Starting a new business - or rebranding or refreshing an existing one - is both an exciting and scary time.
Whether you know a thing or two about marketing, or consider the branding space to be completely uncharted territory, knowing where to start is often the hardest part.
Here are four of my top tips for ensuring you get the most out of your branding process.
Start at the very beginning
If you’re wondering where to start, marketing and branding conversations begin by defining your “what”, "how" and “why”, as well as your brand’s vision, mission and values. (You can read more about the elevator pitch concept and why it’s so crucial here.) It’s easy to get caught up in all of your brand’s activities and the more tangible aspects of your brand development, such as your logo and website, but doing this branding work and determining your unique value proposition (UVP) in the very early stages will help you with all aspects of the process.
Define your tribe
For a brand to be successful, having your ideal client in mind is key - even though this person may change over time. Saatchi & Saatchi executive chairman Kevin Peters says “brands are owned by the people who love them”, so defining your target consumer early on and striving to appeal to these consumers on an emotional level is important.
Develop an overarching communications strategy for delivery of all of the elements you’ll need for your brand from brand messaging, to logos, product or service launches, and various collateral - and remember to keep the timing tight. At times I’ve seen this type of work drag out, particularly in larger organisations where there are many layers of approval. To avoid this, include strict delivery times as part of your strategy and stick to them!
While slick logos, graphics, supporting style guides and tone of voice documents might sound like overkill, all of this work is creating a consistent brand voice and messaging - helping you to get brand cut-through so you can speak to your tribe. Hugely successful RedBalloon founder and entrepreneur Naomi Simson sees her personal style as an extension of this brand, writing that her decision to often wear a red dress is no coincidence.
While I’m not suggesting you need to dress in your brand’s official colours, consistency is very important, particularly when establishing your brand. Ensure that everyone working on your marketing is fully immersed in your business or organisation to ensure all of your communications are on message and in keeping with your visual identity.