Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business, large or small. An effective brand strategy gives you a major edge in increasingly competitive markets. But what exactly does “branding” mean? How does it affect a business like yours?
Simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from your competitors’. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.
Are you the innovative maverick in your industry? Or the experienced, reliable one? Is your product the high-cost, high-quality option, or the low-cost, high-value option? You can’t be all things to all people. Who you are should be based to some extent on who your target customers want and need you to be.
The foundation of your brand is your logo. Your website, packaging and promotional materials–all of which should integrate your logo–communicate your brand.
Captiv8 recently partnered with Fiducian Financial Services to re-brand their entire company, covering all aspects of their business such as their logo, website, marketing, signage and stationery.
The Captiv8 Strategy
Forming the brand strategy was about considering how, what, where, when and to whom we planned on communicating and delivering the Fiducian brand messages. Where to advertise, the distribution channels and what they communicate visually and verbally are all inclusive in that strategy.
How did we define their brand?
Defining a brand is like a journey of business self-discovery. It can be difficult, time-consuming and uncomfortable. These are the questions that need answers when defining a brand:
- What is your company’s mission?
- What are the benefits and features of your products or services?
- What do your customers and prospects already think of your company?
- What qualities do you want them to associate with your company?
We did our research. Learnt the needs, habits and desires of the current and prospective customers.
Once you’ve defined your brand, how do you get the word out? Here are some of the aspects we specifically covered and transformed:
- We updated the logo. This is something you want to show everywhere. Familiarising customers and potential markets with your logo creates trust before they even know they need you.
- We wrote down their brand messages. It’s always important to consider what key messages you are going to communicate about your brand.
- We integrated their brand. Branding extends to every aspect of a business–how you answer your phones, what you or your salespeople wear on sales calls, your e-mail signature, everything. If branding is to work, it needs to be across the entire company and every detail.
- We created a “voice” for Fiducian that reflects their brand. This voice applies to all written communication and incorporated in the visual imagery of all materials, online and off.
- We strengthened their tagline. A tagline must be a memorable, meaningful and concise statement that captures the essence of the brand.
- We re-designed stationery templates and created new brand guidelines for their marketing materials. It’s important to use the same colour palette, logo placement, look and feel throughout. It must be consistent to have an impact.
The two tips we always advise our clients when we do their branding:
- Be true to your brand. Customers won’t return to you–or refer you to someone else–if you don’t deliver on your brand promise.
- Be consistent. I placed this point last because it is the most important tip we can give our clients. If you can’t be consistent, your attempts at establishing a brand will fail.