What’s in a brand?

What’s in a brand? A rose by any other brand would smell as sweet.

Jokes aside, the reality is too many business owners think of their brand as just a logo, or the way their company looks. When that totally isn’t the case.

What is a brand exactly? Why bother branding your company?

A brand is the sum of all your experiences with a company—and these experiences are telling of what can be expected from that company in the future.

Given that definition, your logo is barely scratching the surface in conveying your brand. Your brand covers all the instances you ever interact with your customer. It covers the the way you respond to customer inquiries, the images you show on your social media platforms, even the emojis you use. All these things play a part in building a successful brand and of course, a successful business.

How do I build my brand?

Simon Sinek said it best: start with the why.

Why do you do what you do? What’s your vision for the world and how does your company contribute to that? After all, your customers won’t know what you’re about unless you know it for yourself. Your why will dictate the products or services you offer, how they’re designed, your company culture, how you communicate and behave towards your customers.

Once you’ve answered your why, you can move onto how you express your vision through your brand’s voice and visual identity. How does your brand walk and talk? What does it look like? What should it make your customers feel? This is where your logo, typography, colour palette, and copywriting come into play.

Think of your brand as a living, breathing human being. He/she has a distinct personality, stands for certain values, talks with a voice of his/her own, engages with customers in his/her own way. Most importantly, this person will represent your company. If you do things right, your customers will trust and do business with this person.

Trust takes time

What people don’t usually tell you is that building a brand takes time. Consistency is key. Be consistent with your message and how you say it. By being consistent with copywriting, by having a set logo, by using the same set of colours, by creating your own images instead of buying stock imagery, customers can recognise you on whatever platform.

By investing in these tools early on and keeping at it, you can build a lasting relationship with your customers. Because the power of a brand isn’t limited to a one-time transaction with your customer. The power of a brand is that it can transform your customer.

“For better or worse, this little object—this little brand—transformed me. Brands can do that. They’re capable of creating intimate worlds that only their inhabitants can understand, worlds where each citizen has a meaningful identity and a sense of belonging. Brands create tribes. They allow us to assert moods, tastes, whims, and choice. Brands signal our affiliations and can even define our beliefs. In a time when our culture is so diverse, brands enable us to simultaneously stand out and fit in."

—Debbie Milman, “Look Both Ways"