Everything You Need to Define Your Brand

Matt Hayes Director of Client Services
Designer working on tablet and computer

According to the latest data (2016) from the Census Bureau’s Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs, there are 5.6 million companies in the United States. Companies with fewer than 500 employees account for 99.7 percent of all businesses. Regardless of your industry, expertise, or location, you are surrounded by hungry competitors who are scrapping for the top spot in your market.

How do you compete? Or maybe the question should be, In a sea of contenders, how do you set yourself apart? The answer: branding.

What Exactly Is Branding?

In the simplest terms, branding is the use of imagery—both written and drawn—to create a distinct, professional identity. In broad terms, your brand is what people instantly think of when they see or hear your company name. Below are several ways you can create and establish a brand:

  • Symbol
  • Mark
  • Logo
  • Name
  • Word
  • Phrase

You can utilize a combination of one or more branding elements to create a complete brand identity. Check out these examples:

AppleApple“Think different”
NikeSwoosh“Just Do It”
NBCPeacock“Share the Moment”
ShellShell“Together Anything is Possible”
The Olympics5 Rings“Faster – Higher – Stronger “

Leading corporations adopt multiple elements to define their brands—everything from their name and slogan to their logo and the colors used to create a clear, direct image that connects with their target audience.

Watch Your Tone of Voice

While you were growing up, your parents likely used the phrase, “Don’t use that tone of voice with me!” In essence, what they were trying to convey is that there is a more effective way of communicating your thoughts. That same rule of thumb holds true in business. When it comes to marketing strategy, what you say and how you say it will determine if your brand resonates with your intended audience.

Your tone of voice reflects your brand personality. It creates a culture inside your organization and in the marketplace. Your voice reflects your values and influences how people view your company. Below are several reasons why the tone of voice is essential:

  • Tone builds an emotional connection.
  • Shared values create trust.
  • A consistent tone generates more revenue.
  • Your brand becomes instantly recognizable.

This is why car dealerships often utilize lots of high-action words projected by an energetic voice in their commercials. Investment companies use high-minded words projected by a softer, more controlled voice. Insurance companies create compelling, reality-based TV ads that invoke fear or a sense of urgency. And, of course, fashion companies create imagery and wording that are modern, trendy and ultra-relevant in their promotional material. In all examples above, the driving force behind the message is the tone of voice.

Keep in mind that your tone may not always be consistent across all platforms or audiences. If you have a product or service that connects with multiple demographics, you may need to adjust your message and tone appropriately.

The 5 “Knows” of Brand Building

Branding is at the heart of your marketing strategy and company identity. Therefore, you need to approach it as a forethought instead of an afterthought. In other words, you are creating and refining your brand alongside your products or services instead of just waiting for it to happen. When building your brand, consider the five “knows”.

1. “Know Thyself”

Socrates said it best. When building a brand, you need to do some self-reflection and ask tough questions. Who are you? What do you represent? Why are you presenting your offer to the world? And, last, what is the makeup of your organization? Believe it or not, most billionaires are not driven by fortune and fame; a deeper element drives them to innovate.

2. Know Your Values

What creates a truly inspiring and valuable message is your ability to communicate your values to your audience. Your values do not have to be derived from some deep, philosophical concept. They can be as simple as your love of people or your desire to create a better product. Regardless of what you value, it needs to come through in your tone of voice.

3. Know Your Audience

If you have a great product but have no idea who will buy it, you are better off leaving your product in the box. Some of the best ideas in the market can fail miserably due to mistargeting. If you don’t know your audience or how to market your brand, your best option is to outsource all marketing to a digital marketing agency that can adequately represent your organization.

4. Know Your Position in the Marketplace

To put it bluntly, positioning is about building a competitive advantage and destroying your competitors’ advantage faster than they can destroy yours. You need to understand the relationship between your brand and the market, and strategically position yourself so that your product or service is front and center, consistently catching the audience’s attention.

5. Know What Branding Tools Are Available

Successful branding involves using digital marketing and traditional advertising tools that give you higher visibility. Digital platforms include your website, social media page, email campaigns, apps, backlinks, videos, search engines and mobile marketing. Traditional marketing may include TV or radio commercials, brochures, billboards, flyers, postcards, letters, newspapers or other forms of print advertising.

Remember, Branding Is Essentially Creating a Marketing Mantra

When defining your brand, remember these fundamentals:

  • Determine your emotional appeal.
  • Come up with a clear description of your company.
  • Determine your function in the market.
  • Keep your messaging short and to the point.

Your brand mantra should communicate who you are and motivate people to choose your product or service over the competition’s. It should be simple and memorable after the first impression and every impression thereafter.

Do You Need Branding Services? Contact Lucid Today

At Lucid, we provide a wide range of marketing tools that help you expand your market reach while targeting the customers you want. We deliver measured results that reflect your brand and help you reach your goals. To learn more about our branding services, call us at 850-760-0478, or fill out the quick contact form below, and we will be in touch.

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