Where are you now?

You’ve either got a fantastic business idea, or have been running a business for several years and are ready to up your game. You understand that you need a strong brand, but there is one important question: ‘How do you make sure that the time and money that you invest in your branding WILL pay off?’

WHY BRAND YOU AND YOUR BUSINESS? It goes far beyond just creating a face for your company, it’s has to be authentic and about you and your values. It’s the connection between you and your ideal clients. It’s all about giving you the confidence and being proud of what you have created.

Since 2006 I have been honing a powerful system for having a strong brand. I call it my ‘Branding Daisy Chain’. The ‘Branding Daisy Chain’ takes you through all the steps you need to help create a brand you’ll love and be passionate about But more importantly one which will grow your business and get you clients, far easier than when you were inconstant and wishy washy.

Brand strategy diagram

Positioning
Where do you want your product or service to sit in the market? Do you want your brand to attract the elite, the middle market or to the masses? If you are already an established business, how do you feel your brand is currently positioning itself? Do you need to up your game and learn to attract your ideal clients? The answer is probably yes.

Take a look at your competitors and learn from their brand. Is it professional? Is it too controversial or flippant? Does it portray their brand values and missions? You can learn from their mistakes so you don’t fall in to the same trap, instead, use it to your advantage.

For example, look at clothing brands or cars. Some are high end (Designer) and some are marketing for the masses (Primark). Both of these business categories do well, and they both have a strong brand position. One which has been designed on purpose.

To me, MINI underlines the positioning message, it has created a strong brand that is unique and also has a fun element. If millionaires such as Simon Cowell are driving them around town and is also affordable to everyday people, to me they have got their positioning spot on. It’s a ‘must have’ brand they have created, and they are consistent.

Personality
For you to have a lasting business and strong brand, it must be authentic to you. It is YOUR personality that will be the defining factor! Give it some thought, you will find your own distinctive sense of style that reflects your own unique business.

Again you have to craft your business, so that your business personality does come across easily. A tip for you is to be aware of the inspiration around you; create a mood board, take pictures and create your own brand style. There are fonts and colour Psychology that will communicate this for you. For example the colour green, is earthy, organic and fresh, implies peaceful, health and growth. Do any of these words describe your brand? Whole Foods, Tropicana and Animal Planet have all used this as their main colour to portray their brands. I rest my case.

Creating your brand personality will help you gain trust with your ideal clients. The investment and time spent building your brand personality will secure your brand in the market place. Weave your personality in to your brand!

Your brand is a journey
Once you have created your brand positioning and personality, then you can really start your branding journey. What you thought was a great idea when you launched your business may not be such a great idea now. Don’t be afraid to develop and craft your brand as your business grows. Your brand image isn’t just a logo in the corner of your advert! It’s about purposely creating a brand journey, one which adds depth and personality the further along the journey you go.

Certain elements will resonate with your target market, it helps give out a strong, consistent message. Here is a small checklist:

  • Use your logo and colour palette throughout your brand to give it consistency
  • Select a maximum of 3 typefaces to enhance your brand identity and add character and stick to it – no messing!
  • Use photography, pattern and illustration to add visual interest and break up your body copy.

Think of yourself as a pyramid, the first block is you and as you progress through your journey, each layer that you create gives your target audience more value and your business more strength. Branding is a journey to success!

Missions and Values
Do you have a mission statement for your business? What do you want to be known for? Have you listed your personal and business values?

Set yourself a task, again ask yourself what makes your business unique and what difference will your service or product make.

Stay true to your mission and values, weave these in to your branding. If you are not authentic you won’t install trust. You need to have confidence and self-belief in what you are doing. Take a moment or two to focus on the things that make you strong. The things that you can do better than anyone else. The truth is when you are strong and confident and happy with your brand you WILL attract more of your ideal clients.

Visibility
Are you being visible? Social media is the biggest platform for getting your brand out there to the masses. It is one of the quickest, cheapest and easiest ways to get information out to the entire planet with a click of a button! But are you using it to it’s full potential?

Are you being consistent online and offline with your brand image? It’s about building working relationships, gaining trust and giving value. Not just a quick sales tactic. People love socialising and getting to know people, they know who is genuine.

Let people know how good you really are and how you can help them achieve their business goals. Don’t be that shrinking violet. Having a strong brand will help you overcome the fear of being visible.

Tip: Use Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule your articles and posts!

And finally Post value content about your business and how you can help into Facebook and LinkedIn groups no hard sales!