“Ok. Deep breath. You can do this. Don’t be afraid, it’s just typing like you talk. Have a conversation with your audience. Share your knowledge and skills with the world. And go...” That was the conversation I just had in my head about writing my first blog. Sorry to share with the group, but I have a fear of public speaking. And, well, blogs are public typing. I’m just the design and branding lady in the back corner with her headphones on and laptop stuck to her face. Anyway, now that I’ve introduced myself, let’s get to the business end of this deal. What’s your brand? Everyone has a brand. Simply put, your brand is the image you portray to the world. Intense, right? Stay with me here. I’m talking big picture. Your brand shows who you are, beyond the logo and tagline. It allows people to connect with you and your product or service. All of this means one thing to me: Your brand is very important! Many times I’ll be asked to design an ad or help with a website/marketing campaign and the first thing I look at is the company’s overall brand messaging. Having a weak or inconsistent brand can kill you! It is your foundation for successful marketing and sales. This brings me to the important steps in making sure your BRAND is on point.
Determine your target audience. Who are you selling your product/service to? This will allow your brand messaging to be on point.
Evaluate your creative. Do you have a defined logo (and by this I mean ONE logo, not multiple variations)? Are all your materials consistent (signage, business cards, mailers, etc…)?
Evaluate your customer relations. Are you portraying the image you want to your customers? Are you keeping your brand promise?
Develop a cohesive plan. Make sure ALL your marketing efforts are working for you and not against you. Meaning, make sure your messaging and print ads are the same as your billboard, which is the same as your website and social media, which is the same as your mailer and store front, and also has the same look as your trucks and uniforms, etc… You want to be recognized and having everything look the same is key!
Stick to the plan. Oh my goodness, for the love of everything caffeinated, stick to the damn plan, Stan. Don’t allow your employee that just got a new macbook air to make the ad for next week’s sale. (sorry, mini-rant over)
If you’re still with me, know that it’s almost over. I’m about to wrap it up. Bottom line, your brand is the most important thing you will ever create for your company. It’s your image. It is what people see. So build it solid, and maintain it. It will be worth it. I promise.