Branding 101: The Importance of Aligning Your Brand

A general search on the internet of private lenders in the state of California brings up over 5 pages of company names that are all vying for your attention in this niche market. What distinguishes one from the rest of the competition? Is it company name? A unique logo? An experience? A customer or client review? A well-designed website? Heavy social media presence? The answer is all of the above, which can be universally labeled as your company’s branding. People want to do business with a company they are familiar with, that they connect with, and that they can relate to – all of which can be achieved through aligning your brand.

Brand Strategy

A strong brand does not become established on its own. Branding requires a marketing strategy that is well thought out, authentic, and consistent across all channels, websites, emails, and so forth. To create a memorable brand, you must provide a positive, emotional experience to your target audience consistently. The more you can establish rapport with your clients through your specific brand strategy, the more people will trust you, return to your business, refer your business to others, and create loyalty within your industry. The perception of your brand’s attributes cultivates the emotional connection that is vital to its survival.

So, where do you start? A brand strategy’s blueprint consists of three key elements: the brand heart, brand voice, and the brand identity. Once you can identify these elements, you can focus on building your brand.

Brand Heart

When examining the heart of your brand, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What purpose does your business serve?
  • What is at the core of what you do and why you do it?
  • What are your future goals? How are you going to achieve them?

When you can answer these questions honestly, you’ll have the brand heart laid out right before you. These are your core beliefs and should be presented in each facet of your business to create brand consistency and trustworthiness amongst your audience.

Brand Voice

Your brand heart is extremely influential in finding the second key point of building your brand: your brand voice. Your brand voice is the “Just Do It” to Nike’s brand. The voice’s framework includes the following:

  • Unique Tagline
  • #Hashtags (specific to your target audience or specific market)
  • Messaging/content
  • Pillars
  • Tone of voice
  • Sales pitch
  • Goals
  • Values

Your brand voice should be consistent in every piece of content you create. To create a ‘voice’ you must consider your specific angle, your customers’ angle, and your competitors’ angle. This all aids in helping you create a consistent, authentic, recognizable brand for your audience.

Brand Identity

Communicating your voice effectively can affect people’s initial perceptions of your brand and is the basis of your brand identity. Brands are more than their basic identity, and they are most commonly associated with a visual element at first glance, such as a logo, colors, or imagery. How your logo looks and what emotions it immediately evokes in someone is typically your audience’s first impression of your brand. You may not always use your tagline in your content, but your logo, the colors, the typography, imagery, photography, website, social media content, and video content all generate a memorable reference to your brand that continues to shape, grow, and add to the brand identity as a whole. All three of these brand elements are necessary in creating a complete brand image that will lead you to success within your industry.

Now that you have identified the brand elements of heart, voice, and identity, you may ask – How do you create brand awareness and brand loyalty to ensure longevity within your industry? With over 2.1 billion people with social accounts, today’s social media platforms are the frontrunner for building a brand in our modern, technology-influenced society. Therefore, you should use those channels to your advantage when it comes to brand awareness.

Your brand strategy does not stop once you have created these three key elements. Once you have established your brand, how you promote and advertise your brand should align with your vision. This is essential to keep in mind when looking to expand and grow your brand either organically or through a media service.

Tell Your Story

In addition to the key elements of creating a brand comes the act of storytelling. Compelling storytelling in your branding demands attention, calling all who are experiencing your brand to buy in, and take a step further to invest in what you are doing. A strong message, an intense photograph or image, or a bold color and/or design will resonate with your intended audience as long as the messaging and branding is authentic and consistent. The intended message for your brand will have people coming back for more through sharing, liking, commenting, and garnishing the brand awareness.

The Power of Social Media Platforms

You must be specific and intentional when deciding which social media platforms to use in order to tell your story thoughtfully. Knowing your target audience plays an important role in where your brand should be concentrated. As a media firm vested in the private lending industry, we have found  more success on LinkedIn and Instagram, over alternative social platforms like Pinterest or Twitter. We have seen firsthand that when you incorporate your brand heart, voice, and identity genuinely across your brand and platforms, it will entice users to engage and take the conversation a step further, with the hopes of creating a new connection within your specific industry.

Whether you are starting your brand from scratch, or contemplating a rebrand that encompasses these elements, branding starts with a clear vision that can be implemented into every aspect of your business and provides a customer experience worth remembering. From the staff on your team, to the graphic elements found on your website, to your social media presence, it is most important that your brand tells your story.

If you need help achieving your brand goals, establishing a new brand purpose, and/or creating a social media presence that is authentic to your company as a whole, contact us today to see how we can partner together to successfully communicate who you are, and what you have to offer to your audience and industry!