Branding, like in all industries, has many misconceptions floating around giving people false information.
We want to iron out a few of these false statements in order for you to better understand what branding is, helping you to elevate your business.
Here are 5 brand misconceptions we are going to bust:
1. “Branding isn’t important for small businesses” Branding can be even more important for small businesses than larger companies, this is because there’s so much competition. It is important to stand out from the crowd and be remembered by your target audience, a brand is the reason a customer will choose one business over another.
2. “My logo is my brand” or “I don’t need a brand, I just need a logo”
We will never stop saying this, your brand is so much more than just a logo! It is the experience created and how it makes people feel.
Branding helps you build your business, it sets you apart from your competitors and attracts your ideal clients. Branding is made up by your story, your values, your purpose, your target audience and finally your visual identity.
The logo is simply a visual mark to help represent your brand and stand out at first glance in your market place.
3. “I’ll have to stick with my brand identity forever”
You should definitely spend time at the start of your business journey to think carefully about your brand appearance, if you can it is always better to use a professional brand designer from the start. However we are aware this isn’t always doable and other options such as DIY or cheap cookie cutter logos might be the route you take. Starting off with one style and identity does not mean you’re stuck with it.
You can re-launch at any point in your business and this might be purely because you’re unhappy with the original design, the business has grown, changed direction and evolved or you simply now have the money to invest in the process.
A re-launch can be really good for some business to build their awareness and gain followers.
Whilst you wouldn’t want to go through a complete re-brand too often — after all if you have used a professional brand designer you should feel a connection with your brand identity and the appearance should align with all the other aspects of your brand we mentioned earlier — you can tweak and update your identity every couple of years.
Reasons for this might be; to stay looking fresh as times change, a slight change to the colour palette or a little tweak to your logo, fonts or style of imagery.
Change can be good, it can help build interest and awareness, it can help you stay looking professional in your market place.
4. “My brand tone of voice should always be professional”
This is on old fashioned way of thinking. It might be that your tone of voice needs to be professional, but this depends on your values and who your ideal customer is. You can use your brands tone of voice to connect with your target audience on an emotional level, to be authentic, personal and to build brand trust.
Obviously all businesses need to be professional in the way you deliver your service or product, but what we mean is, if it doesn’t suit your business you don’t need to use a professional tone of voice when you speak on social media or in your marketing messages. Lots of industry jargon can put people off. It is all about who your target audience is - know who you are talking to.
People connect with real people, and it is connections that make customers.
5. “I will look at branding once I’m making money”
If you’re just talking about visual brand then of course that’s okay, whilst it would be beneficial to use a professional design from the start it isn’t always feasible, it can be a big investment to have your brand identity created professionally. However there are many elements of your brand that are free or cost very little to learn about and put into place. At the beginning of starting a business you should be thinking about what your brand stands for (it’s values), why you’re starting out on this journey, what problem you’re solving, what experience you want to create and who your ideal customer is. Knowing these brand foundations will help you to make money and be successful, not the other way around.
You need to start by building a brand not just a business. Building a brand is crucial in building your business.
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