Why Your “Brand” is Critical for Success

Why Your “Brand” is Critical for Success

Does your business have a recognizable brand identity? How can you tell?

Branding goes beyond a logo, colors, and slogan or tagline— it’s in everything you use to communicate your brand, whether visual, written, or spoken. 

Branding is the overall public perception of your business. Everything you do— from websites to social posts to the way your employees describe your company — contributes to the public’s perception of your business. 

Businesses with a well-designed brand identity are easily recognizable, memorable, and ultimately more successful. A strong brand identity fosters customer loyalty and positive emotions, leading to more traction in the marketplace.   

If you aren’t strategic when planning your business’s branding strategy, then you’re missing the mark. An inconsistent branding identity won’t resonate with your target audience, won’t be memorable, and you’ll struggle to maintain traction.

Branding 101 – The Basics

Now that we’ve established why branding matters, what can you do to create a strong brand identity? How can you control perception? And how can you foster a brand that will succeed? We’ll explore all that and more, starting with Loud & Clear Marketing’s “Three C’s.”: clear, concise, and consistent.

A Brand Must Be Clear

Potential buyers of your product or service should easily understand what your company does, what needs your product or you or you serve, and who you serve. Those aspects should be understood at first glance. Potential clients should not have to work to understand what you do. Your goal is to make it as easy as possible for an audience to understand your brand identity. 

A Brand Must Be Concise

Your brand also needs to be concise. Think about the thousands of brands and advertisements you see every day. How much attention do you give each one? Research tells us we have mere seconds to grab attention. That’s why you should deliver your message as succinctly and efficiently as possible. Potential clients have short attention spans because our daily lives are flooded with branded content. So, hook your audience in immediately, and keep them coming back with concise, engaging content.

A Brand Must Be Consistent

The reason why branding consistency is so important is because it aids with recognition. Since your audience is interacting with thousands of brands a day, consistency will help them remember your business. Consistency anchors your brand identity into the consciousness of potential clients so they’ll think of you when they need you. 

The Rule of Seven tells us that it takes seven touchpoints with your brand before a potential client chooses to work with your business. Your brand should be clear, concise, and consistent across all those touchpoints. If your branding is, then your potential clients will more easily understand, remember, and trust your brand. 

The Fundamental Elements of Branding

Branding Strategy tip: tap into your audience’s emotions to leave a stronger impact. Put yourself in your client’s shoes. Which emotions prompt them to act? Which emotions do you want your brand to invoke? This technique will help you grow your client base, foster long-term, dedicated clients, and ultimately generate more revenue.

 

 

 

 

The Fundamental Elements of Branding

When you first think of the elements of branding, two components usually come to mind: logo and color. Take the Nike swoosh and Coca-Cola red, for instance. These elements are the most recognizable parts of a brand, but there are many more factors to creating brand identity.

Key Messaging

What are the key messages you’re trying to convey? Start by developing your company’s mission, vision, and value statements, as well as an elevator pitch.

A mission statement describes the overall aim of your business— it conveys who you are and what you do to both your clients and employees. What needs are you resolving? What communities are you serving?

A vision statement focuses on the future. Where does your company see itself one year, five years, or 10 years down the line? How are you hoping to achieve that growth? It also acts as a guiding force for your employees, leading them toward your desired future.

Finally, a values statement defines your core values, which form the backbone of your business. What’s important to you? What do you want to prioritize? What principles steer your company? Besides guiding your business toward success, they are also becoming increasingly important to consumers. Edelman’s Trust Barometer showed in 2022 that nearly two-thirds of consumers bought from or advocated for brands based on their values.

Every business should also be able to concisely summarize themselves in an elevator pitch. Narrow down the most important parts of your brand identity and story. Highlight your most significant aspects, such as how you differentiate yourself from competitors. Elevator pitches should be quick and easy for employees to remember, mainly because they’re concise (under 30 seconds). The goal is to have a clear, concise, and consistent statement to share when asked about your business. 

Personality 

Your brand’s personality is a reflection of all those statements above. It both informs and is informed by the words, images, colors, and content your brand produces. Similar to a person’s personality, our actions are driven by— but also define— our personality. A dating site might want to be flirty and fun. A local sports bar could be exciting, fiercely loyal, and inviting. A research firm might be serious, informative, and precise in its language. 

It can be a difficult exercise to define your brand’s personality. However, putting it on paper will help everyone responsible for communication. Defining your brand’s personality ensures consistency. If that fun and flirty dating site starts communicating in a serious and somber tone, then it will confuse clients. Being consistent with your brand identity is the key to success!

Tone

A cultivated personality goes hand in hand with another brand element: tone. The tone your company uses reflects your company’s character and personality. Once again, similar to people, personalities shine through in how we talk. The tone is essential in public-facing messaging as it deeply resonates with the reader. So, knowing your customer base is key. 

Using the example above, the sports bar probably wants to be casual and easy-going in their communications. Meanwhile, the research firm should be technical, formal, and specific. Tone can be nuanced, but the more you define it, the easier it is to maintain as part of your brand identity. Similar to brand personality, consistency earns you traction in the marketplace. To be consistent, define it and write it down so that all who communicate on your business’s behalf will be consistent in their communications. 

Visual Identity 

Visuals as a brand element work to grab attention and hook viewers in your content. Being intentional about the type of visuals your business uses will help with your overall brand and its consistency. Visuals work faster than words because our minds look for them first. Remember the “Three C’s”: clear, concise, and consistent. 

Let’s break down the visuals so it’s easier to focus on key elements. A branded color palette is a great first step in bringing your brand to life.  A consistent color palette can help your smaller graphics work together with your larger brand for a coordinated look. 

Coordinated design elements can amplify your visual identity. You could include a significant part of your logo in your branded messaging. You could also use your color palette and a design element from your logo (such as your linework style) for dedicated graphics. Charity Water’s Jerry is a great example of this. 

Well-planned sub-graphics can help your business in the long run. If you have various product lines, try to strike a balance between them all looking unique yet synonymous under your larger umbrella brand. Graphics are the key to a company’s synchronized visual identity. 

Being intentional about design will also help when collaborating with other brands. Without a clear brand identity, your business will easily be overshadowed by a better-defined brand. 

This is all to say that a clear visual identity helps gain market attention. Designing your brand can be rewarding but also complicated. We dive deeper into the art of design in our Design Tips Blog so you can easily master your visual identity. 

Branding has a lot of moving parts. None of which can exist alone. They all need to work together so your brand can thrive. Understanding why branding has these many components will help your business in the long run.

Make Your Brand Identity Easier to Reach

We’ve covered a lot of ground. So far, we’ve touched on identity, messaging, key values, and visuals. Each one can get a little complicated in its own right. Altogether, this branding help can appear overwhelming. It’s helpful to create a single space where the entire brand identity is easily available— especially for hammering out the intricacies. These can be called brand guides, style guides, or brand books. However, they all fill the same role: housing everything about your brand— from the mission statement to the typeface. These guides serve as references when creating any branded content. They don’t need to be chapters long, but the more in-depth you go, the more consistent your brand will be. Any questions someone might have when creating branded content should be answered in the guide. It might be something as small as the space surrounding your logo or something as major as the overall brand tone. Either way, establishing the rule in one place creates a clear and consistent brand. 

Branding in a Nutshell

Branding can seem daunting at first. That’s why we broke them down into guidelines, so creating a brand identity is much more achievable. To summarize, we start by identifying your brand’s key messages. Those key messages cascade into your brand’s tone and personality. That then informs your overall visual identity. Finally, to make branding easier in the long run, condense your work into a brand guide. If you need a little help creating a brand guide, check out our free Ultimate Guide to Branding eBook. It guides you step-by-step in creating or refining your brand into your own brand guide. 

Remember, use the “Three C’s” as a sounding board for each step. Clear, concise, and consistent brands gain attention, earn traction, secure customers, achieve revenue, and support your overall growth. 

Looking for More Information?

You don’t have to do this alone. We at Loud & Clear Marketing specialize in helping businesses grow and thrive. We’re experts in marketing and branding for businesses of all sizes and our #1 priority is helping you reach your business’s goals and objectives. If you’re curious about collaborating, let’s set up a free consultation. If you want to learn more about us, visit our website at loudandclear.today