No matter what kind of business you’re in, whether it be online, service-based, or brick-and-mortar, it’s essential to have a solid brand.
By brand, we don’t mean simply your logo or marketing materials. Yes, you definitely need to have a visual identity (and we can help you with that), but good branding — creating a brand that sells — goes beyond just visual representation.
There are 3 key things that go into creating a brand that sells.
1. Tell a story
In fact, it’s usually a good idea to “write your story,” so-to-speak, in order to help craft what your brand should look like visually.
To write your story, you need to answer these questions:
- Who is your audience?
- What problems do you solve for your audience?
- What makes you unique?
- What is your message?
Answering these questions is an essential start to developing your brand. Once you do that, you’ll feel yourself being pulled in a certain direction, like the wind carries a sailboat.
Speaking of boats…
For example, let’s say you provide brokerage services to people who want to sell their boat. Your audience is… people who want to sell their boat. You’re unique because you offer a full-service brokerage and do everything from cleaning the interior/exterior of the boat, staging the boat to look like it belongs in a magazine, taking 30-50 high-quality photos to use in the listing, and crafting a listing that tells a story.
You work for the seller, but you understand that ultimately, it’s the buyer who you’re really working for, which is why you go to great lengths to make the boat look like something someone would be proud to own. You provide white glove service, and because of this, you stand out from the other brokers. You’re known for getting top dollar for the boats you sell — as much as 10-15% more on average than your competitors, and you sell them in half the time, which yields a happy seller, and more money in your pocket.
There you go – that’s a business with a very clear plan. As I walked you through this exercise about a fake business, did you notice how you could actually visualize what this business might look like? How they might present themselves? Can you see how this helps create a brand that sells?
It all starts with your story. Your purpose. What makes you unique.
2. Visual representation
Once you have that nailed down, the visual aspect of it comes more naturally. A lot of business owners make the mistake of using visual elements in their business (colors, fonts, imagery) that they like, instead of doing something that helps tell their story.
Using the example of the boat broker, do you think it would serve him (or her) better to use a pink script font, or a bold navy font with really nice design elements? The latter of course. It’s more nautical, it’s more bold, and it fits the brand. It’s congruent with the story in that it “fits the image.”
Your story, your colors, your font, your logo, and your design elements should all work together to be in harmony with each other. This helps you create a brand that sells.
Once you have your story and you craft your visual elements to fit that story, you’ll need to be sure to be consistent in your marketing. Always be sure you adhere to the same style when pursuing new marketing channels.
Use the same logo and font on all of your social media channels, website, and emails. By using the same branding, your audience will be able to immediately recognize something that is yours, no matter what platform they’re seeing your material on. The more they “see” your brand around, the more they’ll associate you as someone they might want to do business with.
By being consistent in everything from logos, visual style, and even the way you write, the more likely you’ll become a brand that people fall in love with. You won’t appeal to everyone, but you’ll appeal to the right people, and those people are the ones that matter.
What was your biggest challenge in developing your brand, or if you’re just now getting started, what’s your biggest hurdle now?
Leave a comment below!