by Manny Torres
Join him on Twitter at @TorresCreative
Join Rock My Image on Twitter @RockMyImageJax
Brand is word that is thrown around a lot and for good reason. Most people think of a Brand simply as a logo, but it consists of much more. Think of a Brand as an iceberg, the logo would be just the tip that you see above water. There are a lot of things “under the water” that build your brand and make up the full mass of what your business is.
With the accessibility and usability of technology today, being heard above and beyond the noise can be challenging. You need a bold brand to stand out from the noise and resonate with your ideal audience. To be successful, you can no longer just do what everyone else is doing or what you have always done.
Follow these tips to build a bold brand.
The key to creating a bold Brand is a bold Vision. Your Vision explains why you are in business, what you are doing, and your vision of where you are going. These are the things that need to be determined in the very beginning. Your Vision builds the foundation on which everything else will be built upon. Having a BOLD Vision provides a common thread to pull everyone together while providing a picture of the future that pushes you to reach new levels of success.
A great Vision Statement allows you to connect with your audience and differentiate yourself from your competition. If you define and share your Vision of where your business is going, your employees and potential customers can rally behind it. Really push yourself to set a BOLD Vision for your future.
Part of creating your Vision is defining your Values. Defining your Values helps you and your employees decide which decisions you make moving forward. Decisions can range from which vendors you decide to use to what clients you take on to what marketing or advertising you invest in.
Creating a Values Checklist to use when making business decisions is a great way to make sure your decisions are in sync with your Vision. Another way to use your Values is when hiring key people for your organization. One of the biggest ways businesses lose money is by having a high employee turnover. Ensuring new employees are in alignment with your Values and understand your Vision will keep turnover low.
If you haven’t yet defined your Vision or your Values, take some time to do both of these important tasks.
Defined Brand Guideline
When working to define your Brand, you will use your Values and your Bold Vision to guide in the development of the Voice, Tone, Look, and Feel of your business. If you don’t have your Brand Guidelines defined, it can create a lot of confusion. For example, neither vendors or internal employees will know what specifications they need to follow.
A great tool to use to help define your brand is Frontify. They have a free service as well as a paid variations that you can share with vendors and key employees. Frontify makes the process easy.
Pro Tip: Make sure to share your Brand Guideline with everybody so they are on the same page. If you create it & don’t share it, it doesn’t work.
To have a brand that really ROCKS, you have to have consistency. When you think of large, impressive brands such as Apple or Target, they are very consistent in their message and imagery. The pinnacle of being a great brand is that someone can identify your brand without ever seeing the logo. For example, if you’ve ever been watching a commercial and just by hearing the music you already know which company it is- that is a key indicator of a great brand. Super Bowl commercials are a great way to see consistent branding in action. Pay attention to the consistency of the commercials of these large brands. Look for what kind of music they play, what does the scenery look like, what words or verbiage do they use- all of these things are carefully chosen to align with their brand. These are all of the things that you also need to think about when you are doing everything from hiring new employees to decorating your office to investing in marketing or advertising.
Branding Boost Tip: If you are curious if your brand is consistent- go on Pinterest & make a wall with images you have used on line. Step back to see if there is consistency across the board. Colors, messaging and so forth.
The reason why this is important is the less consistency you have, the more you lose credibility and trust factor with your audience.
In closing, build your brand and make up the full mass of what your business is, ensure you have well defined Values & BOLD Vision and use them to define your Brand Guidelines. Use these tools to guide your decision making and direction.