McDonalds, Apple, and even Superman all have something in common. It’s not that they all have the letter “a” in them although that is true; I’m talking about the simple fact that you probably know exactly what I’m talking about when I say each of their names.
McDonalds brings to mind the golden arches, fast food, and a clown mascot named Ronald McDonald. The name brand Apple is followed by flashes of everything from iPhones, iPods, and AirPods to MacBook Airs, Pros, and even watches.
Those who haven’t seen the DC movies are not exempt from the image of Superman. A classic superhero and seemingly the mold from which all romcom love interests are carved. Each of these brands have a reputation.
Every brand is more than it’s logo, colors, and fancy fonts. So let’s take a closer look at what branding is and how to do it properly.
Branding Encompasses How You Communicate Visually, and with Your Messaging
Now, don’t get me wrong, branding certainly has a lot to do with your logo, colors, and fonts but there’s a lot more technical aspects to it than just a cool icon. Branding is all about how you want to present and communicate about your company. Your brand can say a lot about what type of business you are and how you conduct yourself.
Just like you have a personality and an identity, your business needs one too. For most small businesses this means it is typically connected to your personal identity and personality, but having your business identity built out and separate from you as a person empowers your business to evolve and grow in ways that empower you and your customers to really win.
A brand identity tells your customers (and investors or fellow companies):
- Your values
- Who you are
- What you do
- Why and how you do what you do
- What makes you unique
- Why your customers should care about you and what you have to offer
Ultimately, your brand identity creates the world in which your business will play, how will do things, and why. It will also give you the ability to see and approach your business as a game, where you get to determine and have a say in the rules and how to define success.
Who knew that branding and planning could be so important? I didn’t realize just how important these were until after I tried building businesses as an employee without them established. Needless to say, I saw the most success once we had a foundation.
The Role of Colors, Logos & Fonts in Your Brand
Even your logo can convey these things to a customer. If McDonalds, for example, wanted to be a fancy and prestigious establishment, they would use colors and fonts on their logo that present that image. You don’t think of McDonalds as fine dining because that is not their brand.
They use yellow and red on purpose because psychologically, yellow is the color of enthusiasm and happiness, and red is the color of excitement and attention. This makes the McDonalds logo psychologically appealing to children who are known for being driven by what looks fun and inviting. Branding is all about what your company represents and how you want to be perceived by the world.
Building a brand is about intentionally representing yourself in a way that connects with your audience, represents you in an authentic way, and emotionally connects with your customers or clients to share and provide solutions, expertise, and genuine care for those around you.
You do need to have your look and feel down, but how you communicate about who you are, and what you offer is just as important as those colors and fonts, and images.
Why build a brand, even if you are a small business or entrepreneur?
It is important for a company to focus on building a brand because this is the foundation of your company. Your target audience needs a reason to look at and to connect with your company.
What about your approach solves their real problems? What makes your company unique? Answers to these questions and others start with your brand, and your brand voice. Your brand helps your customers begin to trust you. It’s the beginning of building credibility in your business and getting recognition in this competitive market.
It’s about carving out where your business will stand in not only the market but the world. This creates your place to be and live, and thrive, and influence those that step into your business, in ways that align with you and exactly what you are up too.
Who needs a brand?
Every business needs a brand. In fact, every business already has a brand. The question is, do you know what your brand is? Are you being intentional? Was it something you just took from others? Did you actually dig deep and create your brand?
Consciously building a brand is important because you have one whether you want one or not.
As humans, it is impossible for us not to make judgments. We make connections as a part of our natural thinking process. Your customers are already going to make judgment calls on your company.
So, by intentionally building your brand how it looks, feels, communicates, and your purpose, you take the power of your company back into your own hands. It becomes your say, and your creation to best represent yourself and your company to create a clear purpose and connection to your customers.
A solid brand foundation opens the door to you creating a business that works for you, your customers, and it is the context of your success. Without this solid, it would be like building a house on the sand. Having a solid foundation makes all the difference between a business that fails and a business that succeeds.
How do you build a brand that establishes trust?
You want to start with the basics. Business Inspired Solutions has a great worksheet on how to do exactly that: build a brand.
This worksheet covers:
- Mission & Vision
- 5 Core Questions
- Fonts & Colors
- Situation Analysis
- Branding Basics Resources
Every business needs to establish a brand and a business plan. If you are looking for more than the basics we can help! We have built over 30 business plans in the last 3 years, and we have helped many service and e-commerce based businesses from around the United States.
Do you want to learn how to build and grow your business and your brand? Schedule a discovery call with Business Inspired Solutions here >