Branding 101: What is Branding and Where Do I Start?

There is a psychology to creating brand awareness that, when executed correctly, will gain your brand loyalty and relatability. But, where do you begin? Establish the heart of your brand first. Determine what it is you stand for, what problems you are solving for consumers, and explain how you accomplish that through creative storytelling across all mediums. Create a plan that allows you to stick to your messaging, and then communicate it through all channels authentically. This authenticity will aid in building trust and creating a relatable brand identity.

Create an Image That Resonates

Creating content and digital assets for your online platforms can seem easy, but if it doesn’t align with your brand’s message, it can cause confusion and distract from the story you’re attempting to tell. Don’t let consumers second-guess what your brand is about. When your brand is consistent, authentic, and reliable, it can positively impact your company’s mission and bottom line.

The Value Appeal

Statistics show consumers buy from brands that share their values. If your brand doesn’t offer value outside of a product, it’s as good as dead in the water.

If you’re familiar with the Toms brand, you know their mission is that for every pair of shoes bought, a pair of shoes is donated to a child in need. Their brand takes on a big-picture approach, and their success shows consumers connect to this positively. If Toms decided they were changing their mission and not donating a pair of shoes because it was too expensive to do so, do you think their brand would have lasted this long? Not likely. It doesn’t matter if the shoes are cute or comfortable; when you buy a pair of Toms, you know the charitable donation comes with your shoes, which makes your purchase feel more meaningful than a typical purchase. Taking that out of the equation would completely change the appeal of the brand.

How Colors Can Help Your Brand

Consumers not only relate to your brand purpose and value proposition, but they also associate colors and imagery with your brand. If you think about any well-known brands that you are loyal to, you can likely picture their logo and brand colors. Lyft, for example, created a memorable color association when they started with a giant, fuzzy pink mustache in their driver’s grill to differentiate from other vehicles. As they grew, they realized that the giant mustache may not be the best ‘look’ when pulling up to a formal event or business meeting. They stuck with the pink in their logo to remain consistent, but now, riders expect to see a bright indicator light in the window of the driver’s car that distinguishes it from a yellow cab, Uber driver, or general traffic. This is an example of how colors and branding make a difference when setting your company apart, but how you may still need to re-evaluate and make changes as your company grows.

Another reason that brand colors are important is for easy recognizability and brand consistency. You want to ensure that your social media pages, email campaigns, and website pages are all aligned with the same colors, fonts, and styles. The color consistency and design will become easily recognizable to your target audience and will convey your brand message to them upon seeing your branding.

Know Your Audience

Online purchasing decisions are regularly made based on the content on your social media platforms. The posts, photos, videos, blogs, articles, Tweets, announcements, advertisements, and information can be easily spread if it’s accumulating engagement from the audience. But if you’re not seeing the likes, shares, comments or clicks, your brand’s message isn’t resonating.

LinkedIn has become the preferred social media site for business enrichment. This platform is ideal for professionals and job seekers and has become an effective marketing tool due to its authenticity and user engagement. Knowing your audience and understanding what their preferred platforms are will help keep your brand consistent.

Numbers indicate it takes 5-7 impressions for someone to remember your brand. Posting quality, relevant content regularly on your preferred social media platforms is important to draw users in. After a while, they will expect to see something new every day, and follow your page. The bonus is, if it appeals to them and causes them to engage with your page, this engagement can be used to help build lookalike and target audiences. This is why it is very important to have brand consistency on your channels, and to make sure you are promoting, posting, and engaging on the correct platform and the appropriate audience. Knowing your audience will allow you to put out the most relevant content and therefore grow your loyal following.

Don’t Sell; Tell Your Story

The final thing to remember when building your brand is to focus on telling your story, rather than just sell to your audience. Consumers are looking for an emotional connection to a brand, whether they get it from the colors, design, images, or content. If your feed is full of self-promotion, users are less likely to connect with your messaging and purpose, and your followers and engagement will drop. Keeping your feed consistent and telling the story that captures your audience will have your audience coming back for more, sharing your content, and referring you to their friends and followers.

Brands that present themselves consistently across the board on average see a 33% growth in revenue, per Lucidpress. Brand consistency is all about trust. People do business with the companies that they know, like, trust, and believe in. To establish a trustworthy brand, consumers have to personally relate to your brand’s heart, voice, and identity in order to know if it is something that they want to invest time in. Your audience needs to recognize and remember your brand through your consistent messaging and authenticity.

If you’re struggling to establish a consistent brand, or would like more information on any of the points we discussed, contact us today to see how we can partner to take your brand to the next level.