Understanding branding (what is and what it's not)
Branding is a buzzword in the online world right now. It seems to be thrown around a lot, but it’s not really understood by everyone. It can be one of those jargon words that designers use, but the general public doesn’t quite have a grasp on yet.
Branding encompasses a wide range of things and is the essence of your business. Even if you don’t have a visual style or identity in place, you still have a brand. You begin building that brand the second you start marketing yourself, working with clients and developing your services and packages.
Branding includes more than just your logo and visual style. It includes every single aspect of your business including everything below:
- The colours you use in your materials
- Business Cards, Services Sheet, or email signature
- What others say about you
- What other people think of you
- How you describe your business
- Content Marketing (Blog, newsletter etc.)
- The copy on your website and other materials
- Any other element of your business
- Your logo
- How you speak
- Style of writing
- Photos you choose to showcase your business
- How you treat your clients/customers
- What you choose to sell
- The process you use in your services
- Your social media accounts (Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook etc.)
Why is branding important?
What do you want customers or potential clients to say about you and your business? What kind of impression do you want to leave?
Branding is what people say when you’re not in the room.
Your content and copy are a part of your brand, but because the brain processes visuals faster than text, your logo, images and graphics are the first thing people are judging you on.
Your visual style or brand is one of the most important aspects of your business. It is the first thing people judge you on, and trust me, they are judging!
The #1 reason people don’t buy, is because of lack of trust. If your brand doesn’t back up what you do, then you’re losing the trust of your potential clients, and they won’t be buying from you.
The visual aspect of your brand needs to be consistent with who you want to serve, and the type of work you do. If your visuals aren’t aligned with your target market, then you’ve lost their interest and trust, and they’ve moved on.
The brain processes visual information 60,000 faster than text. – 3M Corporation, 200
How branding works
We’ve gone over what it includes, and why it’s important, but how does it work exactly?
Your brand encompasses your entire business. Every piece works together to like a puzzle to create a larger picture.
- Your visuals represent your business through graphics, colours and images. It catches the attention of your audience while building trust and recognition.
- Your content or copy explains what you do and how you can help. It allows you to build a connection with your audience and tell people exactly why they should work with you.
- Your services, packages and process are what you offer your audience. This continues to build rapport, trust and credibility. Your services and process also shape how people are going to talk about you when the project is done. If you’ve done a good job of delivering and building trust, then your clients will shout that from the rooftop when you’re done, referring even more people to work with you.
- Now we’ve come full circle, this new audience will see your visuals, read your copy and book your services, going through the same steps I’ve outlined above.
Effective branding does the following:
- Gives you a cohesive look making you look polished, professional and trustworthy.
- Attracts the right clients (the ones you’re excited to work with).
- Gives you credibility, making people believe in what you’re doing and saying.
- Makes you dig deeper into your ideal client allowing you to find better ways to serve them.
- Gives your audience a taste of what you’re all about.
- Branding promotes recognition and sets you apart from the competition.
How I can help you
If branding encompasses all of that, then what does it mean when someone says “I need branding done”? Often times they are referring to a new visual look. However, a re-brand could also mean having a new logo made, re-writing content, website re-design, and new photographs.
As a graphic designer, I’m here to help you translate your business into visuals.
I work on creating a visual identity for creative business owners. This includes logo development, sub-marks, colour palettes and font pairings and then translating those elements into collatoral pieces like websites, social media templates, sales sheets, business cards and other documents.
Branding is a loaded word, and it includes more than just your logo. Every aspect of your business is a part of your branding. Each piece fits together to create a well-rounded, cohesive and trustworthy brand. Your brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text, therefore making your visual identity one of the most important aspects of your brand.
Need some help creating an effective brand and website? I have some spots available for April and May for branding and website packages. Click here for details.