Understanding what branding is, is one of the most important aspects of business. This blog makes the psychology of branding easy to understand.
What branding is, is the process of creating a unique identity for your business that will allow you stand out from your competitors, but also build a relationship with your clients. Essentially, it is anything that will allow clients to easily identify your business and feel connected to it.
Now, when I say branding, most people automatically think of a logo and maybe the colours. Whilst this is certainly a core part of what branding is, it is the part that should be last when considering your brand. There are so many other elements that you need to consider when it comes to pulling your branding into a cohesive and distinctive package.
Both me and my clients have fallen in the trap of designing a pretty logo at the start and once going through my Eyes On Branding Toolkit, suddenly realise that the logo is not connecting with their ideal client. More importantly, your brand needs to evoke an emotion in your clients, inspiring them to take action and really want the transformation you offer.
To help you avoid the same, often costly mistakes, here are three steps to build your own brand:
Brands are often confused with logos, but there is so much more to what branding is. Branding needs to represent your business values of course, but more importantly it needs to have a persona that reflects your ideal clients and the vision of your business. It should represent your clients first and foremost, with a little bit of you and your business values mixed in to make it different enough from the rest.
If you’re looking to start a new business, gaining clarity on what branding is and creating a brand identity is essential. You need to decide who you are as a business before you can begin building a brand.
In order to define what your brand is, you need to be clear on your business goals. What do you want to achieve through your business? You need to determine what your USP is and what sets you apart from anyone else offering the same thing. A great way to do this is to tell your story. Storytelling in branding is crucial in setting you apart from the rest, because there is no one else on the planet like you!
However, telling your story is not just about you reciting the ups and downs of your life. You need to tell it so that it appeals to and connects with your clients. It also helps you to stand out from the crowd and be memorable to your clients. It should connect who you are and your values, what transformation you offer and how it is relevant to your clients.
Your brand identity is about your messaging and what emotions you want to evoke in your clients. You need to get out of your head and into that of your clients. This is why I created the Eyes On Branding Toolkit - It will take you through the process of really understanding what makes your client’s tick and what is important to them. All this is part of evoking that all important emotion - you may be super excited about what you’re offering, but unless you inspire your client to take action, your business is not going to go anywhere.
As part of the Eyes On Branding Toolkit, I have created the Client Brand Model that will help you to understand your client and what is important to them. Understanding your client is the cornerstone when discussing what branding is.
1. The Rebel
The Rebel is energetic and daring. She is passionate, likes to be free and doesn’t want to be bound by rules. When it comes to solutions to her problems, she wants originality and excitement. She values independence and wants to be involved in the process.
2. The Fun-loving One
The Fun-loving One is all about having fun while creating. She is playful and energetic and prefers a warm approach. When it comes to solutions to her problems, she wants options to try on for size. She values optimism and will go with what makes her feel happy.
3. The Free Spirit
The Free Spirit is all about balance and clarity. She is generous and cares about the environment. When it comes to solutions to her problems, she wants to know that she will grow and evolve as part of the process. She values hope and will go with what will make her feel prosperous in her life.
4. The Enlightened
The Enlightened client wants to be understood. She needs to trust you and is assured by a calm approach. When it comes to solutions to her problems, she is assured by information. She values honesty and likes to have all the information when making a decision.
5. The Queen
The Queen commands respect. She is spiritual and strives to be a leader. When it comes to solutions to her problems, she wants sophistication and loves to appear elusive, creating an air of mystery. She values originality and will go with what helps her to stand out from the crowd.
6.The Social Butterfly
The Social Butterfly wants to belong. She is humble and friendliness helps her to feel part of something. When it comes to solutions to her problems, she wants facts with no mixed messages. She values authenticity and will consider the long term impact of her decisions.
Now that you have a better understanding of what branding is and your client persona, you need to create a brand strategy for how you will promote your business online. You also need to consider how you will present your brand to clients. Branding is more about who your clients are than who you or your business are. Once you understand this, your brand strategy will have much more consistency in your messaging.
Whilst your brand is all about your clients, you of course want to stand out in the very crowded business world, so you need to inject a little bit of your own personality too. Now, it may be that your own personality is aligned to the persona of your clients, but if it isn’t that’s ok, and this is where you can bring in your own persona.
So, for example, if your client is the Free Spirit, and you’re the Social One, you will need to keep your strategy focussed on fun and creativity, but can inject your friendliness and authenticity into your messaging. You want to keep your client persona at the centre of everything that you do for no less than 70% of the time.
Let’s put all of this into a strategy now:
1. Brand Purpose
You need to combine what you have learned about your client persona and what your business goals are. Be clear on your ‘why’ and the difference you want to make for your clients.
2. Brand Vision
This is the direction you want your business to head in. It’s the roadmap of where you’re going. It should be challenging and motivating. Something that both you and your clients can look at to keep you focused.
3. Brand Values
Coming back to your business values. This is how you want your brand to be perceived by your clients, so it is important to consider their values first. It is very important though that their values align with yours otherwise you and your clients will feel disconnected.
4. Brand Voice
This is the tone that you want to set in all your communications with your clients, be that on your website, social media or emails. Pick three words that you want to represent your brand and ensure that this is reflected in any copy that you write as well as the images that you use.
5. ‘I help’ Statement
Lastly, you need to create your ‘I help’ statement. This is the one or two line statement that you use to describe, who you help, what you help them with and what transformation you’ll offer.
This is a very short introduction to my Eyes On Branding Toolkit. The toolkit takes you through everything in much greater detail with more prompts to help you understand what branding is, understand your client persona and get your branding strategy completely nailed down. Whether you are starting out as a new business or want to refresh your branding, the Eyes on Branding Toolkit is for you. This toolkit makes the psychology of branding easy to understand so that you can really tap into those emotions of your ideal clients and get them to take action.
Of course, if you would prefer to have me personally take you through this and really dig deep into your branding strategy, you can schedule a Branding Strategy session with me to help you dig down even more into what branding is. We will spend two hours going through the toolkit and developing your strategy there and then!
The Branding and Website Strategist for female entrepreneurs who want to claim their place online without feeling overwhelmed