“Branding” is a somewhat nebulous term that is often overused and even more often misunderstood. Branding is really just making the most out of the promise or relationship your brand has with your customers and potential customers. Accomplishing this on a basic level doesn’t have to be complicated. Most of the time it just requires setting aside your day-to-day responsibilities for a while, following a few key steps and taking initiative. Here’s a real-world quick-start guide to branding …
- Get a distinctive, effective logo Use it often, wherever appropriate.
- On a basic level, write down your brand messages. What are the key statements about your brand? What’s the promise you’re making to your audience? Every stakeholder should be aware of your brand attributes.
- Integrate your brand. Branding extends to how you answer your phones, what you wear, your e-mail signature—everything.
- Create a “voice” for your organization that reflects your brand. This voice should be applied to all written communication and in the visual imagery on all materials, online and off. Is your brand friendly? Be conversational. Is it ritzy? Be more formal.
- Develop a tagline. Write a memorable, meaningful, and concise statement that captures your brand position.
- Design templates and create brand standards for marketing materials. Use the same color scheme, logo placement, look and feel throughout. You don’t need to be fancy, just be consistent.
- Be true to your brand. Customers won’t return to you — or refer you to someone else — if you don’t deliver on your brand promise.
- Remember to BE CONSISTENT. This is last only because it involves all of the above. It is truly the most important tip to maximize all your branding efforts.