Branding is a critical part of any business. It helps companies establish themselves as unique, memorable and professional. But, in order to do this successfully, you need to make sure that your brand’s visual identity and personality are aligned with the tone of voice of your brand. This helps customers instantly recognize what they’re getting into when they see your logo or hear a slogan from you.
What is branding?
Branding is the process of creating a unique and relevant identity for a product, service or business. It’s about creating a positive perception in the minds of your audience. It’s about creating something that people will remember and want to buy. The objective of branding is to create a unique set of associations in the minds of your audience. These associations will make it easier for people to find you, remember you and buy from you. A strong brand can help your business stand out from its competitors and give customers an incentive to buy from your company over others like it.
So what do you need to take away from this? Branding is not just about having an attractive logo or website; it’s about telling your story through every element of your communications—from marketing materials to product packaging and more. It’s also about telling your story in a way that resonates with your target audience. A brand is something that people can connect with on an emotional level, so it needs to be authentic and meaningful.
Branding is a business-critical process, it’s important to consider the 5 elements of branding.
It’s also essential that you know that branding is not a one-time event, and it’s not something you’ll be able to do overnight. It takes time and effort by all employees, but when done right can lead to an incredible return on investment (ROI).
The 5 elements of branding
You may have heard that there are five foundational elements of branding:
1. Brand Identity
A brand identity is the set of attributes that describe your company and its products or services. A brand identity can be represented visually, verbally or physically. For example, Apple’s brand identity includes a simple apple logo with a bite taken out of it.
2. Brand Purpose (or Mission)
The brand purpose or mission is the reason why your company exists. It makes you different from other companies and helps define your brand identity. For example, Apple’s brand purpose is “to make things easy.”
3. Brand Story
The brand story is the narrative that describes your company’s history, mission and goals. It can be used to communicate with customers in a way that makes them feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves. To continue with the Apple examples; Apple’s brand story includes how Steve Jobs founded the company in his garage and how Apple has grown from there.
4. Brand Promise/Value Proposition
A brand promise is what you promise your customers in exchange for their loyalty. It’s what they can expect from you and how they’ll benefit from doing business with your brand.
5. Brand Culture
Your brand culture is the values, beliefs and behaviours that make up your identity. It’s what makes you unique from your competitors and gives you a competitive advantage. People often get confused by this term because it can be used to mean many different things (e.g., corporate culture). However, when we talk about brand culture, we’re referring to how employees represent their company externally through words and actions.
Visual Identity: The visual details of the brand.
Visual identity is the visual details of a brand, including its logo, color palette, typeface, iconography and typography. You should consider how these elements come together to communicate your brand narrative. Do they reflect who you are as a company? How do they support your goals?
When thinking about what makes up visual identity it’s helpful to think in terms of three main components:
1. Logo (or mark)
The logo is usually one element that every company uses consistently throughout their marketing materials. It can be used on websites, business cards and social media profiles as well as printed collateral like business cards or packaging. Consider adopting an icon or symbol instead of words for quicker recognition in digital environments where text may not always be legible at small sizes. You’ll want something memorable that stands out from competitors’ logos so make sure it’s unique!
2. Color palette
Your color palette should reflect the personality and values of your brand but also coordinate with other brands in order to avoid clashing with them when placed side by side on a page.”
Personality: How the brand behaves.
Personality is the core of a brand, and it’s important to understand it. The personality of your brand is what defines its identity and how it interacts with customers. In fact, when we say “branding” we’re usually referring to elements like logo design, taglines and even websites that support the personality of a company or product. But these are only surface level elements—to truly understand your brand’s personality you must dig deeper.
The first thing you need to do is ask yourself: What does my company stand for? What makes our business unique? How do I want people to see us or respond when they interact with our products or services? Let’s look at an example: If you sell yoga pants for women who are pregnant (and maybe also post-partum), how does this fit into your larger vision for what kind of company you want to be known as? Is there anything else about what you offer that speaks directly back into this mission statement—a specific product line perhaps, or perhaps even just one particular style within those offerings which really lends itself well toward what makes your business unique?
Tone of voice: How the brand speaks to its audience
Tone of voice is the way you speak to your audience. It’s the personality of your brand and is determined by how you communicate with people, whether through writing or verbal communication.
If it sounds like something out of a magazine article on branding, that’s because it is! Just like everything else in this section, there are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to tone of voice. There are some basic guidelines that will help guide you in creating one:
- Be consistent across all platforms – Make sure that whatever style guide you create is being followed throughout all mediums (social media accounts, website copywriting). If there’s ever any inconsistency between platforms then people will start questioning who actually owns those channels.
- Use language familiar to customers – This can be tricky if English isn’t your first language but try not using “industry jargon” unless absolutely necessary (and even then don’t overdo it). You want customers to feel as though they know exactly what kind of company they’re dealing with before investing their money into anything from yours!
- Branding is a process.
- It’s a business-critical investment, not just an addition to your company’s identity.
- That means it has to be done right and with purpose, so you don’t end up wasting money or resources on something that won’t actually pay off in the long run.
We hope this article has helped you understand the basics of branding and how it can be applied to your business. If you have any questions about branding or would like to discuss your company’s needs more in-depth, please contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you.