Why Branding Matters
Rob Levine, Levine Design & Illustration
Let’s start with clarifying the definition of branding. Branding is a broad term that refers to the combination of the mission, offerings, and personality of a business. Branding extends to all aspects of the business — from internal dialogue and communications, to all external/customer-facing interactions. It’s how the phone is answered, what the logo looks like, what’s communicated through social media and print marketing, and so on.
Branding not only creates a memorable impression but helps your customers know what to expect from your company. As a business owner, effective branding helps you clarify what it is you offer, and helps communicate what makes you the better choice.
Decision-makers are considerably more likely to consider doing business with companies that they understand and feel connected to.
So… let’s break this down:
- Your Mission:
This is your foundation. Why are you in business? What are you trying to accomplish? What are your goals and intentions? Who do you want to help?
- Your Offerings:
Know what you’re selling, and have a strategy to do it. What are you selling? Who are you trying to sell to? Are you speaking to businesses, or direct to consumers?
- Your Personality:
This one is a bit more abstract, but it’s what I find to be the most interesting when creating a unique representation of a business — a visual brand.
The bottom line is, as a business, you should know who you are, or who you endeavor to be. How do you want to be perceived? Do you want to be perceived as super-reliable? Do you want to be considered to be welcoming and approachable? Are you a ‘green’ company? Are you family-oriented? Are you ‘edgy’ or are you ‘conservative?’ These traits matter, and are the backbone of what’s to come.
Why is personality so important for branding?
Personality means expression and connection.
To ensure success a successful branding initiative, the first thing I do is talk with key stakeholders. This phase, which I refer to as ‘Discovery,’ is a critical step in the process. I want to hear from the people who have a vested interest in the running of, and the ongoing success of the business. So, what do we talk about? We talk about who you are, and who you want to be. Sometimes they’re the same thing. I listen to the words that you use to describe yourself, and I probe to gain a deeper understanding. The words I hear create images in my mind. I begin to formulate a visual representation of the business. I begin to see fonts, colors, and icons that together communicate the ‘personality’ of your business.
The ultimate goal is to create a visual brand which is distinctive, appropriate, simple in form, and conveys the intended message.
A successful brand is one that creates an emotional connection. The visual component, starting with a logo, is arguably the most important element of branding.
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If you’re starting a new business, or have an existing business that you feel can do more to connect with your audience, I encourage you to reach out. I’m always happy to speak with anyone who sees the value in working with a creative professional to get better results. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can call me direct at 617.875.2195. I look forward to hearing from you.