One of the biggest misconceptions about branding is the idea that it’s just a logo. It’s so much more than that, and it is absolutely crucial when it comes to transforming all of your plans, strategy and hard work into something successful. That’s why with this blog I want to get you thinking differently about your branding.
I’ve been lucky enough to launch and grow two successful businesses, on top of working with other female entrepreneurs and I absolutely love the moment when you have, or hear about that killer idea. It’s super exciting and I just know it’s going to be amazing, but I also know that without the support of some kick-ass branding it’s a massive risk.
Why? Because Branding is everything. From colour choices to your message and your tone of voice, across every touchpoint, everything has an impact on the success of your business. It all has to be in tune, with each individual element designed to grab your ideal client’s attention.
“Branding is what people say about you when you are not in the room” – Jeff Bezos.
This is a great benchmark to keep in mind when you’re thinking about your branding, not to mention the fact it’s a quote from the man behind Amazon. It’s also why you need to build that all important know, like, and trust factor. As Adam Pierson puts it, ‘Think of branding as falling in love.’Now we all know you don’t fall in love instantly, it takes time and a series of dates, which is exactly the same for your ideal client. They need to see you on multiple touchpoints delivering the same cle§ar, consistent brand message every time. When they do fall for you, and you have that loyalty, you’ll be able to transform them from prospects into returning customers, who tell all their friends about you.
So how can you change your mindset when it comes to branding? Here are my 5 top tips for doing just that.
Branding is a journey
Successful branding isn’t about finding a quick 5 minute stock logo from the internet. It’s about laying the foundations and building a platform to launch your business. And it all starts with getting to know yourself, your business, and your ideal clients inside and out. You need to know things like what you want to stand for and what are your goals to define your message. Then, most importantly you need to know who you’re talking to. How old are they? Where do they do? What are their goals? Because when you have that you’ll know how to deliver your message and grab their attention.
Logo’s aren’t everything
Always remember that your logo is NOT your brand. It’s one element, and more importantly, it’s the entry point for your ideal client. It will grab your ideal client’s but it won’t magically make your business take off. There are now over 21 touchpoints for brands to reach your ideal clients, so yes, you need a killer logo, but to really cut through the noise of social media feeds, you need more than one visual. Everything from websites to copy, to logos, sub-marks, social images and packaging has to be on point. Nail that and not only will you stand out from the competition, your ideal client won’t be able to miss you.
Build an experience
I love this quote from Walter Landor, and it’s so true when it comes to your branding. “Products are made in the factory, But Brands are created in the mind.” I mean, think about what makes you always buy the same brand? For me, it’s a feeling, something beyond the visuals, which makes me fall in love with a brand. And that’s what your branding can do for your ideal client. They want to know that you’re going to deliver at every turn, so you have to make sure your branding is absolutely on point for their whole journey. And by that, I mean everything from the moment they first discover you or hear you doing a Facebook Live, to visiting your website to making a purchase and receiving it. It’s all branding, and if it doesn’t ‘look right,’ the copy is full of spelling mistakes or the packaging isn’t up to scratch, it can put people off immediately.
Tell your story
I use this saying a lot, but it’s absolutely, 100% true, so I’m going to use it again here. ‘People by from people.’Not only is it true in business it’s also true in branding. Why? Because it’s a great way to build loyalty around your brand, that’s why. People don’t want big faceless corporations, they want stories, personality and human connection. They want something that feels unique and by building your story into your branding you’ll create just that.
Authenticity is key
Be 100%, unapologetically authentic. By staying true to your personality, your values and your ideas you’ll create honest, authentic branding that talks directly to your ideal client. You don’t need to follow the trends, because what’s hot right now might well be dead and buried in 6 months – and no-one wants to keep rebranding all the time now do they? You need to be you because you are the special ingredient that no-one else can touch. It’s your ideas, your drive and your passion, so your branding has to reflect you.
So there you have it, my top 5 tips to get you thinking about your branding differently. To sum up, make sure you have everything in place before you start creating anything visual, and make sure you and your story are at the heart. That’s how you create a strong foundation to launch a successful brand, a brand that lasts and helps you to stand out from the competition.
Once you have that, make sure you filter everything through it moving forwards so that whenever your ideal client speaks to you, buys from you or even likes one of your posts, they’ll just want to keep coming back for more.
Nicki James is the founder and designer behind Branding by Nicki. She also owns successful wedding stationery company Betty Lou Design.
After 8 years and numerous awards in the design industry Nicki set up and launched her first company, Betty Lou Design in 2017. Covering everything from save the dates to on the day signage, her creations have featured in National magazines including You & Your Wedding and Perfect Wedding.
Her second company, Branding by Nicki was born from working with renowned wedding and lifestyle businesses on their branding. A firm believer in the idea that unique branding is at the heart of every successful business, and that it’s about way more than just a logo, she’s now on a mission to help female entrepreneurs turn their ideas into brands which enable them to live they life they love.
Nicki lives in Essex with her husband but creates both branding and wedding stationery for clients around the world.