees, managers, executives, HR, rent…
So the S’more Brands messaging shoots to separate us from this. Because we know our target market wants a different, personal approach to solving their challenges.
Everything from our visuals to our conversational writing style is aimed to appeal to that target market – and to align with our message.
So whatever your message is, don’t just say it.
Do it with intention. Create a style and use it in everything you do.
And make sure it’s authentic — faking it would be exhausting. And people would know.
How To Get Started Creating Or Refreshing Your Brand
If you want, you can do a lot of the branding process on your own or with your marketing team.
Or, you can work with us. To inquire, click here.
Here are some things to ask yourself when judging your existing branding. If you don’t know the answer, or answer in the negative, your branding probably needs help.
- Who is your ideal customer?
- How do you want them to feel about you?
- What’s the key message you need them to hear?
- Do you always use the same intentional written style with a recognizable voice?
- Does your visual branding support your message? (website, logo, etc.)
- Is your visual branding professionally designed and aesthetically pleasing, or does it raise doubt about your business?
I’ll be writing about specific topics related to crafting your brand in the near future. But for now, let me share some resources to get you going: