Everyone knows that branding is a big deal, but when asked to define it, answers range from “you know, just your logo and stuff” to company colors, and other visual media. However, that doesn’t quite cover it. And the real problem is…that isn’t common knowledge. Branding is this ambiguous thing that every self-respecting business needs to have a handle on, but no one can accurately define. Enter me, with a definition.
Loosely speaking, true whole branding is anything and everything that affects your ideal client’s perception of you and your business. The Whole Branding method is way more than just an eye-catching awesome logo with matching colors. A whole branding strategy should be well rounded, including uniformity in all areas that affect your customer. This includes web design, color scheme, social media, online marketing, press releases, customer service, online resources about your business, etc. etc.
The first step to approaching this effectively is to be able to identify your ideal client, otherwise known as your target customer. You should be able to tell me who this is in just a few words. Once you are able to do this, the rest of your branding strategy decisions should be made with that person in the forefront of your mind. What sort of color scheme would attract that person? Where does that person hang out online? Offline? What products do they buy regularly? How can you get auspice in a place this person would see it? What kinds of articles or press releases would this person tune into? Which tone of voice do they identify with? What information are they searching for? How can you meet their needs?
Every interaction your clients have with you, from glancing at a billboard on the highway to calling customer service, to navigating your website or making a purchase should all be influenced by some segment of your branding strategy. This is what is meant by a whole branding strategy – it affects the whole company, and presents a whole image to the public.
But why bother? What is the point of all this effort?
Well, I’ll tell you. Branding is the secret sauce that sets you apart from all the other competition out there. You want them to feel they know who you are as a company, and also why you are better. They need to know what your company mission is, very clearly. Clients want to know what your goals are, and they want to be able to share those goals. What better way to communicate this, than through branding?
Here’s the real kicker, this whole approach to branding strategy should cross all platforms. The obvious application is through visual media, but that is not the end! As I mentioned before, a well thought out branding strategy is far-reaching and will touch on all areas of business, with emphasis on anything that is front facing to a client. This means that in addition to online or visual media, this includes product design, services provided, customer service, purchase process online and/or in person, store/physical location design, web utility (meaning is your website only informational? Or does it also solve some problems? Is there a chat function? An online store? Etc.)
Tailor your branding efforts to answer some of these questions, and you will notice an uptick in customer response!
Written by Emily Dominguez