Is your brand sabotaging your business?

Branding your business is a must if you want to succeed in a competitive world. If you want people to spend money with you online, you have to make them feel confident they’re dealing with a legitimate business. They’re giving you their personal information, as well as their credit card number. If your online presence isn’t cohesive and your messaging isn’t clear, people may not feel comfortable entrusting you with that kind of info. That’s why it’s important to create a brand your clients recognize and trust.

And… because you only have the opportunity to impress people once, you should make sure that this impression is a positive and lasting one which is only possible if you brand your business conveniently and professionally. In this post, I am going to dive into how your brand could be sabotaging your business!

Before we dive in, let’s start off talking about what branding actually is…

There are many definitions of branding but to simplify things, your brand is essentially what differentiates you from every other business out there.

Branding is a set of expectations you create in your customers minds, in regards to your business. It includes everything from the quality of your website to your customer service to your actual products and services. It is way more than just a name and logo – it’s your buyers entire experience with your business. Good branding differentiates your products and services in a positive way that really sticks in the minds of potential customers.

Another important thing to note is that a brand is a reputation. A good brand adds value to your products and services. People expect a certain quality based on the brand name. If they recognize your brand and have a good association with it, they’re likely to choose it over other similar products and services, even if it costs a little more.

Now that we’ve got that covered, let’s talk about the benefits of branding

While there are many benefits, here are 4 reasons why the effort to brand your company or yourself pays off.

1. People remember it.

A brand serves as a convenient container for a reputation and good will. It’s hard for customers to go back to “that whatsitsname store” or to refer business to “the plumber from the Yellow Pages.” In addition to an effective company name, it helps when people have material reminders reinforcing the identity of companies, they will want to do repeat business with: refrigerator magnets, tote bags, datebooks, coasters, key rings, etc.

Creating a brand that people will remember can come from using and sticking with an unusual color combination (FedEx’s purple and orange), distinctive behavior (the gas station whose attendants literally run to clean your windshield), or with an individual, even a style of clothing. Develop your own identifiers and nail them to your company name in the minds of your public.

2. People will be loyal.

When people have a positive experience with a brand, they’re more likely to buy that product or service again than competing brands. People who closely bond with a brand identity are not only more likely to repurchase what they bought, but also to buy related items of the same brand, to recommend the brand to others and to resist the lure of a competitor’s price cut. The brand identity helps to create and to anchor such loyalty.

More people have the motorcycle brand “Harley-Davidson” tattooed on their body than any other brand name. That’s out-of-this-world loyalty.

3. Premium image, premium price.

Branding can lift what you sell, so that instead of dealing with price-shoppers you have buyers eager to pay more for your goods than for those of competitors. Think of some people’s willingness to buy the currently “in” brand of bottled water, versus toting along an unlabeled bottle of the same stuff filled from the office water cooler.

The distinctive value in a brand can even lead people to dismiss evidence they would normally use to make buying decisions.

4. Lower marketing expenses.

Although you must invest money to create a brand, once it’s created you can maintain it without having to tell the whole story about the brand every time you market it. For instance, a jingle people in your area have heard a zillion times continues to promote the company when it’s played without any words.

So how do we create a brand that people trust? Keep it cohesive and consistent!

Your branding should be consistent throughout all of your marketing materials. Without a solid and consistent brand, you will struggle to connect with your audience.

One important piece of the puzzle is to figure out what your marketing message is so you can carry that message through all your promotional materials. The other important piece is the look and feel (or design) of your brand. From your website design, social media images, to your business cards and print materials, it should all reflect the design of your brand, from the fonts and color to the logo and tagline. Keeping everything cohesive and consistent is key.

Your branding should also persist throughout your entire website from the tone of your copy to your navigation. Having a unified, professional-looking online presence can go a long way towards building trust and confidence with your business. A well-designed website gives your business credibility and people associate the quality of your website and other marketing materials with the quality of products and services they expect from you.

1. Establish your Brand Image

Human beings respond to visuals much faster than words. We also remember images better too — that means that you need a consistent #BrandImage if you want to establish trust with your audience. On your website, social pages, and everything else you use, make sure that your customers see the same:

  • Images.
  • Photos.
  • Logos.
  • Even colors can have a huge impact! The right colors can improve brand recognition by up to 80%.
2. Master your Messaging

Once you know what your image should look like, you can begin to work on your voice. Your tone of voice will appear in everything from your advertisements, to your website copy, and your social media posts. Make sure that it demonstrates the personality you want to establish for your brand. A good way to keep your tone consistent is to provide your team with a list of three or four adjectives that you would use to describe the voice you’re looking for.

3. Plan for Consistency

Finally, a good plan can be a powerful tool for consistency. If you know where your business is headed, you can get ahead of any significant changes in your industry and make sure that you and your team don’t lose your way. You can also establish a schedule for content creation and publication that gives your audience a constant stream of entertainment and information to tap into. This planned consistency shows your customers how committed you are to delivering value for them.

So how can you be sabotaging your business? If your Brand is inconsistent, it will lead to:

  • Miscommunication
  • Brand confusion
  • Erosion of trust
  • Poor customer experience

Check your brand for these common inconsistencies:

1. Inconsistency in Visual Communication

Inconsistency in visual communication is one of the most common mistakes in brand management. Your logo, images, color scheme and typography should create instant recognition for your customers. However, inconsistency in your visual style makes it hard for them to trust the authenticity of your communication. It’s also a distraction from the core message. The style elements chosen in your branding should all convey a unified emotion, vision, and personality.

2. Inconsistency in Voice

How do you sound to customers? Fun? Business-casual? Buttoned-up? Calm? Brand discrepancies can be caused by the lack of a single brand voice. This happens when your company’s content is created by different individuals who may have different, and sometimes conflicting, styles. An inconsistent voice is a missed opportunity to resonate with your customers. The tone you use to communicate your message can help your company rise above the noise. You need to maintain a unified voice whether in your social media channels, website, blog or emails. This creates a stronger and clearer brand reputation, which then reinforces your unique value.

3. Inconsistency in Conveying Brand Values

One of the most overlooked areas in brand management is how business owners and team members bring their business values to the world. With the rise of social networks, people now have the power to engage in social selling and help build a reputation for the brands they represent. The problem is that different stories and activities could present the wrong values on behalf of your business. This mistake affects branding for the long term especially if it involves major customer touch points. It is important to identify the true values that your company stands for and to determine whether they are aligned with your overall vision. This does not mean to say that everything has to be identical moving forward. A great way to start is by developing a set of brand guidelines that you and your team can apply everywhere. Purchasing is, more often than not, an emotional decision. 

Consistency helps create a perception of quality—a unique value that builds your company and attracts more customers!

If you would like to learn more about how to deepen your communications with consistency, that is one of the 4 topics included in the Beautiful + Smart Business Branding for Service Providers course.

The other three modules will cover: defining what drives your core brand purpose; getting your client – and your message – right; and tapping into and empowering your true self, all of which will help you hone your brand identity. Click here to enroll now!

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Hey, I'm Tabitha!

This is my little corner of the internet where I share everything from marketing & strategy to entrepreneurship & mindset.

I believe in sharing really simple, effective advice to help you design a business you love.

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