It’s easy to fall into a creative services trap when thinking about your company’s brand identity, website, and marketing collateral. Royal blue or Cyan? Helvetica or Serif? Guess what - It’s not all about the design! If your branding wins design awards but doesn’t tell your story or affect your bottom line, it isn’t doing its job.
Branding is about strategy and gives valuable insight into what makes your company unique and the values that lie at its core. It’s about identifying your market and speaking directly to them. Who are they? What are they looking for, and how can you help them? Your branding has a job to do and it isn’t just to look pretty.
Let’s talk about your website for example. Think of your website as a 24/7 sales girl. It’s our job to tell her what to wear, what to say and who to talk to. Putting her in a blue dress doesn’t matter unless it actually matters to your market. Now, I’m not suggesting that design means nothing (I am in creative services after all), I’m simply saying that spending 12 months perfecting the minute details of your website means 12 months that your sales girl is sitting on the sidelines.
A live website that’s 80% perfect is working 100% harder than a website that isn’t live at all.
So how do ensure that your branding is doing its job? Start by asking a couple of questions:
- Who is my target market specifically? What problems are they facing? What are they afraid of? What gives them comfort or makes their life easier? Are they men, women? How old? What do they believe in? You can’t possibly know how to talk to and appeal to them if you don’t know who they are.
- What is true about me/my company? You’ve learned a thing or two over the years – what is unique about what you do or how you do it? What lies at the center of your business? It doesn’t matter who your audience is if you don’t know what you have to offer them.
Branding strategy is built by understanding where you and your market intersect. You make money by expressing where you create value, to an audience who value it.
It becomes really easy to answer questions like: “Royal blue or Cyan?” and “Helvetica or Serif?” when you know what you are aiming at, what your market wants and what you’re offering.
Look for my next blog “The 10 Things Every Website Needs to Have” to learn more about how to make your marketing and branding work harder for your company.