Whether ambitious start-up or established business, you’ll always be looking for new ways to raise the profile of your brand. But getting your brand voice heard by potential customers has never been trickier. Here, Kate Southon, Head of Design at VMS gives her expert advice; and shows it is possible to break through the hubbub, with generous dose of ingenuity and a consistent approach.
Rewind…what is a brand?
Ask the Business Dictionary and it’ll tell you (rather soullessly) that a brand is ‘a unique design, sign, symbol, words, or a combination of these, employed in creating an image that identifies a product and differentiates it from its competitors’.
True. But that’s such a one-dimensional viewpoint. And a brand is so much more than that.
“If your brand was a friend, how would you describe them, what do they stand for?”
This is the question we start with when helping clients to create their business’s brand.
It’s pretty important. As once you have your business’s personality figured out then its far easier for your corporate identity (unique design style, logo, symbols, tone of voice etc.) to come next. And, when represented consistently across all channels; from social media, to website, direct mail, advertising and in customer interactions, your brand can start to exist in a credible and memorable way.
A strong brand means that your business is human. It can become a tangible thing in the minds of consumers.
“A brand is not simply a logo, representing haphazard adjectives: innovative, unique, knowledgeable, trusted,” says Kate. “A brand is the human face of your business. It allows customers to relate to you, and respond to you better.”
So, you’ve figured out what makes your business human. Now onto the next step.
So, we’ve created FIVE LOGO RULES to help you get started, and maximise the impact of your BRAND LOGO once it’s created:
1 // Be clear
A simple brand message is vital, and this must be cohesive and consistent across all platforms.
2 // Harness design
Aesthetic appeal should never be undervalued in the battle for consumer’s hearts and minds. Your aim should be to own a visual identity as unique as your business.
3 // Be consistent
As well as impactful and cohesive. The more immersed a consumer is in your brand, the more potential they have to remember it, and what it stands for. That’s why it’s vital to be consistent. Across all platforms; from digital, to print and of course within the business through interactions with staff.
4 // Utilise social
Increased brand awareness is all about creating the maximum opportunity for consumers to see & engage. There’s no better low cost, mass outreach platform than social media. But remember, keep the visuals, as well as tone of voice and promotional materials, on message and consistent.
5 // Anywhere, and everywhere
With maximum opportunity to see & engage in mind, consider all of the options. Think about quirky and useful platforms through which to promote your brand. Coffee giants love a branded take away cup for a reason. And who can resist a hessian shopping bag from a retailer?
It’s no surprise that so many small and medium business owners feel it’s virtually impossible to get their brand voice heard. Just look at the quantity of big brand/big budget competitors. But, as the recent rebrand of struggling gaming store Game has proved. If you are authentic, honest and create a brand which is truly unique within your marketplace, you will see results.
Viewpoint Marketing is a full service marketing agency based in Chelmsford, Essex. We create successful, strong brands, marketing and advertising as well as innovative websites and online solutions for growing businesses.
Need hlp getting your brand voice heard?
- Learn more about how gaming retailer Game is getting its brand voice heard over Amazon and Tesco. And building brand loyalty amongst its fans
- Discover more about the official meaning of ‘brand’
- Read this helpful SME guide to business branding
- This beginners guide to branding by The Guardian is a great read for SMEs