Branding: How to Avoid Dead-Ends on the Roadmap

Branding? But I already have a logo!

What is Branding and why is it so important? By definition, branding is a practice where a company creates a name, symbol or design that is recognizable and makes the brand stand out. The reason for its importance? It can possibly change how people see your brand and bring in new business. That’s why it’s key to make sure that your branding matches your company’s vision. Doing this will not only help you stand out from your competitors but will help your company be easily recognizable and help potential customers understand what your company is about. Below is a roadmap of items you should be following when it comes to understanding and defining your company’s brand.

What is your Brand’s Vision?

This is the idea behind your brand. It differentiates you from your competitors, gives customers a way to relate to your company, and supports your plans for the business. It’s important to determine what you want to accomplish with your brand and make steps to accomplish it. That is what a brand vision is. Once you have an understanding of it, it should push you forward and be a force behind your work, your company and a leading part in how you handle your company. A good way to determine what your brand’s vision is, is to sit down and think about the core values of your company. They will help you find your “core vision elements”, or the main components of your brand’s vision. Anything else can be classified as “extended vision elements”,  and that’s exactly what they are. These extended elements are a better way of understanding your core elements.

What’s Your Mission Statement?

What is your company about? What is the reason you get out of bed every day? The answer to these will become your mission statement. Essentially it gives prospects and customers an idea of what your company is most passionate about and why your company exists. This statement should be reflected in all of your branding from your logo to your brand’s voice. Which brings us to our next point-

What Should Your Brand’s Message Be?

Your brand’s message plays a big part in how you communicate with your prospective customers or clients. It should clearly define who you are, what you offer and why people should care. It gives you a chance to communicate with customers at a human level and shows prospective clients why your company is different. With this message your should be addressing why your product is important to your customers, not just what it does.

What is Your Brand’s Voice like?

One of the most important aspects of a brand is its voice. How you communicate with your customers and interact with them leaves a big impact. That’s why it’s good to know HOW you want to do this. Is your brand focused on providing services in a professional manner? Do you want your company to be known as the friendly group that likes to joke around? These are just a few examples of a brand voice. When it comes to figuring this out you’ll want to make sure that further interactions, social media posts, and even how your employees interact with clients mirrors this voice. A good example of this would be the brand voice for AP Technology. We have a focus on professionalism while also being relaxed and always positive, so we make sure any social media posts or communications with clients reflect that.

What is your Brand’s Culture?

A Brand Culture is more about the inner-workings of your company. It helps keep your employees motivated, makes sure there are no discrepancies between departments, and helps everyone be on the same page. To begin building a well balanced culture it’s best to determine a few things first such as: the brand’s core values, its strengths, and its vision statement. Figuring out these three things will help you determine what kind of culture you want to build. Do you want to ensure that there is a high level of professionalism that flows from your employees to your customers? Or do you want a more relaxed work environment that focuses on providing a high level of service? These are good questions to ask while identifying your brand’s culture.

Does your Logo reflect your Brand?

With all of these things in mind, it’s time to take a look at your company’s logo. Does it evoke any thoughts of your brand voice or your mission statement? You want to make sure that your logo is easily recognizable and when a customer sees it they can see your core values in it. There are three main things to be looking for in a great logo. The first is making sure your logo colors are reflective of your company’s voice and image. The second item is that there are no unnecessary lines or images in the logo that could be construed to have any other kind of meaning besides association with your brand. The third thing to focus on is the type, or font, you use. You want to make sure that the logo is clear, easy to prepare, and recognizable from a distance. So it’s best to stay away from gimmicky fonts, like comic sans.

With this you should have a good idea on what’s needed to take your branding to the next level. If some of the answers to these questions don’t make sense, you may want to revamp your branding. Whether you bring it up in a company meeting or end up meeting with a professional regarding your branding, use this checklist to establish a roadmap to your company’s perfect branding.  If you have any questions about the branding process or creating an amazing logo that matches your branding, we can give you a helping hand!

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