Do you want to build a brand that lasts?
Getting noticed in our busy world is not easy. It’s estimated that the average person is exposed to somewhere between 3,000 and 20,000 brands per day. That’s a lot of brand noise!
And it’s also a lot of other businesses for you to compete with. That’s why it’s so important to understand that a brand is much more than colours, fonts, logos and packaging. Of course, these are very important components, but they are not the whole story.
Before you develop your visual branding, it’s critical that you develop a brand strategy based on a strong platform comprising your purpose, your values and your vision. Without fully understanding and leveraging these three elements, you will never be able to elevate your business above the competition and stand out in a crowded market place.
It doesn’t matter how much creativity you bring to your visual design, if you don’t get these three core components right then your business will inevitably fall short of its potential.
Let’s consider how each of these three vital elements can impact your business:
1. The purpose of your business
Your purpose is the underlying reason you started your business in the first place. It’s why you do what you do. It is what will guide you when things are challenging, or when there are tough decisions to be made and it will also act as a beacon to attract the right type of customer. That’s because people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. Customers are drawn to businesses that have a clearly expressed purpose, something that is greater than a simple desire to make a profit.
2. Your business’s values
Your values are the important and lasting beliefs or ideals you hold about what is good or bad; and what is desirable or undesirable. Values have a major influence on all of our behaviours and attitudes and they serve as guidelines when making decisions and in directing how we act on a day to day basis. Everyone has values that they live by, either consciously or unconsciously. And these values should ideally be reflected in your business.
Your values will help to differentiate you from the competition and by weaving your values into your business you will also ensure you feel good about, and enjoy working in your business every day. This is because you’ll be completely aligned with what you’re doing. It’s therefore really important to get clarity around your values so that you can ensure they are built into your business from the very beginning.
3. The vision of the end goal
Your vision is the over-arching, long-term goal you have for your business. It is what you are ultimately seeking to achieve; the impact you want to have on the world. For some, it’s the legacy you want to leave behind.
A clear, well defined and well expressed vision gives your customers and your team a common goal that they can support with their time, energy and money. It helps them feel they are part of something significant, something that is greater than simply selling or buying a product.
Having a strong sense of your purpose, values and vision and integrating them into your business will result in you being seen as a leader in your industry. It will build trust and will encourage others to support you on your business journey whether as suppliers, investors, partners or customers. That’s the right way to build a brand.
About the contributor:
Kathryn Edwards is a business coach who works with solopreneurs to help them develop and successfully launch their new businesses. She is also the founder of Dream.Believe.Create, a training organisation providing coaching, workshops and online progammes for female entrepreneurs. Website: http://www.dreambelievecreate.net/