Your brand involves more than just creating a logo and it is commonly defined as your customer’s experience. A brand is what your customers think of you and a reflection of everything you do: the way you send emails, your website, your Tweets, how you describe your business, and the logo on your business cards. It’s a complex mixture of feelings and personalities that make your customers love your work.
Your Customers and Your Brand
If you want to find out why your customers work with you, ask them. You might be surprised at whether their answers match what you think. After all, branding is a complicated set of feelings and experiences. So you would be remiss in not enquiring about your customer’s reactions to your services . Once you identify what gives your firm an edge, build your brand around it.
Your Competition’s Brand
Your branding is also important when you are being compared with your competition. Whether you spend time thinking about your brand, you are being compared with firms who have. They may be larger and better funded with a marketing department that has developed branding guidelines. Your branding budget may not compare, but maybe that is part of your strategy and charm. This should be communicated through your branding initiatives.
Define Your Brand Now
You already have a brand, it was created the moment you started your business. If you are an established firm, your branding has been defined and hopefully your customers have a consistent experience from initial contact to project closing. If you are just started your firm, now is the time to think about your brand. It will not get any cleaner, easier, or less expensive to spend time on this and your business may suffer without it. The idea is to build a strong base to launch your business that creates enough work that you will not have time to address your branding later.
This does not have to involve a great expense of designing logos and marketing materials but should be a part of your business plan. Before you pitch your firm to potential clients, you must define your unique offering and how you will surpass your client’s expectations. These are the essential elements of your brand. Once these are established it will be easier to create your marketing materials, Powerpoint presentations, website content, and everything else that will be consistent manifestations of your brand.
Spending time thinking abut your branding is a valuable exercise that can reveal and redefine your business to be best positioned to set your firm apart. It is never just the logo or tagline and should always consider the overall customer experience you want to offer.