The brand of your business is the way others perceive your company. It’s really the reputation that you put forth into the universe. The good news is, your brand is largely customizable, and you get to have a lot of control over the way your company is presented to the world.
That's a lot of responsibility, isn't it? :)
Well, let's try to make it a little easier to swallow. Let's think of your business as a character in comic book, and you get the privilege of being the artist that decides what that character wears, the manner in which they speak, and the messages they share with others. You get to create the character of your business from the beginning to the end.
We've created the C.A.R.P.E.T. method to help you to create and develop your brand!
How can you stay consistent and true to who your brand is?
Once we determine and define our true brand identity, we can use that as a compass to guide us into making decisions about our business that honor and reflect our business personality.
Your brand should be a cohesive message that permeates throughout your business, in every visual, platform and message you put out into the universe.
Three things your brand should have:
Appearance - Your brand should have a style all its own, one that is unique to and feels like your business
Attitude - Your brand should have its own life and personality, and this should be kept consistent throughout the messaging your audience receives
Adventure - Your brand should have its own story. Let your audience into who you are, where you’ve been, and who you’ve become. Share the adventure of your journey in past, present and future.
Who is your audience? Who is it that our business serves? We will want to take the time to narrow this down, because when we understand who the audience is that we serve, we understand who we need to be to serve them.
If you are not clear about who your target market is, listen to our podcast episode about creating your own Ideal Customer Avatar. Click here to listen to this episode.
What is your reason for existing? What’s the why of your business? Each business serves a purpose in someone’s life. That is what makes it a business. It’s important to determine your WHY behind the WHAT.
Ask yourself the following questions to help determine your brand’s purpose:
What is the reason we provide these products or services to our audience?
In what ways do we intend to impact our audience’s lives?
Why do we think our business is important?
What are the values that our brand stands for?
What is the personality of your business? Part of developing a personality for your brand is to determine the type of messaging you will send out into the world.
If you could hire ANY spokesperson in the world to represent your brand, who would it be? How would they look, act, and how would they speak when they described your brand?
What type of emotion do you want people to feel when they think of your business? Whatever the emotions are that you are trying to capture, your overall messaging should be cohesive to the emotion you want to evoke in your audience.
Think about how your favorite brands make you feel. When we think about, shop, purchase or use the products and services that are our favorites, it evokes emotions in us that keeps us coming back again and again. We will want to keep this in mind as we develop our business brand to help our audience to emotionally connect to our brand in a way that makes them loyal, and makes them feel good about themselves when they connect with our brand.
In the last step, we thought about which emotions we wanted to evoke in our audience when they think of our brand. But, how can we make those feelings translate into something visual?
Create a visual representation of your brand that causes your target market to feel emotions when they think about, or interact with your business. The look of your website, the imagery you use, and even the fonts you choose all have an impact on how your brand is perceived. Good design can go a long way, and it’s worth spending the extra money to get quality marketing pieces for your business.
In the same way we morph and change throughout our lives, our brands can also change over time, getting a rebranding makeover every once in awhile! But, the core of who we are should still remain the same, even in the face of these rebranding makeovers. So, your brand doesn't need to stagnate after years, it should stay up to date with current trends in look and feel. Brands can become outdated, usually every 7-10 years, you should consider giving your brand a facelift.
While it can be very overwhelming as we start tackling the task of building a brand that's unique to us, the effort will be well worth it. Your brand can be a constant that your audience can come to rely on. They will know what to expect from your business, and can count on that look and feel to make them feel a certain way about their interactions with your business.