Branding can be the most important thing in your business. Strong brands are easily recognised by potential customers and some brands have become verbs they are so strong. For example, we don’t search the internet, we google, we don’t vacuum our carpets, we hoover them. Well-known brands don’t need words, their logo is instantly recognised – who doesn’t know the golden arches of McDonalds or the tick of Nike.
There are some key rules to consistent branding.
- Choose your typeface carefully and stick with it. The size and shape of your font should reinforce your brand. For example, Marks and Spencer’s have an 86-page Master-brand Guide, which describes exactly how their custom fonts and colour tones should be used in their marketing messages.
- Ensure your logo reflects your brand values. For example, the yellow and red colours in the Shell logo signify energy and power.
- Every marketing message you create should be instantly recognisable as your business, from the font and the logo to the colours and tones and images used.
- Choose and effective strapline – many businesses can be instantly recognised from their strapline. For example, this is not just food, this is M & S food, L’Oréal’s Because your worth it and Tesco’s Every Little Counts.
Your brand should reflect your values and business offer. Your values are how you want your customers to feel when they do business with you. Your values should reflect the values of your target market.
People like to be engaged by a company and their values – people who are proud of what they have bought can be your best brand ambassadors.
Your offer should say clearly what you do in a few words as possible. Some well-known businesses do this with their strapline. For example, Ronseal’s It does what it says on the tin.
You need to know where you fit in the market and who your target customers are. In his books, Marketing Secrets, Peter Spalton describes six types of business.
- Reliable and Stable – This is how banks and insurance companies what to be seen.
- Exciting and energetic – Sports drinks and Sports cars would fit in this bracket.
- Innovative and leading edge – Tech companies such as Apple and Samsung pitch their market here.
- Creative and Stylish – Fashion brands and interior decorators are here.
- Value for money – Lidl and Aldi sit in this bracket.
Our next article is on knowing your customer.