As entrepreneurs, we often find ourselves competing with well-known brands. With greater brand awareness and recognition, it is easier to attract more customers and it is possible to set higher prices. How can we create a credible and authentic brand for our entrepreneurial company?
Branding is always one of the first steps to starting a company. Before you can network, you need a company name, logo, and business card. When crafting your brand, remember it is all about perception- your customer’s perception.
Branding vs. Marketing
Branding and marketing are two related terms that mean very different things. Branding is all about defining your message and what your company stands for, while marketing is about spreading the message of your brand.
Elements of a Strong Brand
A strong brand requires more than having a nice logo. Creating a strong brand involves crafting a visual identity, the physical identity, the voice identity, and the attitude identity.
- Visual Identity refers to your logo, colors, typography, imagery/graphics, and media channels.
- Voice identity relates to the tone of voice, taglines or slogans, phrasing of key messages, and how you express the identity of your brand.
- Physical identity relates to how your products are designed and packaged, the location and design of your office, and your employee’s dress and physical attire.
- Attitude identity involves your company’s social, professional, and cultural values.
Don't be afraid to stand out
Don’t be afraid to be different and stand out from the competition. A strong brand identity incorporates good values as well as values that differentiate your company from the competition. These differentiating values reinforce why a customer should choose your brand over the alternatives.
Customers select brands that they identify with. It is easier to attract customers when you have a distinct brand with explicit values. When identifying your values, think of the values you embody and the values you want to guide decision making in your company. A brand should express what your company stands for.
Building an authentic brand
A brand must be authentic. An authentic brand is one that is rooted in the real values of the company and the identity of the founder. Do not choose values that sound nice, rather choose values that you live by and believe in. Consistency is key in branding. Branding is not about creating an identity, but rather finding your identity and translating to others to ensure consistency in communications.
An authentic brand that you and your company embody every day is the first step towards building a strong and credible brand. A strong authentic brand allows customers have a clear vision of who they are buying from and what they are buying from.
If you would like guidance on developing your company's brand, contact us to coordinate your GrowthWheel one-on-one consultation.