Logo – check!
Fonts – check!
Website – check!
Flyer – check!
Facebook page – check!
Where is your brand???
The one thing you should have learned from me by now is that when it comes to a brand – it’s all about strategy first, design second.
A strategy is the foundation of your brand!
Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs and business owners still ask why they need a brand strategy in the first place.
I get it! In the craziness of running your own business, having a ‘brand’ may seem like a luxury, but not really necessary.
But not defining your brand strategy is like not having a game plan when you play football or trying to navigate the Ikea showroom on a rainy Saturday. You need to have a strategy!
It’s far more important to have the strategy than the brand’s activation like the logo, colors, fonts, etc. Many business owners (especially small businesses) tend to focus on seemingly “quick wins”, such as expensive logo services, inexpensive crowdsourcing, and using only tactical branding techniques such as good old flyers or ordinary social media and blog posts. ).
What you need to have amazing communication with your potential customers, is to have an effective brand strategy. It goes hand in hand with your marketing tactics and visual design. This is in order for your business and sales to achieve momentum and ensure long-term growth.
It’s hard to make the commitment to truly have clarity of your brand, so it’s easy to say you don’t need a brand at all. Yet, there are some real consequences of not building your brand right.
No brand? No identity.
A business that suffers from an identity crisis won’t be in operation for very long. Some of the most common issues associated with a lack of strong foundation, core values, and unique selling propositions, include inconsistent brand management, disorganized communication, and lackluster leadership – all leading to a significant decline in sales.
Also keep in mind that not having a brand is still a brand. At the end of the day you are communicating something- but probably not the key messages or semiotics you need to be providing your customers with, which will result in a mediocre emotional response from them in regards to your company. Don’t let anyone else define your company, take control of the message.
No brand? No market position.
This is when a brand forgets what it is and what it stands for and tries to experiment with its identity and positioning to an extent that it takes a totally different route. This route could result in that brand’s failure as it might not be congruent with the existing image and positioning brand.
For your business to be successful, you need to be able to quickly connect and engage with customers. But too many conflicting messages or touch-points can leave paying customers feeling confused as if your services or products aren’t solving their problems. Having a strong identity not only clarifies business goals for yourself but also makes it much easy for your target customers to interact with your company.
Having brand clarity will help you define where you fit and stand out in the market not to mention that it can help you see where you can exploit new opportunities in the marketplace. It’s so important to know where you fit in the market and with your competitors.
Speaking of your competitors, do they have a clear, well-defined brand? Hmm…
No brand? No easy and effective marketing.
This is probably the most common and biggest problem we see. Marketing without brand strategy is a surefire way for problems to arise. People enjoy interacting with brands they perceive as valuable, honest, and superior in quality. In fact, consumers say that sharing values with a company is the main reason they maintain brand relationships. Basically, if you don’t focus on telling the story of your company through transparent marketing tactics, you’ll end up attracting unqualified leads and prospects who have barely anything in common with your organization.
Without a real strategy, you can end up with elements of the brand that actually don’t fit or communicate clearly what the business is. It may even cost you more in the long-run in additional re-branding services like logos, freelancers, materials etc.
Furthermore, when you have a strong brand, marketing and communications become easier! Yes, that’s right- your marketing efforts can become simpler and easier to implement when you have a very clear company identity and business game-plan.
No brand? No future proofing.
Ask millennials and boomers what companies (reference)they value the most and you’ll get noticeably different answers. If brands want to make an impact with consumers in the future, they need a clear mission and a brand foundation.
Just imagine how much it will cost you in the long run if you do not have a strong, remarkable, and authentic brand. If done right, it will have a huge value in the future, not only because of the strong brand but the story behind it. Having a differentiation factor in addition to your own story brings a level of authenticity that is so needed for long-term business growth.
If done right it has huge value in the future, not only because of the strong brand but the story behind it.
There are three wins:
- You end up with a great brand
- You end up with a great story
- You end up with a proposition the customer can identify with.
Done right, that makes you more dependable, a differentiation and brings a level of authenticity.
It creates a huge amount of introspective consideration of your core value and brand proposition. The more you look at it, the more you pull it apart, test the hypothesis, the better the articulation and design of the brand becomes.
Hey, and if you get it wrong, it will cost you over and over in additional rebranding costs like logos, freelancers, materials. The list goes on.
We know building your own business keeps you very busy, but defining and creating your business brand should not be seen as an added bonus it’s an essential ingredient to your company’s success in marketing, sales, and growth.
Plus branding can be an inexpensive and fun investment! So while you are checking off your list of the key elements of your marketing efforts, make sure to put BRAND on the list.
Need help to put a checkmark there? Call iGina and we’ll get you started!
The Way Forward
Guiding entrepreneurs on their journey to a remarkable brand is the mission of the Brand Alchemy Library.
For many of us, running or launching our business while facing a global pandemic has opened up a whole new range of challenges: from pivoting businesses models, evolving customer groups, saving money, and time efficiency - just to name a few. I want to support and help, especially at this time. I wanted to give back. My passion project was born from the desire to help even more people around the world in a affordable way!
The Brand Alchemy Library is a supportive community and resource vault designed to help your business thrive.
Inside, my #1 priority is to help entrepreneurs break free of the cycle of spending hours and hours googling how to's and templates. The resources I provide in the library are 100% vetted and the exact frameworks, templates, exercises, and worksheets that I use with my clients to:
- build brands
- setup businesses
- run day-to-day projects
- action marketing and brand strategies
But, I'll tell you now, if truly becoming a remarkable brand is your goal, you NEED to join the Library Membership. Just saying.
Until next time,
Who am I?
I'm Gina Dunn, Brand Strategist and CEO of iGina - and my mission is to help entrepreneurs to define and build brands. Let's bring your brand to life!
Did you know that brand-led businesses outperform their competition by 83%? Get started by mapping out your very own brand strategy yourself with our Brand Canvas - get it here.