Branding agencies approach branding services from numerous angles, helping businesses establish, maintain or expand their brand in every possible way. These six, in particular, can elevate your marketing strategy with a clearer focus on who you are and what you have to offer.
1. Logo design
First impressions are important, and for many potential customers, your logo will provide an initial glimpse of your brand. A company logo is essentially the face of the organization, and it should tell prospective customers everything they need to know about your business right upfront.
A well-designed logo supports marketing efforts in a variety of ways:
Think of virtually any consumer brand – what immediately pops into your mind? Most likely, it’s their logo. For the top brands, logos cross-cultural boundaries and international borders, becoming readily recognizable around the globe.
Take Coca-Cola, for instance. By all accounts, it’s one of the most recognizable brands in the world. It doesn’t matter that the logo is written in English – or that it uses a cursive script that reached peak popularity 150 years ago – 90% of people around the world know it when they see it.
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2. Brand messaging
What can you offer customers? How do your services or brand experience compare with the competition? What do customers get from your business that they can’t get anywhere else?
Your brand messaging should account for these questions and more. It defines what your company is, permeating everything from marketing materials to tag lines to product descriptions.
There a lot of factors that are wrapped up in brand messaging, including:
- Value proposition.
- Key differentiators.
- Brand principles.
- Organizational culture.
- Target audience.
- Product positioning.
Everything your company says should have meaning, and that meaning should always reflect your brand messaging.
Look at Subway. For decades, it ran a fairly popular – if unremarkable – fast-food business. Today, it’s the largest fast-food chain in the country, representing 18.5% of the total market. A big reason for Subway’s success has been its shift in messaging to appeal to health-conscious consumers.
Every branding change and development that has come about over the past couple of decades has stressed fresh food and healthy eating. The brand’s tagline, “Eat fresh,” is an obvious example. Even redefining employees as “sandwich artists” demonstrates a commitment to food quality.
3. Brand positioning
Brand positioning could easily be considered a subset of brand messaging, but it’s important enough to warrant its own discussion.
In short, brand positioning is how you set yourself apart from the competition. What do you bring to the table that’s wholly distinct from other players in your market? If you don’t have a clear answer to that question, it’s going to be difficult to convince potential customers to choose your business over another one.
Branding agencies can help with that, though. Through market research and organizational analysis, they’re able to determine what customers want, what your business can realistically provide and how those offerings compare with your competitors.
Creating an effective branding strategy is all about matching your capabilities with your customers’ expectations and desires. Brand agencies are not looking to exaggerate or overpromise. They simply want to drill down into what makes your business unique and find an effective way to showcase those strengths.
4. Brand voice
Brands are like people: Each one has its own particular way of expressing themselves. Some are friendly, some are irreverent, some are unflaggingly professional and some are aspirational. Establishing a brand voice and adhering to it across all touchpoints, marketing campaigns and customer interactions is extremely important. Having a strong brand voice solidifies your company’s identity, and any deviation could negatively impact the perception of your organization.
5. Style guide
Once you’ve defined your brand voice, you need to codify it so every employee and stakeholder knows how to follow your branding guidelines. That’s where a style guide comes into play.
Style guides can layout your brand voice, messaging, design principles and more in precise detail. They instruct your staff members and business partners on the exact language to use in different scenarios, what color schemes to incorporate into design layouts and how to most effectively communicate with your core audience.
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6. Social media branding
Many companies struggle with social media branding. On one hand, you want to have the same consistent branding across all channels. On the other hand, social media platforms like Twitter often lend themselves to more irreverent and playful content.
Businesses need to find a way to stay true to their brand messaging, voice and values while still taking advantage of social media’s inherent strengths. It’s a tricky balancing act, and a lot of organizations wind up falling flat on their faces.
That’s why working with an expert branding agency can be so helpful. They have a keen understanding of what content works on different social media networks and how to effectively use those platforms without sacrificing brand integrity.
You are your brand. If you can’t clearly articulate what your brand stands for, then you’re probably going to struggle to convince prospective customers to buy from your business over the competition. Branding services can help you identify your core principles and package those values in a message that resonates with your audience.