We know, most small business owners think coming up with a name and logo for their business is all there is to branding. Not even close. There is a LOT of work that goes into creating an authentic brand that customers want to be loyal to. While a memorable logo is important, your brand voice and visual identity are also a huge part of your business. So what exactly is a brand?
The short answer: your key to success as a business owner.
Someone once described brand as being “What people say about you when you’re not in the room.” We couldn’t agree more! Whether you have a personal brand or a brand for your business, persona matters. While we usually talk about how to build your brand, we want to answer a question we get asked rather frequently… “What will building a brand do for my business?”
BRAND = TRUST
People are way more likely to purchase from a business that has a polished and consistent brand. Think of brands that you are most likely to spend money with. Is their message clear about what they offer and how their products work?
In our most recent Brand Camp, we asked over 700 business owners what brands they were loyal to and why. More than 60% of those business owners claimed they were loyal to Apple. The reason? The messaging, aesthetic, and quality of the product is reliable and consistent. Over the last 5 decades, Apple has built up that reputation and created a fiercely loyal following around their brand! So much so that the platform has 26m followers on their Instagram page without featuring any of their products in their photos.
2. BRAND = RECOGNITION
I know, we said logos weren’t everything… but they are important! They’re often the “face” of a business and the easiest way for people to recognize your business. Logos are super powerful. They can actually be the deciding factor on whether or not a potential customer chooses your business over another.
We see it all the time in Brand Camp and with our local clientele. Business owners come to us saying that they have repeat customers but they can’t seem to figure out why they aren’t gaining any new customers. To that we say, check your voice and visuals. If you think your logo might be the issue, try hiring a local graphic designer to help you create something that feels unique to you.
But it doesn’t stop with your logo. Your other visual assets, copywriting, and tone should also distinctive and recognizable. When it all feels good together and makes sense, people will remember you and associate everything you do back to your “ONE THING.”
3. BRAND = STREAMLINED
Advertising can be so much more than just boosting a Facebook post or buying billboard ad space. Advertising can be anything from tangible goods such as merchandise, packaging, brochures and business cards to digital ad space like Google Ads, social media ads. If you opted in to advertising all the ways we just listed, your brand should look and feel the same on each of those ads.
4. BRAND = WORK CULTURE
When it comes to branding, no one talks about employees. The employees you want on your team should want more than just a paycheck, they should want to be invested in your business. When your employees understand the mission and purpose of your company, they’re more likely to feel pride in their roles. Having a strong brand is like turning your company logo into a flag that your employees want to rally around!
5. BRAND = ATTRACTING NEW CUSTOMERS
Small business owners know firsthand that word-of-mouth referrals are the most powerful form of advertising. In order for word-of-mouth marketing to work, you have to create a brand that people remember. The most profitable companies, no matter how different in size or industry, have one thing in common; they have established themselves as leaders in their industry by building a strong brand!
It’s not easy work and trust us, there are NO shortcuts. As brand educators and photographers, we have created a system that works for our small businesses. By focusing on your brand voice and then honing in your visuals to match that voice, you’ll create an Unbreakable Brand!