Branding 101: Don’t Neglect the Importance of Branding
I’m sure you’ve all heard of branding, but do you know exactly what this ‘buzz word’ means? Let’s set the record straight. Branding is much more than your logo. Your logo is certainly part of your branding, but a lot of other things go into creating a recognizable brand.
Branding is as important to a small business as it is to a big business. Perhaps even more important because small business don’t have the same amount of money to invest in their branding efforts and consequently need to make sure that their branding is really effective to carve out their spot in the marketplace.
Did you know something as seemingly insignificant as the font you use in your logo should be considered an important part of your branding ? Consider this. There are a ‘gazillion’ different fonts. Some are quite whimsical, while others are more serious. Many have a modern edge and there are an equal number that have a classic feel to them. If you have business that is on the more serious side, a whimsical font is not going to represent your business well. I chose a font for our etsy shop, Bates Mercantile Co. that had a more vintage feel, rather than modern because we carry a variety of goods like an old fashioned mercantile…..from art prints to vintage.
I added some modern touches, like color to signify the fact that some of our things have a more current edge to them.
It may seem barely worth thinking about but, even something like font choice can have a big impact on how people view your business. There are many things beyond fonts that go into building a brand……….how you answer the phone, the signature on your emails, your packaging, your marketing materials, and even the style of your product photos (I almost immediately know I’m looking at something from Irit’s shop, MesuhMaSH when I see her products on etsy- see below). Branding is like a book with many of chapters. It’s up to you to make sure that together, they’re telling a story, and more importantly, a story people will remember.
My friend Kath’s restaurant, Blue Moon Evolution is a good example of branding being more than a logo, and that it should tell a story. When you go to her restaurant, you know you’re going to get fresh, delicious, organic, local food. On the menu, the meal descriptions include the names of the farms that raised or grew the ingredients that make up a meal. Why is this important? Because it’s all part of Blue Moon Evolution’s effort to brand themselves as a restaurant that is focused on supporting local farmers, offering natural foods that are made from ingredients free of pesticides, and engaging the community in respect for the earth by choosing food that honors the earth and themselves. When you sit down to your table, you’ll also find fresh flowers, earth tones and a simple stone on your napkin. These are all small parts of branding the branding puzzle that tell Blue Moon Evolution’s story of honoring the Earth.
Keep all of this in mind and think of branding as an outward expression of your business to the world. It needs to reflect what your business is while taking into account a host of things like: your mission statement, your unique selling proposition, your unique product benefit, your service or product, who you are as a business owner, your target market, how you want to grow as a business, what you want to be known for….the list goes on.
Obviously, your brand says a lot about you and your business. So give it some thought. No, nix that. Give it a lot of thought. Because when you decide on a plan of attack for your branding you want to stick with it. Why? Because if you don’t, a lot of the effort and money you’ve spent on branding your product or service will be for naught. All of the recognition you've built up with your target market and customers will have to be rebuilt. Have there been successful company re-branding efforts? Sure there has. However, you want to focus on growing your business at this stage of the game, not on facing the challenges of rebranding.
Do your business branding efforts reflect your business the way you want them to? Have you given any thought to all of the pieces that can make up an effective branding effort? Does your branding tell your story? If yes, how? If not, where can you improve your branding?
Now, talk amongst yourselves…………………I love reading what you all have to say on Work It Wednesday!
Enjoy the day. It's simply beautiful here.