It doesn’t really matter what your business is, branding is the cornerstone. You can be successful in a corporate role at a Fortune 500 company or making fair trade friendship bracelets from locally sourced beads, either way your brand matters. This is perhaps one of the most important principles to embrace when it comes to marketing. You must consider it with every decision you make. Wrapped up within your brand is your story. - That DNA that makes up your marketability as an individual or business. Mess it up and, while you may never know it, you will suffer missed opportunities or lesser success. Get it right, and doors will open that you never imagined you could ever walk through.
Today, I’m going to focus on three compelling reasons you need consider evaluating your brand and ensuring its consistency across your marketing platforms.
This is probably the simplest example of the power of a brand. We, as consumers, are programmed to recognize symbols. Whether that symbol is an apple missing a bite, a simple swoosh sign, or a mermaid with a crown, we immediately recognize it and respond appropriately.
Why wouldn’t you want to harness the power of brand recognition for yourself and your business?
Taking the time to think about your target market and develop a strategy and brand identity could potentially change everything for you. I will be writing more about defining your target market and how to create a brand image, but you can get started today by evaluating your ideal customer. Define their age, gender, culture, income level, housing, geographic location, family size, their favorite restaurants, clothing stores, etc., and develop your brand in a manner that is aligned with goods and services they purchase.
By creating a brand identity that is unique and in alignment with your target market, you will more quickly be able to establish a recognizable presence as you market to them. That’s the ultimate goal - having a brand that is first in their mind when they need whatever it is that you offer.
Building an identity that you present to your potential clients provides consistency. Your logo, font usage, signatures, color schemes, and design should work together to form your brand. As you go through your daily life, those elements will build upon each other and reinforce who you are as a company or professional. This consistency in approach inspires confidence in your clients. Through it you can weave your story into every aspect of your website design, content creation, and social media. It gives your clients and followers a sense of familiarity and makes your brand more personable. All of these elements are vital to growing a customer base and professional network.
Similar to the blurb about consistency, professionalism is a byproduct of branding. It takes time and commitment to ensure that your content, photos, and social media posts are branded properly. Whether that means having to delay a post a bit due to not having brand consistent images, missing a logo or watermark on a photo or design, or any of the thousands of other details that you must pay attention to. By intentionally engaging in your branding, you are shouting to the world that you care. You aren’t just another of millions of moms or dads with a DLSR or another self-taught designer with no experience or education. Every industry is inundated with people trying to "make it." The vast majority of these individuals are lacking the talent, work ethic, or business sense necessary to be successful. However, the sheer number of them can be overwhelming to consumers and it is important that you differentiate yourself from the masses. Work hard at it! Stand out!
Committing to your brand shows that you are taking yourself and your business seriously, and you expect others to do the same. Anyone can buy a cheap camera, build a free website, and start charging for a CD of photos, but the person that takes the time to nail down their target market, build a consistent image, develop a solid logo (and use it EVERYWHERE!), and create strong content in the form of images, writing, and video (yes, even as an individual looking simply looking for their next job) is much further ahead of the game. Stick with it, provide excellent products and service, and the business, clients, or jobs will follow.
What other branding benefits keep you focused and committed to maintaining your brand?