Branding for Small to Medium Sized Business.
Graphic Design although extremely important to branding, is just a part of the bigger picture. Woooahhh Jess I hear you say, branding IS your logo, you’re ranting again. Well listen up, let me explain what I mean. Branding as a whole involves more than a logo, it’s your businesses entire identity, it is how you communicate with your target market and how you make them feel. And, over time, with consistent nurturing, your branding can bloom to a level where it creates immediate awareness and recognition... that is the ultimate reward with branding... end game, mic drop, happy days.
Now it all sounds like sunshine and rainbows, but isn’t it quite difficult? Nada, you got this, I belieeeeeve in you! Yes, corporate branding can seem quite complex, there’s so much jargon and the use of buzz words like demographics, touch points, KPI’s, CRMS blah blah blaaaaaah can really make you start to see spots. Behind that jargon is a marketing agency flexing their biceps and justifying their $240 per hour fee with graphs and PowerPoints. Don’t get me wrong, there is a place for that in the corporate world, but if you are a small to medium sized business you don’t need to take it to those extremes. Let me break it down so you can understand and identify your brand and then have the confidence to execute some strategies for yourself.
When preparing a brand presentation I break down the presentation into 4 sections:
1. Pillars - vision, mission, ethos, purpose
2. Products or/and services
3. Visual identity (logo, colours, fonts)
4. Tone of voice
Identify and combine those magical things and you have your branding seed! It’s full of potential but needs a bit of a hand to get sprouting so you can get that desired brand awareness.
Consistency is your plant food!
Now, in order for your seed to sprout and grow you need to plant it and nurture it. Your branding won’t work effectively if you are not consistently putting time and effort into it. Being consistent and believing in your brand is the best way to watch it grow.
Brand consistency is the delivery of brand messaging in line with your branding seed! Consistency means your target audience is being exposed to core messages, visual identity, and other brand elements repeatedly, which can help to solidify that highly sought after brand recognition.
What you can do to build brand consistency as a SME (small to medium enterprise) business.
Brand guidelines - Document your branding (your 4 point branding seed) including a style guide so you can always refer back; it is easy to get lost and side-tracked by shiny things like a different colour or a cool new font, don’t be tempted, you’ll damage what you have worked so hard to create.
Visual Messaging - Once your guidelines are set, use your logo and design elements consistently across your stationery, website, social media, emails and any other collateral you distribute, this will create familiarisation.
Tone - Keep your brand's tone and personality consistent across channels. Is your tone of voice humorous? Relatable? Corporate? Third person? First person? Whatever it may be, be sure to keep it the same, it's totally ok to change your voice and evolve with the times but don’t flip flop back and forth. You will confuse simple folk like me.
Authenticity - Keep your branding authentic and honest, believe in your brand, remember who you are as a business, and who your market is.
Tick, tick, tick, tick BLOOM!
So, your branding has bloomed, people are recognising the symbol in your logo, or your unique tone of voice, that’s amazing, ripper job! Take a second to give yourself a pat on the back and then… get straight back on that computer! 😊 Don’t rest on your laurels, maintain your messaging and your consistency and you will find more and more customers will recognise your unique branding and appreciate your business and services. After all, people trust brands they recognise.
Did you find this useful? Let me know! If you would like a little help with new branding or a little push with current branding, I am offering 60+ minute zoom consultations at my super affordable design rate to assist you in:
- Graphic Design guidance
- Brainstorming and identifying what elements can make up your brand
- Strategies on execution
Smile today, you’ve earnt it.