Understanding branding

Okay, so what is 'branding' exactly?
In a nutshell, branding is making your mark recognisable, visible and memorable. Your 'mark' is that specific image and style which identifies you or your company from others, and expresses clearly a solution to your clients' problem/s, while at the same time creating a connection with your specific target market.

It's simple, really. The basic purpose of your business is to sell something that people want in order to make a profit so you can live a comfortable life. If people can keep your company at the 'top of their minds' in relation to your product or service, they're going to think of you first when they need what you're selling, or when someone mentions your trade in passing conversation. 

It all starts with understanding how the mind works. Most people don't have a photographic memory. They will remember things that are simple, clear and bold over things that are complicated, intricate and vague. The first step to making sure your market remembers you is to ensure that your branding and company name is simple, easy to remember and offers some sort of solution to a problem.

For example?
I'm going to use my own branding as an example. My logo is a bit weird (which is part of its charm), but it's simple: a leafy apple emerging from a planet-pot. People remember it for both of those reasons: weird and simple. It only has three prominent colours: yellow, pink, and green. The word 'cosmic' connects with the planet image and makes it easy to remember. The apple reflects the 'creations' part, and 'creations' also informs people that I'm producing something 'arty'. 'Freelance Design' says exactly what I do.  My 'solution' statement is 'inspiration unlimited'. I used this phrase because many small-business owners feel uninspired when it comes to building their brand. 'Inspiration unlimited' tells them that we can solve that problem for them. I also use 'small business greatness' in my correspondence and marketing which is self-explanatory.

Anything else?
Yes. Just having a properly purposed logo is great, but it's not enough. It's like having a Ferrari and only ever driving it at 40 km/h to the local supermarket: wasted. You need to flaunt it. Use it at every opportunity and make sure everyone can see it as often as possible. High-visibility is key. This starts with all your company stationery. Make sure your logo is on it - in perfect form, correct colour, and undistorted. Ensure it is on all your advertising, your signage, company vehicle, website, and social media pages. If you have staff, put your logo on their shirts and caps and also on any promotional items you use to market your business. An additional benefit of a simple logo is that it will cost a lot less to reproduce for printing on shirts or other promo items.

How do I know if my logo is legit?
Aha! You'll have to wait until next Friday when we'll be sharing a specially-compiled quiz you can complete to put your logo through its paces and find out if it meets the requirements of an affective and memorable mark. Watch this space.

All content Copyright © to Jo Petzer 2015