A lot of people don’t understand what branding really is and the importance of it.
Take it from me, even as a successful entrepreneur it’s taken me years to get this. I mean probably only up until the last five years have I really understood the importance of developing a unique brand.
What is Branding?
Generally speaking, people think they know what a brand is. They will see a logo and think of this as a brand. In reality, this is an aspect of a brand, but it is not the totality of a brand.
Then what is a brand really?
It’s the impression that your customers, your community, and your audience get from your business.
Your brand is the totality of impressions you leave your customers with.
Your brand intention is one thing, but what your brand accomplishes is how it lives in the minds, hearts, and the experiences of the customers.
Imagine a company that says it stands for efficiency, but it takes 20 minutes for customers to receive their drinks.
What you intend for your brand to represent and what it actually represents are two different things. The art of branding is to make sure what you intend to come across, is what is actually coming across.
How To Develop A Unique Brand
A lot of times what people do is to play safe. They create something that might be a small deviation from what is familiar.
Personally, I suffered from this. When thinking about business concepts I simultaneously wanted something that got peoples attention but also didn’t stand out TOO much.
What a paradox. This is a fear a lot of entrepreneurs have. They fear of being too bold, or too unique out of fear of judgment.
I learned that the more bold and unique a business is (assuming you are actually bringing value) the better.
You want to start a business that’s new and unique, that has never been done before. A great book, that I highly recommend that you read is Purple Cow, written by Seth Godin. The base concept is if you’re developing a new business, it needs to be a purple cow.
Because people know what cows look like. Black and White. But if they saw a purple cow, what would they do? Of course, they will stop, they will talk about it they will explain how it is different to other people.
It’s the same thing for business. If you want people to not only remember your business but to talk about it, it has to be unique and novel.
What To Focus On When Developing A Brand
As markets get more mature and saturated, of course you want to make sure you’re developing a unique brand in design, logo, and experiences. When you’re developing a brand it’s not only about the visual and the presentation but also you have to focus on a few qualities such as:
What is the need in the market?
What is going to be a natural expression of who you are as a business owner?
What qualities do you want your company to represent?
Then ask yourself with those qualities how do you express this and these qualities in every facet of your business?
Here are some ideas:
The way the staff dresses.
The way your website looks.
The way you communicate about your product through all marketing platforms.
How do you interface with your customers?
What is your brand voice? – Is it playful, serious, sarcastic?
Leave A Strong Impression…
This is something that’s really important and I can’t underemphasize the value of, because if you can leave a strong impression in your customer’s mind, they will tell other people.
One way to become aware of how other people think about your brand is to listen to how to speak about your business to other people.
If you ever get the pleasure of hearing someone else talk about your business, be very alert to hear what kinds of words they use and how they relate to it.
This is one of the most powerful indicators on the impression that you are making.
Is it clear? Is this what you want them to say.
If not, you have some work to do.
When you’re creating a brand and you’re getting into business, it’s NOT to blend in, you’re getting into business to stand out!
So be bold! Be creative! Be authentic!
Thank you for taking the time to read our blog and if you want to dive into it we do have an online course. If you have any specific questions or if you want to explore working with our agency in greater depth, you can reach me at Andrew@startajuicebar.com