Finance

Branding your business

Your brand is more than your logo or your colours, it is a promise of what your customers can expect from your business. "Your brand is what people say about you when you're not in the room," said Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon.

1) WHO IS YOUR COMPANY REACHING?

No single company is the answer to the whole problem, but it can be part of the solution. A business or non-profit cannot help everyone and do everything. What is the company's role in the bigger picture? What people or customers do you need to reach to achieve that goal? Those people are your target audience.

2) WHY ARE YOU DIFFERENT?

Clarify 'who your company is' by how different it is from other organisations in the same space or market. What is it about your organisation's vision that made you and the other staff commit to it rather than another organisation?

3) MAKE BRAND PROMISES THAT STICK

You cannot create the perfect brand, but then not be able to sustain it with your customers.

An online business that never sees its customers can get away with an idealistic portrayal, but a face-to-face business will quickly be exposed as inauthentic. Customers appreciate honest statements about what the company wants to be, but will reject a brand that does not deliver on the promises it makes to its customers.

A Forbes article “10 Questions to Help you Find your Brand’s Voice” helpfully asks:
What does your organisation do?
Why did you start your organisation?
Why do people visit your website?
Who are your customers/visitors?
Why do people choose your organisation over your competitors?
What other brand voices do you admire?
If your brand were a person, how would you describe him or her?
How do you want people to feel when they visit your website?
Can you describe your company in 3-5 words?
What do you love about your job?

4) APPLY ACROSS THE BOARD

Having developed your brand's vibe, personality, tone and promises, they need to be applied to all aspects of your company. For example, how does your new juice bar for young people and families affect your bottles and packaging, your prices and customer service? Or how does your non-profit community announcement affect your messaging, photos selection and phone responses?

5) CHANGE SLOWLY

Break big transitions into smaller amounts, as this helps faithful staff transition. Make easier adjustments, like those of the visual appearance or the environment of your office, as these will help move harder changes, like changing the behaviour of your faithful staff.

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