What Is A Brand & Why Do You Need One?
Firstly, and this needs to be said straight away - a brand is not a logo, or anything to do with design, it’s not business cards, it’s not colours, it’s not fonts.
These are just some of the ways to help communicate your brand, but there are other factors at play first. Think of it in the same way that clothes give you a window into a person’s personality, but the clothes and style do not come first.
To make it super simple, brand is all about connections, how you connect with your audience and ideal client, and how they connect with you.
This is why it is absolutely fundamental to your business as it shapes everything you do.
People make decisions based on emotion and it’s being confident in your brand that you know how you truly help your audience and ideal client.
Does your ideal client feel connected with you, do they share your values?
A little exercise to get you thinking about your values and how you want to be perceived is to have a think about brands that you know - either big brands such as Apple or Nike, or something close to home, like you local coffee shop. When you think of them, what words come to mind if you were to describe them? Examples could be friendly, powerful, trustworthy, approachable.
Now think of words that you would like your audience or ideal client to think of when they think of your business. What would they be, and would they think them now if they were to describe your business?
A brand is about knowing who you are and how you’re different. Being clear on your values, what you believe in, what you don’t believe in (and what you don’t believe in is just as valuable, maybe even more so). These values will be what you ideal client believes in too and this will be a part of why they will resonate with you.
It’s also about knowing how you really serve your audience. It’s realising that your business is not about you, but actually all about your client. What is their pain point? Going back to decisions being made on emotion, there will be a ‘real’ reason as to why someone buys from you and it may not be the most obvious. This is all about getting to know your clients and how you really help them.
For instance if you are an accountant, you do the tax returns, bookkeeping, EOY accounts etc but what you really sell is the piece of mind that your finances are being taken care of, that as a business owner you don’t have to stress about doing them, taking ages to it and maybe getting it wrong.
So if an accountancy firm had clear messaging along the lines of ‘We give you piece of mind and a stress free end of year when it comes to your finances’ it would probably resonate and connect with their audience much more than ‘We do tax returns and bookkeeping’.
You want someone to come across your forms of communication and think ‘wow they have read my mind, I am in the right place’.
By understanding these things you can then look towards building those connections with your ideal client. By not having a brand, you’re promoting your business based on a list of things you do (it’s not about you remember), which will catch a few clients on the way, but as they have no real connection with you, they won’t have any loyalty, and when someone else comes along that has a brand they can connect with, they will be off.
This is why mega businesses spend millions on their branding. They are not spending that on just a logo (which is often reported) instead they realise and know the value of truly understanding their client and how they can best communicate with them so that they connect and resonate. When this happens, this is when people buy from you, and continue to buy from you. They then become fans, as they believe in what you are doing and know you help them.
By getting your brand spot on, you will create more success in your business, no doubt about it.