Do you need an ultimate brand guide? What are the basic principles of effective branding? What truly matters in good branding?
In this podcast episode, Sam Carvalho speaks about the ultimate branding guide (Part 1).
Podcast Sponsor: Brighter Vision
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In This Podcast
- Branding is more than just a logo
- Think analytically
- Maintain your brand
- Target your market
- Ask your clients questions
- Commit yourself to a brand
- Create a unique value proposition
- Speak with one voice
- Have a dedicated marketing plan
- Aim to build a strong online presence
- Recognize yourself
- Incorporate your company’s logo into everything you do
- Build a brand story and messaging
- Build memorable brand associations
- Long-term planning is essential
- Make it easy for people to understand
- Let your brand tell a story
- Why are you doing this?
- Create a liquid experience
- Be creative and approachable
- Be friendly
- Pass the radio test
- Don’t spend too much time creating the perfect tagline
- Automate your marketing
- Know how to use Google Ad Words
Branding is more than just a logo
Branding is an essential component of marketing success because it is way more than just a logo. It provides businesses with numerous benefits, such as:
- Creating a strong identity
- A noticeable personality
- Maintaining a point of difference from the competition.
All these aspects are crucial to help you stand out from the crowd.
86% of consumers feel that authenticity is a major element in determining which brands they enjoy and support. As such, your brand is more than just a combination of colors and logos, it’s really about your reputation and the impression that you make on clients. (Sam Carvalho)
A brand that stands out is associated with a competitive product advantage.
So, before you get to the aesthetics, think about why you do what you do.
What makes you different from everybody else? Then build your brand around that.
Maintain your brand
Branding is always about consistency, so you want to repeat the same message on all of your marketing materials [both] in emails and when you are face-to-face with customers. (Sam Carvalho)
Because consumers value authenticity, you need to maintain the personality and promise of your company, and you can build this authenticity by being consistent in your messaging and aesthetics.
Target your market
Don’t aim to be the “one glove fits all” type of brand.
The best results are achieved when you focus on your target market, creating a relevant brand and an image that speaks directly to them. (Sam Carvalho)
Maintaining consistent contact with your target market allows you to build a strong relationship with them, and improve your brand value.
Ask your clients questions
Part of creating and attracting your target market is done by speaking to them.
Unless you know who they are, you won’t be able to generate content for them that has value.
Your target audience’s perception of your brand is a crucial factor in any marketing strategy. Therefore, conduct client surveys and be open to both positive and negative feedback because it will help you to build a strong brand.
Commit yourself to a brand
Often when you get tired of your branding is the moment when clients begin to recognize it and become familiar with it.
Be sure to stick with it, even if it is a bit tiresome for you.
Create a unique value proposition
[This] is what makes you different from your competitors. It comes in the form of an effective statement, or combination of statements, which describes your business to your clients in a manner [that] will make them want to engage with you, and buy from you. (Sam Carvalho)
Use the FAB technique:
F – Features
A – Advantages
B – Benefits
The FAB technique is a great tool to use to design your best value proposition.
Speak with one voice
This simply means that your marketing communications and messages must remain consistent across all mediums so that your clients can identify and understand your product or service.
Have a dedicated marketing plan
You must have a well-thought-out marketing plan in place before your brand strategy will work.
Essentially, you can have an idea, but you need a plan that will explain when and where to use the idea for the best results.
Aim to build a strong online presence
The first step to building a strong online presence is to have a website. (Sam Carvalho)
Every well-established business must (and does) have a website.
It also helps you to enact your marketing strategies and shows the credibility of your brand.
Express your story through a connection between the name of your business and the items, products, or services that you provide.
This goes back to the “why” of why you are different, and stand out from the crowd in your field.
Incorporate your company’s logo in everything you do
Again, consistency! Logos are much more than a pretty emblem.
It needs to be distinguishable enough to set your business apart from the rest.
In many cases, your logo is the first thing potential clients will see about your company.
Build a brand story and messaging
Be as specific as possible about your mission and values.
Use the tone of voice that you have chosen for your brand message. Every piece of content that you produce should be directly linked to your brand’s identity and be delivered consistently.
Build memorable brand associations
To every one of us, a brand’s meaning is unique. But for many, certain brands seem to symbolize extremely specific meanings. (Sam Carvalho)
Associating a brand with a person, location, item, or emotion creates a strong connection in the minds of your audience and makes your business more memorable.
Long-term planning is essential
You do not want to trade a long-term growth brand strategy for a short-term result, even if they are good.
To establish lasting brands, you have to put in a lot of time and effort. Exercise caution in following trends, because they can make you look dated, ironically.
Make it easy for people to understand
Make it easy for people to understand what you do.
Remember that when someone arrives on your website, they will decide whether they are going to stay or leave your website within the first four or five seconds.
Therefore, make it clear what you do straight away.
Let your brand tell a story
There is huge power in storytelling. A story embedded within and signified by your marketing will allow your client to grasp the pillars that make up your business.
Why are you doing this?
You have a business that provides a service, but why do you provide that service? Of course, we all want to make money, but selling a service to make money won’t motivate the client to buy into your brand. (Sam Carvalho)
What difference will your service make in the lives of your clients who are making use of it?
Create a liquid experience
Giving a liquid experience means that you are repeating the same messaging and looks across all platforms.
While this is necessary, you also need to consider creating a cohesive branding strategy that takes the user and audience into consideration.
Be creative and approachable
The most successful brands adopt a creative spin without deviating too much from what prospective clients expect from the product or service.
Personalize your marketing messages. Don’t be afraid to talk to your clients like a friend professionally and warmly.
Pass the radio test
Make sure your company name can be spelled and pronounced easily when they first hear it.
If they can’t, then you risk losing opportunities because people couldn’t find you online.
Don’t spend too much time creating the perfect tagline
Once you have something that works, use it.
Your business will grow, expand, and change in different ways, and so might a perfect tagline. Keep it simple and adaptable.
Automate your marketing
Look into online software that can automate your marketing.
It is a good idea to use at least one or two to automate some processes because, in the end, it will save you some time and money.
Know how to use Google Ad Words
By doing this, you’ll find some relevant keywords and even some niche marketing keywords that will help you build content or target the markets online that you need. (Sam Carvalho)
Set up a test run. You do not have to use them always, but they can reveal some great online insights to you.
Useful links mentioned in this episode:
- Right now, Brighter Vision is offering one of their biggest discounts ever during their 4th of July Sale. All you have to do is go to brightervision.com/joe to learn more and take advantage of this great deal.
- Mentioned episode: Build your best website! Listen to the episode here!
- Mentioned episode: Why storytelling is important for effective branding. Listen to the episode here!
Check out these additional resources:
- Why Values are a Core Part of Marketing with Paul Mackiewicz | MP 100
- Email Sam at email@example.com
- Design Services With Sam
- Check out the Practice of the Practice Network
- For more branding advice, click here
- Apply to work with us
Meet Sam Carvalho
Sam Carvalho is a graphic designer living in Cape Town, South Africa, with over five years of experience in both design and marketing, with a special interest and experience in the start-up environment.
She has been working with Practice of the Practice since 2016 and has helped over 70 therapist entrepreneurs take their practices to the next level by enhancing their visual branding. She loves working with a variety of clients on design-intensive tasks and is always up for a challenge!
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