Remember that hairdresser around the corner?
Who always knows exactly what you wanted and how you wanted it? The walls there are painted with your favorite shade or tint, and you just love the tunes played in the background. Perhaps the hairdresser even speaks the same lingo as you do?
You never went anywhere else for a haircut, period!
Alright, I may have dramatized it a little bit! But we all have unique preferences about everything in life. Tell me, what gets you hooked up to a particular brand?
Your feelings. You feel that they are a perfect reflection of your inner-self. You feel that these brands were made for you.
After reading this blog post, you will learn about the ultimate purpose of branding and about the key components of a great brand. So you can make your customers fall in love with your business.
The Ultimate Purpose of Branding
I know, you want to brand your business to get more customers. In fact, two of the most common types of illustration on marketing promise you the same results.
I) A marketer shouting at an audience via a handheld loudspeaker (promoting the business)
II) A magnetic brand is attracting waves of customers
But my friend, both these illustrations have one serious drawback!
What if you’re wasting your energy shouting at the wrong audience?
What if your brand magnet attracts customers from your nightmares?
Agreed that in the early days, a startup business faces difficulty finding customers. But the struggle intensifies when businesses attract the wrong type of customers. These people are not happy with your product features, they are not happy with your price, and they are not happy with you.
It happens because the product or services were not meant to serve them. But incomplete branding has attracted the wrong set of customers anyway. Wonder what happens next? Bad customer experience, bad reviews about the business, frustrated employees, frustrated you!New businesses don't die starving, they die digesting the wrong type of customers Click To Tweet
You sure don’t want to face that, right? So, your branding has to serve as a magnetic filter. The magnetic feature will attract the right customers. And the filtration feature will keep the others at bay.
When you carefully and clearly define the key components, you can create a brand that will do just that.
Key Components of a Powerful Brand
A brand is like a person. It has its own origin, name, personality, and style (and tons of other stuff). But, some key brand components shape up or even define the rest of the brand components. Here in this blog post, we’ll focus only on the key components that you can use to build your brand.
Brand Personality (Archetypes)
What makes a person like or unlike another person? The personality.
In branding, this is the crucial first step. When you understand your brand personality, finding customers become a lot easier. That’s because you only need to find people with similar personality.
You’ll know their dreams and their nightmares. You’ll understand what colors, images, words you must use; and what you must not.
Don’t be afraid now! You don’t have to be a psychologist to understand your brand. More often than not, the brand’s personality mimics its founder, it is you in this case!
Allegory Studios devised a super simple yet highly effective tool to help you identify your brand personality. It is a multiple choice question based on a life situation (you can only select one answer).
Here’s the link – The 12 Archetypes (Personality) – Which one is yours?
Visit the page and select “What’s Your Archetype”. Once you’ve identified your brand personality, read the details to understand it thoroughly. Please remember, this is the soul of your brand. Whenever you do anything else in brand marketing, simply ask this one question:
Does it go with my brand personality?
Ask yourself this question before you select a brand name, a logo, or the colors.
Ask it before you launch a new product, and before creating a social media or blog post.
If your marketing content and design are aligned with your brand personality, they will always reach your target audience and kite those you don’t want.
How do you spot a friend of yours who is lost in a big crowd? Maybe you look closely to find a match with his/her looks (physical appearance). If that doesn’t work out, crying out his/her name could be next.
The same can be done for your brand. You could give your brand a perfect name and a visual design. So people can identify it from a mile away!
Ok, you’ve already found a great business idea and a rock solid determination to start your business, and then a giant Question Mark out of nowhere emerges and blocks the road ahead.
“How do I name my business?”
Do you want to name your business after you? Or do you think a name that describes your business would be more appropriate?
Looks difficult, but the making the decision is child’s play. Here’s what Marie Forleo says on this topic
I hope you’ve made a choice! In case you want to find a name that describes your business, there are two classic routes that you can take.
Let the world know where are you from
If yours is a local business (such as a flower shop, diner, bicycle repair shop etc.) you can name your business after the location. That way, customers in your locality can easily remember you and find you.
Usually, when people search for a product or service, they are most likely to ask a question “Hey do you know of a good [product/service] in [place name]?” Let us not forget that they are most likely make a search in google. You want your business to appear in that search result, don’t you?
There’s one more reason to name your business after the place. If your business is offering something from a place which is renowned (for that product/service), you sure can name your business after your place. For example, Olitalia offers Olive Oils from Italy.
Tell people what’s in it for them
Why would customers be interested about your business if they cannot understand what’s in it for them? So, here is another great way to name your business.
Think about the functions or the ultimate benefit that people will get from your business, and capture that in your business name. Here I am going to share two very good examples of naming a business.
ModCloth is for people who are model-like (but haven’t gone for modeling). These are people who are style conscious. The Mod Culture originated in England back in 1960s.
Post Planner is a social media management app that helps you find great content to post on social media and schedule them in advance! That way you can increase engagement and save two hours a day! (I’ve used this app, it is true)
My own brand name, Little Biz Marketing clearly tells you what I do, and for whom. That way you know exactly what to expect.
Brand Visuals (Logo, Color Pallets, and Fonts)
Your brand visuals are supposed to tell your customers everything about your business. Every color, every font, every symbol has its own psychology. Each carrying a different meaning.
By understanding the emotions or psychology behind the key design elements (color, fonts, etc.), you’ll be able to make sure that the visual design of your brand truly reflects the character of your business.A picture is worth a thousand words. Does your brand visual say the right thousand words? Click To Tweet
Psychology of Color
The Logo Company have created an infographic that explains emotions of color with example of popular brands.
So, tell me, what do you want people to feel about your brand? See how easy it is to select color schemes to do just that?
Psychology of Fonts
Just so you know, you’re going to use text, lots and lots of text for your brand. You’ll use them in your logo, packaging, banners, catalogs, sales letters, and of course in your website.
You’ll desperately want every word to reach its audience, you’ll want the words to make the right impression. So, it is time for you to select the fonts that set the right tone for whatever you’re saying.
Watch this very short video to see how you can choose the right fonts for your brand.
Your brand logo is the ultimate blend of everything that we’ve covered so far. It represents your brand personality and is based on appropriate colors and fonts.
Even if you’re not a designer yourself, you can now hire a professional designer and brief him/her about your brand. Trust me, a proper brief will help the designer in creating the perfect visuals.
In case you’re considering to hire someone, I recommend The Logo Company. A company which was featured by Entrepreneur Magazine and which have received raving reviews from countless customers. And the best part is, they’re really affordable.
Brand Purpose and Promise
Why does your business exist (your purpose), and why does its existence matter (your promise) to the world? Define your purpose and promise, long before you start your business. This will help you connect with your dream customers from day one.
Brand Purpose or MissionI believe I am here for a reason, and my purpose is greater than my challenges - @jongordon11 Click To Tweet
Your business needs a purpose. A purpose that will help it overcome any challenges that lie ahead. This is why your business will exist, and this is why people will care about your business.
It is fairly easy to identify and embrace your brand’s purpose. I use this one-thing-leads-to-another approach of finding a brand’s purpose.
Start with what your business does. In this example, let us assume that yours is a bicycle repair shop.
Question: What Do You Do?
Answer: Repair Bicycles?
Question: Why repair a bicycle?
Answer: To make it running?
Question: Why make a bicycle running?
Answer (I): So the customer can reach office or home on time, or at ease (When the target consumers are commuters)
Answer (II): So the customer can stay fit (When the target consumers are health conscious cyclists)
Answer (III): So the customer can win the game or enjoy the ride (When the target consumers are sports cyclists)
We’ve arrived at your brand purpose. It is not just about repairing bicycles, you have a higher purpose that connects your business with your customers.
Sometimes, you may need to ask more than just three question to arrive at your brand’s purpose.
I know, you may be wondering how to figure out where to stop. That is also an easy one to figure out. Stop before the step where your business is no longer involved with the customers in any way.
If we further dig down from the purpose our bicycle repair business, asking why is it important for people to reach office on time, you may find an answer that so they’re more productive. But hey, your business has no involvement from thereon. Because, after your audience has reached office on a bike, you’ve no further contribution to make.
You already have made an emotional connection with your customers through your purpose. But, the purpose may sound vague without the context.
I mean, you’d help me to reach my office on time, but how? Will you give me a ride or what? Customers need to know how you’ll serve your purpose. This how has to explain your business and make it clear to customers that you’re different than the other competitors.
Hope you liked the quote. You know that the world’s best airlines use God Damn Planes and not rockets! The point is, you don’t have to take that long road of inventing something new or make an impossible promise to your customers.
South West Airline’s promise is simple
- Low fares
- Lots of flights
- Lots of fun with exceptional customer service
The first promise catches attention of the target audience (and drives away rich people who seek luxury), the second promise makes it clear that it is an airline with lots of flights, the third one wins the heart by reassuring that cheap does not mean rudimentary.
To create your brand promise, think what can you do better. Are you able to provide a fair price, a better taste, or more attention to detail?
Think of those superior or unique benefits that only you can offer. There are simply two rules, don’t offer something which is not relevant with your brand personality (archetype), and don’t make a promise that you cannot keep.
Brand Slogan or Tagline
Ok, you’ve got a lot to say now. Your brand personality, brand purpose, and brand promise. What if you could say it all in a nutshell? Wouldn’t that be more convenient for your customers?
The purpose of a brand slogan is to tell your customers everything about your brand in a very short sentence (sometimes in just two words!).
Sounds difficult? Well, it is not so. Write down your brand purpose, and your brand promises. And use the one-thing-leads-to-another approach to dig deeper. What is that ultimate emotional benefit or connection your customer can get from your business? Use that in your tagline/slogan.
Southwest airlines have used different slogans at different timelines. When they were flying within US only, the slogan they used was “You are now free to move about the country”
Now compare this with their brand promises, does it not sound relevant?
Many brands have their slogans, and many don’t. I am not arguing whether yours need one or not, that decision is always yours to make. If your brand identity (name, logo, color, fonts) can say it all, you probably don’t need to have a brand slogan. But, having one doesn’t hurt.
You’ve covered a lot today. And someday you’ll thank yourself for that.
You have seen how each of the brand elements; the personality, identity, and tagline/slogan, that can create an emotional bond between your brand and your customers.
Most importantly, your business now has a purpose. And you’ve identified key promises that you’ll make to your customers. You can now figure out what do you need to keep your promises; who do you need to hire, what quality of raw materials to use, what technology or machinery should fit best, etc.
No matter how tiny or how giant your business is, designing the brand elements and sticking to it helps you build a brand that you can be proud of one day.
“Does it go with my brand?”, or “How do it make it go with my brand?”
Ask these two questions before anything you do. Ask it before you think of introducing new products or services. Ask it while you craft your content strategy. Ask it before you even create a single blog post or a youtube video.
When your products, content, and marketing messages are aligned with your brand, they will always reach its target audience and kite those you don’t want. That’s the ultimate purpose of branding, remember that?