What is the first thing you notice about people?
At what point during an initial introduction do you make your assessment or judgments about someone?
Is it the handshake or their general appearance?
Is it the words they speak or the way they conduct themselves?
Perhaps it is what you have heard about them from others?
Children are embarrassingly quick to judge new people. From running up and hugging a complete stranger in the store to screaming in panic when our kindly neighbour comes over for a chat, kids can make you scratch your head!
What is the first thing you notice about a business?
What do you base your initial assessment?
Like children, many people tend to make rash judgments about a business. They think a logo equals a legit business, or a snazzy business card qualifies as a professional company. Until you are trained to dig a little deeper and look at the big picture you may end up making some embarrassing mistakes.
A logo, like a pair of shoes, is just scratching the surface of your branding and marketing. A business card, website, and signage are also just pieces of an overall brand identity package.
Do you give customers a real reason to know, like, and trust you or are you basing your customer acquisition strategy on childlike trust alone? A strong Brand Identity Package will give you the ability to build long-term customer relationships backed by real respect and brand loyalty.
The first step to creating a strong brand identity is to determine what you aim to do, who you aim to serve, and why anyone should care. You need a Brand Mission that connects on the emotional level of your target audience. A clear Brand Message will create a loyal following of customers who believe specifically in you and your company.
The foundation and philosophy of Reeder Web Design is quite simple. We provide exceptional service and support creating websites and other marketing tools at an affordable price. We support that service by listening to what our client’s needs are and use our expertise to assist them in accomplishing their goals. Our performance and results are quantifiable and measurable. Response times to inquiries, general correspondence, and concerns are immediate.
I love what I do and take pride in my work. I am honest and transparent with my business dealings in an effort to build trust and loyalty with my client base while building long term business relationships. I believe in providing others with knowledge to make informed decisions themselves. When I started designing websites it was for the sole purpose of helping others and putting control back into the hands of the customer.
Exercise: Write Your “Why”
Write a simple statement that communicates why you do what you do. A clear “Why” statement will help you focus your communication efforts, target the right audience, and make a lasting impression.
After you have determined your Brand Mission and developed a better idea of your audience – now is the time to brainstorm which Brand Personality will best represent your business. Making this decision early on in your branding process will save you valuable time and resources. Much like a character in a story, determine what personality would best reflect your Brand Mission and attract the right audience.
Friends, family and clients that I have worked with would describe me as a determined hard worker who has yet to come to a challenge or obstacle that could not be overcome. My first website was created more than seven years ago and I have never looked back. Being the tenacious person I am, I tackle each new project with the same energy and determination as if it was my first. I believe in continuing education and have the benefit with each new client to expand my knowledge base and learn something new. This is one of the reasons why I love what I do.
Exercise: Write your “Essence”
Write a short list of characteristics you would like to be known for in your Brand. Having a list will help guide your communication and style sheets to give one clear identity that customers can come to recognize and encourages a response.
The final step – only after you have a clear Brand Mission and Brand Personality set in your mind should you work to develop your Brand Style. This step includes all your graphic design and communications that will represent your business in both the online and offline networks.
Do you see how often people get this backwards? They start with the surface features instead of the service features.
Even when you have a clear Brand Mission and Brand Personality, you will need to learn to guard your Brand Style diligently. Shiny-object-syndrome is so tempting to cloud your Brand Style and erase the consistency your customers need to be able to recognize your Brand. Developing a company-wide Brand Guidelines Policy will help keep different departments on point.
Exercise: Develop your “Brand Style Guide”
Spend some time pulling together the different design and communication elements you want to use consistently to represent your business.
Brand Identity Crisis
Is your Brand Strategy merely the hope that someone with childlike trust will magically run into your arms because you have a logo or a business card?
Is your Brand struggling with multiple personalities with too many conflicting styles and messages?
Stop the Identity Crisis and take the time to develop a Brand Identity Package! A clear Brand Identity Package will save you loads of time and resources in the long run and naturally attract the right type of customers.
If you are unsure what to use for a cohesive look or do not have the time to invest in this project consider hiring a Branding expert right away!
Need help? We have tools to easily prompt and guide you through the process. Contact us to get started!