Branding: Is It Really Necessary?
You've set up shop - the time has finally come to throw open the doors to your business (physically or digitally), but have you really thought about branding?
What Is a Brand?
Brands are all around us, whether it is one of the major players such as Coca Cola or an independent coffee shop in town. The concept is the same - you ultimately want an audience to recognise your products or services through imagery, designs and text.
It all begins with a seed of an idea. Let's imagine you've always had a passion for baking and you're on speed dial when it comes to family occasions. Now you want to turn this skill into something more - a business. When you're trying to sell your cakes however, you need to establish a brand. The first place which most people start is with the name of their business, for example "Karen's Kakes". Okay, we're not winning any awards here for brand names, but you get the idea. Next, perhaps you draft a logo idea and pick a colour scheme which you feel represents your business. That's the easy part.
The more difficult task thought is when you realise that branding isn't a one time project, it will evolve and change over time depending upon your business goals and objectives. Imagine Karen's Kakes suddenly becomes a global franchise; chances are that the brand may need to adapt whether that via imagery or the message which it sends to it's customers. Whether you're franchising or just coming up to 6 months since launching, it's important to regularly review and critique your brand. We're huge advocates of self-love, but sometimes you need to sit down and pick out what's working and what's not - honesty is the best policy.
But What Makes a Good Brand?
So Karen has got herself all setup with a name, logo and slogan but anyone can do that! What makes the real difference is the connotations you create through your branding. What do you want people to think about you and your business? How would you like them to feel? This is what makes a good brand - one that provokes emotion.
Let's take UK based Lloyds Bank as an example. Their marketing message and branding in recent times echoes the slogan 'by your side'. We've all seen the dramatic television commercials of a horse galloping across mountainous landscapes whilst a climatic tune rings out with the lyrics "I will look after you". Sure, we might skim over the ad most of the time whilst waiting for the next section on Friday Night Dinner to start, but in reality when you actually pay attention to the display you are filled with some kind of emotion - it's hard not to be. So should Karen and her cakes start gallivanting across the Scottish highlands to a grassroots version of 'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun'? Probably not. Karen could however tell the story of how she baked as a child with her grandma who then left her most treasured recipes to her, the inspiration behind 'Karen's Kakes'. See what we did there?
So, Where Do I Go Now?
When you're just starting out with your business it can be incredibly daunting, you want to shout about it from the rooftops but you're not sure which roof to shout off of. So before you shout, step back and really think about your story. Where you've been, where you're going and why. Those answers are your brand.
Looking to take the pressure off of developing a successful brand which represents your business perfectly? Our team at Dimension Creative know how to craft something rather special and tell the right story - your story.