Everyone seems to understand that branding is important, most of you will have an opinion on what branding is and what it isn’t.
I’m going to jump right in and call out some myths about what you may have heard about branding:
- Branding is not your logo.
- Branding is not your colour palette
- Branding is not your imagery
- Branding is not your business name
- Branding is not your strapline.
I know. I haven’t left much that branding could be but please, read on.
Did you know that the visual part of the brand makes up about 10% of what your brand is overall. No shiny visual identity or polished appearance alone will get the job done here.
There’s a quote by Hafiz that sticks in my mind whenever I’m working on branding projects. He said:
That to me, fully encapsulates what a brand is.
A brand is more than just a logo. It’s crafted from research and strategy. Your brand, should be a reflection of what a customer thinks of you and the entire customer experience. From what you say to how you say it, the way you write in an instagram captions to the style of image you share. Whether you use an emoji, swear or overuse an exclamation mark. The way you articulate a tweet or a response to a customer. The way your website is designed and the voice you use on there to communicate and sell. How you describe your business, to the logo and colours that visually represent your brand. Right through to the method and packaging you choose to send your products out in.
Your business brand needs to be cohesive at every touchpoint to attract and win the hearts of your target audience and make them come back for more.
Branding is the process
A brand uses a combination of marketing strategies and tools to introduce and reinforce your brand message, and values. That process is called “branding”. You don’t have branding, you have a brand.
The branding process will be full of serious research and stats piecing together the perfect brand strategy for your business – these steps need to be complete before even thinking about the visual system that represents the brand strategy.
Think about your favourite shop. How do they market their products? Hop onto their website and notice their visual representations, logos, typefaces, patterns. Listen as you read to their tone of voice to understand how they manage to appeal to a certain demographic and psychographic.
It’s not about you.
While this is a difficult thing for business owners to do, you should let go of your personal likes and dislikes when going through the branding process. The process revolves around the customer and their likes and dislikes and what they will buy into while you need to like the finished product it’s always good to try and remember the business and the business owner are separate entities.
The Oohlala Studio branding process really hones in on the psychology and the strategy to make you’re attracting the people you want to be selling to, that you’re talking to them directly through your visuals, making sure the reptilian brain is listening and not dismissing your messaging. Don’t contribute to the market noise and do replicate what your competitiors are doing, you’re way too good for that.
Be bold, be expressive and don’t be afraid to shake things up.