In this article I will uncover the top 5 in importance of branding.
Branding is vital to get right, and yet so many people are unsure about what it even is, let alone understand why it so important.
A unique brand can have a huge impact in being able to attract the right clients to you, make you stand out amid the sea of competitors, and ultimately generate income for you. Your brand is actually one of your business’s most important assets, so you have got to get it right!
I am excited to show you how branding can be used to make massive improvements in your business. Allow me to explain in detail how branding can be used to attract your ideal client and make real impact in your business.
So, before we leap straight to the top 5, let’s uncover a little more about what branding is, and help you to understand how you can use it to help your business.
Misconceptions about branding
Branding is not the same as logo design
Many people jump straight in by thinking that the logo is the start of the branding process, when in fact it comes much later on down the branding journey. Having a great logo is very important, but it must be designed after you have really explored your brand identity.
Branding is not just for big business
Often people think about the “big brands” and large corporations, and don’t think that branding is important for small businesses. Not true! These large corporations have done well in their branding, and now they are world leaders because they have valued its importance. But the same branding principles are true of small businesses just the same as large, and you don’t need a massive budget, you just need the right branding coach.
Branding is not the same as advertising
Branding is about helping people come to know, like and trust you before they want to start handing over money to you. Whereas advertising is about persuading people to buy into the brand.
Branding can “come later”
No, branding is something integral to your business and should be done as soon as possible. When done right, branding will grow with you. Furthermore, branding will have a great impact on your income. If you brand your business right, more people will want to buy from you.
"Customers don’t care about branding"
Some people think that because they have a super service, that is all they need to make sales. However, nowadays customers are much more informed than in the past. So, if they don’t get the right ‘feel’ and ‘vibe’ for you, they are unlikely to want to buy from you…however good your service is. Ultimately, branding is what makes the client want to build a relationship with you, and buy from you.
What is branding?
Branding gives your business a personality and an identity. It makes your business memorable and allows clients to get to know, like and trust you. Once you have built a relationship with a customer, they will have the confidence to buy from you. Particularly, if you are a service-based business, such as a coach or instructor, it will allow you to attract the right type of person to you; your dream client! That person who you are excited to leap into your office to work with.
Who are you?
Before we can even start to design the visuals we have to really dig deep into the essence of you; understanding your values, your drive, your mission and your vision. For a small business, or a sole trader, it also means unlocking your personality, knowing your story, and fully exploring your inner drive. What is it that makes you love what you do?
Who are they?
Next, it is vital to really unpick who an ideal client would be. If you try to market to everyone, you end up talking to nobody. It is so important to find that niche in the market, and really feel that drive within you to be able to help that person with your product or your service. Uncover that ideal client and understand what makes them tick.
- What are their loves and hates?
- What are their struggles and desires?
- What are their values?
- And how will you be able to help them?
What is branding design?
Once you have your branding clearly in the spotlight, it becomes time to make it visual! Brand design is creating your visual identity, your brand’s unique look that makes it stand out authentically in the market. A brand design will consist of a personalised, unique logo, brand colours, a set of chosen typography, illustration in a certain style, and photography. All these design elements are used together in perfect harmony to reflect your brand out to the world. The piece that is sometimes ignored or neglected is how these make the client FEEL.
Using branding to evoke a response
When these brand design elements are used together on packaging or a website, they evoke a fast response from the client. We are talking milliseconds here! The combination of those elements makes a person FEEL a certain way, and it will either attract them or repel them.
Brands that attract the right customers
If your brand design is successful, it will attract the right people to explore more, and it will repel the wrong-fit people too. It doesn’t need to be something to worry about, because as we said earlier, you can’t serve everyone. (Nor would you want to)
The brand design will allow the ideal client to feel a sense of magnetism to your brand. They will see, in part, a reflection of themselves, and your choice of design will conjure the right feelings in them to encourage them to discover more about you.
Inspiration from big brands
Why branding is important for a small business
Your branding is a true and honest representation of who you are as a person and a business. It allows your clients to know what to expect from you and means that they remember you too. Branding is about who you are as a business; your brand personality, your voice, and your purpose. It underpins customer loyalty and recognition.
The reputation of your small business will develop whether you like it or not, but your brand can be used to help steer that reputation right from the start. You will be able to attract the right customers to you through being open about your values and vision. When you get your branding right, you will keep loyal customers who want to tell all their friends about you, and your reputation will spread.
Brand values matter!
According to a recent study 64% of consumers said that sharing similar values with a brand was the primary reason they had built a brand relationship, rather than it being about how many interactions they had with the brand. That should give small businesses a real boost, because it means that if you get the brand messaging right, you will be making those impressions!
When you start getting work through recommendations, reviews and word of mouth, it shows that your brand is having an impact.
What will your branding be able to achieve for your small business?
- Build trust
- Create recognition
- Elevate your reputation
- Evoke loyalty with your clients
Why is branding important to consumers?
Branding is really a fascinating subject! When you start to unpick why we choose the brands we do, the choices we make when we are shopping, and how we relate to brands’ values.
Picture yourself in the supermarket in the biscuit aisle. You are surveying the rows of biscuit packaging in front of you, and as your eyes scan the shelves you are making millisecond decisions about each one. Maybe today is the day that you go for the old favourite and pop it in the trolley. Or is today the day you feel more spritely and positive, and you allow your eyes to linger on a ‘fancier’ brand? What was it about the visual identity of that brand that made you assume they were a better quality product?
Have you ever chosen a more expensive brand over the very same biscuit from the basics range? Do you value the perception of quality and trust with a certain brand over another? If you are choosing based on trust, then you are a loyal customer.
When you start to evaluate your own choices on something as everyday as biscuits, it makes you realise how important it is for all businesses to value branding.
Branding matters for consumers
A customer needs to get to know you, understand your values, and build trust in you. They are interested in the personality behind the business. When they feel that a business is trustworthy, they are more likely to buy from you.
Consumers want choice
They will be drawn towards the brand that most attracts them. Just like with the biscuit selection, clients will want to engage with your visual identity and be able to choose based on their needs and feelings. That might be through your website, digital design, voice and messaging, and marketing channels.
Consumers choose brands aligned with their values
Customers want to be able to choose brands aligned with their own values, morals, feelings and aspirations. When a client feels that alignment and sense of connection, they will also develop a sense of loyalty.
Your clients will want to tell others about your brand
When you have had a great experience, you can’t wait to tell others about it. A strong brand will generate great reviews and referrals.
Top 5 - importance of branding
- Branding shows your authentic self – Within a few seconds you can communicate who you are through clear messaging and spot-on brand visuals.
- Branding builds connections – You will be able to communicate your values, story and purpose, allowing customers to emotionally connect with you.
- Branding gives you purpose – Branding will connect you to your ideal clients, and therefore bring you pleasure in your business serving the right people.
- Branding generates growth – When you are super clear on your messaging, a great customer experience and employee morale comes with it.
- Branding sets you apart – Even if there are other businesses that appear to be doing the same as you, your branding will set you apart as different and unique. You don’t have to look and sound the same as your competitors! Your dream clients will be drawn to the real you…so stand out!
What steps do you need to take?
At Heart Led Studio, we live and breathe branding! It underpins everything we do. Over the years I have worked with many small businesses and seen how they have flourished with great branding. This is the step-by step process that you would take to create your perfect branding.
Know your brand’s purpose, mission and vision
Exploring and uncovering the real driving force behind your business and knowing what you want to achieve. What are your brand’s promises?
Know your competition
By researching how others in your field are attracting clients, it will give you a deeper insight into how you want to show up. You can see where you will stand out differently and learn how best you can attract your clients.
Know your target audience
Instead of trying to speak to everyone, niche down, and really uncover who your target market it. Once you really know your client you will be able to talk specifically to them, so that they can start to build a connection with you.
Know your brand personality
This is about how you want your clients to feel and respond when they see your brand. What feelings do you want to evoke? Being clear on this will mean consistency in your messaging, wherever you happen to be speaking.
Your brand story
Connect with your clients on an emotional level by being open and transparent about your story and journey. Were you once in a position like them? Do you understand how they feel? How did you come through to the other side? Your story and brand voice will help customers get to know, like and trust you.
Create a visual identity
An amazing logo will be able to communicate so much. Your choice of colours, typography, imagery and photography all work in harmony to create that clear visual representation of your brand. Within a few seconds of seeing your website homepage, your potential client will already have made their decision about whether to read more or not.
I sincerely hope that you found this article helpful and informative. You might be at the stage where you are ready to see what your next steps are. Please click below to receive a free step by step branding checklist to attract YOUR dream clients.
If you would like to understand more about how I could help you, click here to read more.