Branding is absolutely crucial to business success, but I’m sure you already know that.
What you may not know though is that branding is not only visuals. It is so much more!
Having over 6+yrs of professional experience working for big brands like Jimmy Choo and River Island I know exactly how much time and effort do those brands put in staying consistent and on brand.
If you spend your money and time on purposeful and strategic branding, you need to make sure that whatever you do is consistent with it. Only then you’re able to build a brand that is strong and memorable to your people.
Today, I’d love to share 5 main misconceptions about branding with you. I hope by the end of this blog post, you will have a clear idea of what branding really is and why is it so important for your business.
5 top misconseptions about branding
1.Branding is only visuals and design.
This is a huge misconception I can see people have very often: they think branding is only a visual thing. This is a huge mistake! Branding is so much more than just design! It consists of:
- Your business mission, values and vision.
- Personality: your voice, the way you make people feel when they’re around your brand,
- Strategy: your unique selling point, how you make profit, who your ideal client is and how to find them,
- Brand experience – your terms of service, the way you help your clients,
- Emotions: what feelings does your brand evoke,
- Your story – the key to creating an unique brand is to be able to share an authentic story that’s behind your business and help your ideal clients resonate with it,
- Consistency – you can’t change your brand colors, fonts, the voice you use to communicate with your clients every few months. Only by being consistent are you able to build a strong and memorable brand.
Visuals (brand visual identity):
- Logo & sub-marks: this is the most recognisable part of your brand,
- Color palette,
- Imagery style,
- Brand elements,
- Brand Style guide,
- Stationery and marketing collateral.
As you can see, not only branding isn’t just visuals, but it’s actually mostly strategy + visuals to translate the strategy behind it. If you’re ready to invest in branding, you should find a designer that takes time to work on the strategy without jumping to design right away.
Otherwise there is a big chance you will end up wit beautifully designed visuals, that are not aligned with your brand at all. This creates a glitch: it can make your clients think your brand is different than you want it to be and leave you feeling frustrated and wanting to change again.
Good quality branding should last and help you grow your business, attract the right customer and set the right expectations (so you avoid those questions for services you don’t provide and don’t need to justify your pricing over and over again).
Especially for premium, high-end brands it is crucial that branding is thought through and purposeful.
2. Branding should be on trend and what I like and am drawn to.
Of course, your branding should be aligned with your aesthetics and feel true to you. But what you need to understand, is the purpose of branding: it’s to attract your ideal clients, go in line with the services you offer and set expectations.
So, let’s assume you own a premium brand with a high-price point and you’re drawn to hot pinks and turquoise. Those will not be good colors for you, because they communicate: highly affordable and average quality. You need to always put your clients first and do a solid market research to see what they are drawn to and how to inject it into your brand.
3. I’m a blogger/small business owner/just starting out, I don’t need branding, I only need a logo.
This is where most of small businesses and startups make a huge mistake! You always need branding, even if you’re only starting out or are a small business. Branding helps you build your business and attract ideal clients. Without clients, you don’t have a business.
As I explained above, branding is both strategy and visuals. So logo itself won’t do the trick, no matter how pretty it is! It’s simply not able to carry the weight of the whole branding. It won’t communicate the message you want your ideal clients to hear. It is only a small part of the whole thing. There is a huge choice of pre-made logos on Etsy, and though they might be pretty, they won’t help you stand out from the crowd and make an impression.
Brandins is also a big part of your business plan, without which you won’t get too far.
Without planning you will be just tip toeing in few different directions, instead of skyrocketing in the direction you want and should go.
So even though you may have a small budget and other things to invest in, you still need branding. If you don’t have a budget to invest in a professional designer, it may be a good idea to try to DIY it. Make sure you spend enough time working on your strategy before you head over to Etsy!
4. I should refresh my branding often so it’s on trend.
It’s important to follow some design trends, like: having responsive website. You don’t want to look like you’re still in the 90’s (unless you’re brand is stylised to look like it is, but this is a whole other story!).
Banding is not only to be pretty, fancy and on trend. It is to represent your business, your story and your values using the aesthetics that your ideal clients are drawn to. So you need to find your own brand style, rather than follow the trends that are visible everywhere around you.
On the other hand, you may want to rebrand and refresh your look every now and then. I strongly believe branding should last at least a few years, but I also understand that if you’re a small business, YOU are your business. And as you grow as an entrepreneur and begin to really understand your clients and business from inside out, you may feel like you want to change the course a little bit (that’s what happened to me, stay tuned for the upcoming blog post about why am I rebranding after 6 months in business).
Reevaluating and rethinking your strategy may be the best thing you can do for your few months old business. Besides, let’s be honest: most of us can’t afford professional branding at the beginning, so we DIY our brands and commit to make an investment and really do the proper work when we know are business better and can afford it.
5. I’ve got my branding done, now I can forget about it.
Nope! Branding is an ongoing process! It’s how you treat your clients, how you communicate with them via social media, what services you offer and how you choose to serve them.
If you’re invested in branding – great! But don’t waste it by not staying consistent with it and not checking what you do against your style guide every now and then.
I can often see people make a mistake of adding another font or using a different style than the ones your designer chose for you, adding colors to the color palette, changing images style suddenly.
It all makes your brand looks inconsistent and can lead to losing the precious foundation you’ve built with your designer through the branding process.
Branding is a foundation of your business and you need to nurture it, care for it and be true to it. If you feel it doesn’t serve you anymore – think of your strategy first and what you can fix there. It may be that you need to adjust your processes, your content strategy or the services you offer, rather than change your colors and logo.
I hope that cleared some of the misconceptions in your head and you will now feel confident about creating and nurturing your brand.
I do my best to help my clients go through the branding process so they get as much of it as possible. I want them to go away with a strong foundation and a plan to move forward. Their brand is aligned with their personality, built and designed to attract ideal clients and set the right expectations.
Need some help during the process of continuing to build a strong brand, a gentle nudge to help you stay consistent? My Facebook Community Brandelicious is built for people like you! Expect weekly free video trainings and ongoing feedback and support to help you build this awesome brand you deserve. Join now!