Stop losing online customers! This is why Google could be hurting your business.March 17, 2023
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Your business’ brand identity can have a significant impact on your bottom line.
Your brand identity determines if customers remember your business or not, if you look professional or unprofessional, if you seem trustworthy or untrustworthy and it can also determine if you can stand out in a crowded market or even retain employees.
Branding as a whole is essential for the success of any business but to leave a lasting impression on your industry, your brand’s identity must be solid also. Want your business to be unforgettable in the minds of potential and existing customers? Then strengthen your brand identity.
Before we share with you how to do that,let's talk about what branding is and the difference between branding and brand identity.
Firstly, branding is not your logo.
A logo is a symbol that is a visual representation of your brand. It is a part of its identity, yes, but not the brand in its entirety. For example the Nike Swoosh is a part of the logo of the Nike brand and it is trademarked, but Nike is so much bigger than the Swoosh!
Branding is not your tagline.
Taglines are used to communicate the value that your brand offers to its customers while getting them to immediately think of you when they hear it or see it. Like, when you read ‘JUST DO IT.’ you know without thinking about it, that’s Nike and they’re all about empowering you to accomplish your goals, whatever they may be.
By the way this article is not sponsored by Nike but…Nike if you see this and want to reach out… Anyway, we digress.
So, what is branding?
Branding is the sum total of your business’ Purpose, Promise, Personality and Position.
In order to build a successful brand you must know and stick to your:
Purpose: Why are you in business?
Promise: What do you deliver that your competitors can’t? What makes you unique?
Personality: What are your business’ key characteristics, traits and values
Position: Where are you in the minds of your customers? What is your brand’s image in their minds?
In short branding is how your customers see and perceive your business.
Then what is brand identity?
Your brand’s identity consists of all the visual elements, personality traits and values that support your brand. Like your logo and tagline and how and when they should be displayed or used. In short it helps to communicate your brand’s personality.
In order to increase your bottom line you need a strong brand and strong brands have solid brand identities that are guided by rules and standards set by their owners. Those guidelines are often collated into a document called a brand guide.
Businesses that take the time to establish solid brand identities do more than just positively impact their bottom lines. They also positively impact their customers beyond getting them to buy more of their products. These businesses eventually build tribes that become ambassadors of their vision and mission.
Here are three things you can do to build a solid brand identity:
- Create a memorable image or visual branding
- Craft a consistent and compelling brand message
- Constantly deliver on your target’s expectations and protect your brand’s reputation
1. Create a memorable image or visual branding.
Memorable visual elements such as a logo, colour, typography and taglines helps consumers to recognize or remember a business. Keep in mind, visual branding is often the first thing that a consumer sees from your business. To leave a lasting impression on a potential buyer these should capture their attention and remain consistent across all marketing materials and platforms including your company's website, social media pages, business cards, brochures, and packaging. Here are a few things you can do to strengthen your visual branding:
- Invest in professional graphic design, photography and videography: Branding is all about how your customers perceive your business and strong visual branding, as mentioned above, is at the forefront of your brand’s perception.
- Be intentional about the use of your colours, typography and imagery: They should reflect your company's values, mission, and clearly communicate your brand’s promise, products and services to your target market.
- Create a brand guide: Outline within the guide how and when your visual elements should be used and use the guide to ensure consistency across all platforms and channels for your brand.
- Use storytelling: Create a narrative around the company and its products or services. This can help to form an emotional connection with your customers, and differentiate your brand from competitors.
- Review and update: Ensure your visual branding remains relevant and consistent with the company's mission, values, and target market.
2. Craft a consistent and compelling brand message.
A confusing or inconsistent brand message can make it hard for consumers to understand your brand's value proposition, or even worse, create a negative perception. Consistent and compelling brand messaging will ensure that your brand is understood and once again remembered by the target audience.
Once you’ve landed on your brand message then it should inform your business’ marketing efforts like campaign messaging, public relations, and social media. A compelling brand message that is led by the mission, values and principles of your business will not only inform potential customers about your mission, but it will also motivate your team, reaffirming the importance of the role they play within the business. Do these five things to strengthen your brand messaging:
- Be clear and concise with your message: Your brand message should communicate the company's values, mission, and unique selling point (USP) clearly in a way that resonates with the target market.
- Use language that connects with your target market: Ensure your message is customer focused but also compels them to take action.
- Be consistent: Your brand’s messaging must be consistent across all platforms and channels, including the company's website, social media, packaging, and advertising. This helps to create a strong and recognizable brand and brand voice.
- Be authentic;Tell your story: Create an emotional connection with customers that's authentic by telling your brand’s story through your messaging and build trust.
- Review and update: Ensure your messaging remains relevant and consistent with the company's mission, values, and focused on your target market.
3. Constantly deliver on your target’s expectations and protect your brand’s reputation.
What you say and look like must also match what you do for your customers. Brand reputation is a vital part of a brand’s identity. A great brand reputation is fostered by constantly delivering on your promise and exceeding your customers’ expectations. When brands deliver on their promise and exceed expectations they build trust, confidence and loyalty with their customers.
Customer trust and loyalty translates into sales, repeat business and ultimately tribes are built with customers working for the brand to promote the brand. Your brand cannot afford to fail at delivering on its promise communicated through its messaging and visual elements.
Failing to deliver on expectations will definitely erode trust and negatively impact brand reputation. The easiest way to break trust with your customers is promising or setting an expectation and not delivering on what you said. Strong brands with solid identities protect their reputation at all cost!
Here are a few ways that your business can exceed expectation and protect your reputation:
- Always stay on message and maintain your image: Our first two points are essential here. Use your brand guide to ensure that your messaging and visual elements are representing and communicating to your customers across all platforms and through all of your marketing materials.
- Always deliver high-quality products or services: Ensure that your product or service meets or exceeds the expectations that you set in your brand message. Continually strive to improve the quality of your product or service, and stay up-to-date on industry standards and trends to remain competitive.
- Always provide exceptional customer service: Be attentive to your customers' needs. Respond to inquiries promptly, and go above and beyond to resolve any issues or concerns that they may have.
- Always leverage customer feedback: Use customer feedback to continually improve your product or service, and to refine your brand message. Solicit feedback through surveys, social media, or other channels, and make adjustments based on what you learn.
Building a solid brand identity takes time
It is important to know that what we’ve outlined above is an ongoing process and not just a one-time task to check off of a list. Building a strong brand and brand identity takes time and requires both effort and patience.
Think of your brand as if it were a person.
As individuals we all have personality traits, characteristics and values. We all carry a tone of voice and have a sense of style and a way that we like to present ourselves.
Brands or businesses are the same. When you develop a solid brand identity, all you are really doing is telling the world what your business’ values are, what is its style, how it sounds and what it offers.
However, just as an individual must first get to know themselves before being able to accurately communicate who they are. It’s the same with your brand. You must first get to know your brand before you can accurately communicate to its target audience and this can take time.
Invest time, money and effort into creating a strong, memorable and consistent brand that resonates with your target audience. Poor brand identity can have detrimental effects on a business' bottom line. Invest in developing a strong and effective branding strategy that will help to create a memorable and recognizable brand image in the minds of customers, differentiate your brand from its competitors, drive sales and revenue and maximize customer loyalty. Below are a few action items you can use to begin building a solid brand identity.
- Work with a good copywriter: To help you craft a message that will connect with your audience and represent your business.
- Work with a designer: One that understands brand identity and can help you to communicate your brand message visually. (Remember you're not looking for just a logo, you need a visual identity)
- Identify the core needs of your customers: Focus on building your product/service to be strong in those areas. Actively getting great customer feedback, helps to pour fuel to this fire. Additionally, identifying a niche that you are great at delivering value to become more focused on, increases your efficiency and effectiveness on becoming the best at your service
If you need help with your brand identity drop us your information and lets get a conversation going- (Click Here to get Started)
Our mission is to help businesses leave a lasting impression on their customers using web and brand design.
Also let us know if this article was helpful to you and what would you like us to write about next. Looking forward to hearing from you soon!
About the authors:
Nicholas Roach - Team Lead C7 Caribbean.
Nicholas has been helping businesses elevate and revolutionize their digital game for the past nine years as the team lead at C7 Caribbean, a web and brand design agency based in Trinidad and Tobago. As team lead, Nicholas gets the party started with clients and keeps the C7 team motivated for the mission. He loves asking questions and finding answers so, you better be ready to have a pretty interesting conversation when you meet him.
Kendon Preddie - Content Writer | Copywriter | Founder of M 19.26 Productions
Kendon is always focused on one thing: Helping brands influence people. Founder of M 19.26 Productions, a content creation company based in Trinidad and Tobago, Kendon is also a proud member of the C7 team. He works with businesses to plan, write and produce content for digital platforms, traditional media and events, helping them to make their mission possible. Kendon loves ideating, so brainstorming is definitely in the forecast when you meet him.