The ever-important first impression: effortlessly obtained and difficult to change. That is why it is so important that your brand speaks strongly to your audience. Whether it is a business card handed to a referral, or a website being explored, your collateral could be the first impression a potential client may have of you. It needs to express the personality of your company quickly and efficiently. How is brand building accomplished? First let’s look at what branding actually is and why you would want to achieve it.
Branding is a basic marketing concept that is intended to set your products/services apart from your competition. By using combinations of names, phrases, designs, and symbols, you can create a unique identity. Branding, done correctly, reflects corporate culture and ideals. Brand is also an emotional link between you and your customer. It is what people perceivably buy when they buy your product or your company.
The author J.G. Gallimore once wrote, “Image creates desire”. If your branding efforts are consistent and well planned, you will be creating and nourishing a desire. Gallimore goes on to say “You will what you imagine.” The audience’s natural reaction is to obtain what they desire.
To build a brand, there needs to be total consistency, congruity, clarity and focus in every aspect of your marketing program. The following are three important points to concentrate on while endeavoring to build your brand.
|1.||Consistency and repetition is vital in creating brand awareness. People buy brands they know and they trust. A brand is a promise that companies make to their customers. Strong branding requires all the levels of communication to agree with one another.|
|2.||Ensure all your marketing and promotions are consistent and that they have your logo, colors, typeface, slogans and characters. Everything you develop should have the same look and feel.|
|3.||Peoples' perception about your company, products, and services is a major factor in their choice of brand preferences and their buying behavior. All perception is subjective and based on experience. Individuals tend to interpret information according to existing beliefs, attitudes, needs and mood.|
Branding is a process, and if it is not intentionally initiated in the beginning of a business’s development, it is difficult to go back and change all the collateral simultaneously. The important thing to do in this situation is to just begin. Start with your vision and follow through, one item at a time, as the collateral is needed. This will eventually produce the desired consistency.
Branding is a business system that fuels and sustains all customer/company relationships. Total uniformity, harmony, and clarity in every aspect of your marketing is essential. Keeping a strong focus on what your company is reflecting at all times will ultimately have rich rewards.
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Evans Wheeler is the principal of Inreason Media, a design firm specializing in corporate identity development and implementation.