So, you’ve written your business plan, opened your business bank account, decided on a business name, you may even have a logo or an idea of the one you’d like to develop. But a brand is far, far more than just a logo. Consider your brand as a person, the face of your business and the first thing people will see when they engage with you. Broken down, a brand comprises of many factors, all of which are crucial to ensuring the identity of your business not only looks fantastic but also fits in line with your offering and most importantly, speaks to your target audience.
Know your target market
The most crucial part of planning your brand and the foundations for your entire marketing strategy. Defining your customer personas ahead of working on any branding or marketing exercise will pay dividends for women in business.
Start by defining your customer personas and creating a picture of the people that you already do business with, or that you’d like to, by thinking about the following:
• Background - job, career path, family situation
• Demographic - gender, age, income
• Identifiers - demeanours and communication preferences
• Goals - primary and secondary, what are they trying to achieve in their business?
• Challenges - what are they?
• What can we do? - How can your business help your target customer to overcome their challenges?
• Marketing message - how would you describe your solution to your personas?
Your business is likely to have more than one persona, but chalking them out will mean that you can carefully craft your brand and marketing message to suit their needs and speak to them in a way that resonates, for example targetting mums in business.
Think about your brand values, personality and tone of voice
How do you want your ideal customer to perceive you? What does your business stand for, and how do your values set you apart from others? Your brand values can be made up of a series of objectives that best describe these notions, write an explanation of each and why they best represent your brand. Brainstorm your ideas and think about what they mean for you and your business and use them to guide any design work or messaging within your marketing.
When considering your brand personality and voice, think about how your business would sound if it were a person; would they be fun and excitable? Or serious and knowledgeable? Once you’ve set the tone for your brand, make sure that your voice is consistent across your web, social channels, and wherever else you’re producing content for your business.
Refine your Customer Value Proposition
A customer value proposition (CVP) should clearly state the value of your product or service and how this can directly help and affect your customer. Getting this message right is vital, and once you do, you can use this to great effect, by adding it to your website homepage, using different versions in your marketing message and pitching your CVP to prospects or when you’re out networking.
Your CVP should:
• Establish the key benefits your product or service offers
• Detail what makes these benefits valuable to your customer
• Pinpoint your customer’s main problem
• Attach this value to your customer’s problem
• Positively differentiate yourself as the preferred provider of this value over your competitors
Visual identity and messaging
Having completed the steps above, you should now be in a prime position to think about the fun part; creating your brand identity and visualizing how it will look.
Bearing in mind your customer, tone of voice and CVP, your branding should tie in with all of these factors to be relevant, and should be broken down into the following:
Now these elements are established your brand is starting to come to life. Decide on a consistent design feel that looks professional and stylish, but crucially represents your business well and resonates with your target market (e.g. mothers in business).
Produce a set of brand guidelines
Documenting all of the components that make up your brand will allow you to remain consistent in your marketing efforts. Your guidelines should detail and confirm all of the items above, and advise on how, when and where to use your logo, imagery and messaging.
It’s worth spending the time to pull this information together. It will act as a great resource internally, and if you have other outside suppliers working on any design or marketing for you, you can pass this on to them to give direction and ensure brand consistency.
Your brand is undoubtedly the most critical and fundamental part of your businesses marketing strategy. Spending time to get this element right will make sure that your business is represented well and speaks professionally on your behalf! If you'd like some assistance with your branding and are looking to talk to a professional design team, take a look at 3twelve.co.uk; the Our Work section features some of our favourite branding projects we've worked on! Like what you see? Please do get in touch with us on 07725 655 240 or email email@example.com
By, Sophie Walton, Owner of specialist brand and social media agency 3twelve
Sophie has worked in the marketing and advertising industry for over 13 years, working at several of the Midlands leading agencies before launching her own, 3twelve, in November 2016. Sophie has also recently launched a second business of which she is a Director, an out of home advertising agency, Plainsight Media. She possesses a passion for all things design and marketing and holds particular experience in branding and marketing project management for a range of businesses and sectors. Sophie is also a very proud mum to her 4-year-old boy Jude and wife to Chris, operating her companies from home alongside caring for her family.
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