Branding for Beginners
Social media marketing. Search engine optimization. Branding. Copywriting. When people find out the type of work that I do, they will undoubtedly ask all the questions about what it actually entails. Look – as a digital marketer, I could take you down the rabbit hole at any given time trying to explain what goes into it, but it would take hours… days… YEARS! Maybe not years, but you catch my drift. My goal for this blog as a whole is to help you get your feet wet and inform you of the importance of digital marketing, little by little, without totally overwhelming you.
So, today, we’re talking about branding.
What Is Branding, Exactly?
Well, I’m delighted you asked! Like most digital marketing terms, branding means more than just one thing, and typically, it means different things to different people. Some see branding as good public relations, and some believe it to be a simple logo or slogan. Branding can include both of these things and so much more. For me, your brand represents your business’s identity, enhances your culture, and extends your value proposition. Your brand is your personality, your story – a story that cultivates your vision, influencing your mission. The strongest, most successful brands use a distinct direction and a powerful message to guide the creative and visual aspects of their brand.
“A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.”
~ Seth Godin
Mr. Godin is totally onto something here. You must communicate your story clearly so that your audience can pick up what you’re putting down. The goal is for your audience to develop a positive feeling and a grasped concept regarding your brand. Your brand is your foundation. It is the fundamental ground that upholds your values, message, mindset, and more.
When Evaluating Your Brand, Keep These Tips in Mind:
- Invest in Discovery: Conducting a brand audit is the only way to review where your company’s brand stands today. Check out your brand’s past history. What’s working and what’s not?
- Be Confident in Your Direction: Ensure that your employees (especially those with leadership roles) have a firm grasp on the vision and mission for the company. This may not be fully mapped out before you begin a branding process, but having some sort of concept in mind is beneficial.
- Keep an Open Mind: Let go of your preconceived notions and restrictions, as they may be holding you back from brand growth and direction. Immerse yourself in any and all ideas, even if in the end, the reins are pulled back. Being open-minded will allow you to reach and exceed your creative potential.
- Work with a Third Party: Branding or rebranding is difficult for any company. Sometimes you’re just too close to your own brand, and an outsider’s perspective can give you the fresh insight you didn’t even realize you needed.
- Enjoy Yourself: Branding is important stuff, and falling into a state of constant stress and worry is easy to do during this process. But if you have fun with it and work with a proven agency or consultant to guide you through the madness, your journey will be all the more positive and exciting!
So, are your wheels turning yet? Do you know what your brand stands for? How well are you communicating your story? Is your brand strategy aligned with your marketing plan? If you’re unable to answer these questions, or you think it may be time to revisit your strategy, we’re here for you!
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