With ‘brand’ being the ultimate buzzword and every man and his dog wanting to stand out in the marketplace, you may be seeing a lot of this popping up from designers: “your logo is not your brand”.
However, what a lot of people aren’t discussing, is what IS a brand and what is involved in creating a memorable brand?
Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon, hit the nail on the head when he said this:
“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
Your brand is your customer’s overall experience of your business. It’s clarity, consistency and experience combined with a standout visual design that communicates who you are. Your brand should be echoed across all your customer touchpoints including, but not exclusively:
- Shopfront fit-out and signage
- Print, packaging and marketing collateral
- Website presence & online advertising
- Social media platforms
- Sales & customer experience
So, to be clear, your brand is not your logo. Your brand certainly needs to be represented visually with amazing and recognisable logo design, but you want your business to be so much more than that.
Some of the top business mentors and businesses owners in the world agree that without a great business plan, and a great brand, your business will struggle to get off the ground.
So, how do we develop a brand and what steps are involved? We’ve listed our step-by-step development below to help you get started:
Research is key to a successful business. The top three things you MUST research before launching any business are:
Is there a demand for your product or service? Sure, your mum might think that your idea is great, but your friends and family are generally not your target market. Go out and ask people about your idea. Talk to your barista or hairdresser, put a comment in a community board. Ask as many different demographics as you can! You’re the only person who makes your product/services different, so don’t be afraid of others ‘stealing your idea’ when you talk about it. Discussing it with people outside of your circle will help you determine if it’s something people are going to fork money out for.
- Industry Trends
This step is not about finding businesses to imitate, but to understand what trends (successful or not) are prevalent within your industry. Look at what makes your brand stand out from the masses. This process is to define how you can have a distinctive voice that sets you apart from your competitors.
- Price Point
If you’ve researched the above two points and are still powering on with your epic business idea, you need to dive into the dollars and cents. Is your product/service affordable to the masses or is it more exclusive? Not only does this help with how you will communicate your brand, but you also need to know if people will be willing to pay the price you’re asking for to cover your costs and, most importantly, make money.
2. Target Audience.
Determining your target audience is one of the keys to the starting points of any brand. There’s no point in selling ice to Eskimos (no matter what the best salesperson tells you!) You need to discover who you want to buy your product and dig deep into their psyche. Of course, there are the generic demographics:
But you need to go deeper! Who are they, really? Do they have a family and what does that family look like? What are their personal and professional goals? Do they drink? Are they vegan? Do they have pets? The small details matter. Have fun with it and get into the mind of who you want interacting with your business. By determining the right audience, you can support your overall brand and marketing strategy. It’s important to know who you’re talking to, so you can figure out how to attract them to your business.
3. Brand Voice.
Your brand voice is how you communicate with your customers and, just as importantly how you want your customers to respond to you. Your brand voice is something that shouldn’t be dismissed. Let’s think about your ideal client. A younger market in their 20s or 30s don’t mind a more casual tone with a bit of tongue-in-cheek, whereas a larger corporation may require a more no-nonsense, technical tone of voice. Getting to know your target audience will help you determine how your brand is going to sound when talking to your clients.
4. Brand Aesthetic
Let’s reiterate what we said above; your brand is not your logo. However, when people say the word ‘brand/branding’, a logo is generally your first thought. Your logo is arguably one of the most visually important and exciting elements of your brand. Your logo appears on everything and will be the means in which the outside world identifies your business. The actual design element of developing a brand doesn’t just include your logo but multiple elements such as colour, typography and fonts, iconography, illustration, photography, imagery, styling and layout. The design needs to represent your business and communicate to your target audience. Good design takes a lot of thought, a lot of pen to paper and should not be rushed. Make sure that any designer you engage to develop the aesthetics of your brand understands the who, what and why of your business before diving into design. A logo without a brand is like a house without foundations. It can look beautiful from the outside but will crumble at the slightest tremor.
5. Echo Effect.
Congrats, you’re nearly there! You’ve built the foundations of your brand and now have a kick-ass aesthetic to go with it. Now you need to roll out everything you’ve developed and echo this across all aspects of your business. This means from your marketing and socials through to your staff training and even how you answer the phone. Your brand is all-encompassing. Whenever a client deals with you, they are going to walk away with a feeling about your business. That feeling, our dear friends, is your brand. Make sure it’s a good feeling and you’re on the path to business success.
If you’re ready to get cracking, but it all just seems too daunting, we’re here to help. As your creative partners, The Good Studio is ready to bring your epic brand to life!