Creating a brand for your business is often misunderstood. The first thing people naturally think of when it comes to creating a brand for their business is a logo. I’m here to tell you taht your brand is so much more than just a logo!
Don’t worry I’m not going to just say that super vague statement and leave you hanging and not give you the answer of what a brand really is! If you’ve been following along with Viim for the last several years you know that’s just not our style!
First Off, Let Me Tell You What Your Brand Is Not
A brand is not simply a logo, colors, fonts, photography, videography, messaging, personality, language that you speak, your core values… I’m here to tell you it’s all of the above and so much more!
In short, your brand is the summary in both visual and messaging of the perception consumers, or your community, has about your business. It is the perception of what you do, how you do it, and even why. What creating a brand for your company does for you is help YOU control that perception.
Do You Really Need a Brand?
Now before we go any further, this is the moment that I tell you if you don’t have a brand (or if you think you don’t have a brand), you sure do have a perception. When companies don’t solidify or take control of their own branding, their community creates one for them. Is that always good? Is that always bad?
Just like if we go back to high school days, bear with me – I know this might bring up some traumatic moments for you! But if we go back to any moment in time where others are making judgments or determining what they think we are or aren’t – that doesn’t feel good, right?
This is the same mentality that thriving businesses keep in mind when they put anything about their company out into the world. Just so you know, we call that ‘marketing’. This is a really good segue into what the difference is between branding and marketing. Because I probably just confused you a little bit maybe, huh? Don’t worry I got you.
Branding vs. Marketing
Branding, as mentioned above, is the summary of what you do, how you do it, and why. This is conveyed through all of your brand elements. There are 3 major objectives of branding (that aren’t marketing).
- to influence
- to establish an identity
- to instill loyalty
Your marketing is the vehicle that you use to get your brand in front of your potential consumers and community.
I will go into this deeper in another post. What I mean by ‘vehicles,’ are what other companies might call marketing channels, or marketing verticals. For example some really common marketing vehicles at the moment are:
- social media
- email marketing
- website and search engine optimization
- print marketing
- radio and TV advertising
- paid digital ads, etc.
Let’s Get to It: How to Create a Brand
Now that we flushed out what a brand is and isn’t and where your brand will be used, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of how you go about creating one.
First of all, don’t think that I’m here to tell you that my way is the absolute way to create a brand. There are 1000 ways to skin a cat, (why is that an expression? Gross!) But you get what I’m saying.
How we at Viim help businesses create a brand starts the same way, every time. We start all of our clients; whether we’re working with you on a one-to-one level or you’re using some of our self-guided tools to discover your brand on your own.
We start everyone with our brand identity discovery exercises. Typically these exercises take the better part of a full day or more. These exercises help to:
- flush out your key elements of your business
- identify what matters most to you, and find them as core values
- pinpoint exactly who our customer is, and who they are not
- attract, as well as repel, the right or wrong audience
- flush out what is competition for our brand and who exactly that is for us
- identify and flush out the personality of your brand
These are the elements that we use to develop the visuals and the messaging of your brand.
Need Some Help Taking the First Steps?
If you’re anything like me, a step-by-step guide would be helpful. Don’t worry I got you there too! Below are some links that can get you started right away, and better yet – the exact workbook that I use with my 1-to-1 clients!
I also know that a little bit of help along the way or even some accountability to get me there is helpful too. So feel free to book some time with me after you complete your Brand Identity Self-Discovery workbook and exercises and we can discuss any questions you might have and how to take it to the next step!