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Welcome, thanks for attending Many SBs think Branding is not for them: it’s too expensive, time consuming, difficult (need to be an expert) Branding doesn’t have to be any of those things. I’d like to share with you today the essential branding steps that will have a big payoff for your business growth We’ll be talking about what is a brand and why is it important, and simple steps to Define, Create and Live your brand for maximum impact
So what is a brand? It’s more than just your logo which is what many think Your brand is all of the elements that make up your business – your products/services, packaging, storefront, logo, customer service interactions. All of these make up the experience that customers have – or expect to have, with your business. Your brand is this combined set of experiences that lives in the minds of your customers. And every point of interaction you have with them is an opportunity to build your brand. The fact is, you are constantly building your brand, whether you do it consciously or not. Think of Las Vegas as a brand. What was your immediate reaction when you saw this Las Vegas sign? [Audience shouts out their thoughts] Think about how emotional and automatic that was for you. Your brand is whatever people’s perceptions of you are.
Your brand goes deeper than images to create a relationship and a feeling that resonates with customers and potential customers. It will help your business stand out from the crowd Customers will better remember you when they have a need for your product/service And consistent brand creates a perception of professionalism and credibility A strong brand will deliver tangible results to drive your business growth by: attracting NEW CUSTOMERS.
By creating more LOYAL CUSTOMERS that have an emotional attachment to your business that is resistant to competitor offers
And drive MORE SALES for your business
Employees will be MORE ENGAGED and will want to work for a company that has a clear and compelling brand.
A strong will increase your BUSINESS VALUE. Estimates are that 50% to 90% of a company’s total value is attributable to factors other than tangible assets – a big part of your business value comes from the strength of your brand. A business with a strong brand will be worth more than one without an established brand.
Branding doesn’t have to be complex. There are three clear steps to develop a strong brand for your business: - Define what makes your business unique as the basis for your brand positioning - Create the tangible elements of your brand - Put your brand into action by living and promoting your brand across every point of customer interaction Let’s walk through each of these three steps now.
Creating or revising a brand can be fun and does not need to take a lot of money or time. For this first step, we start with defining and capturing the unique character of your business as the basis for what your brand stands for. Determine what is unique about you: Focus – what products and services do you offer? For example, Dell focuses on computers but sells mostly computer accessories. Personality – Is your business reliable, inexpensive, fun, etc.? Maytag chose “reliable” and works it through their entire brand. Who is your ideal customer ?– How old are they? Are they male or female? Where do they live, what’s important to them? Old Navy, Gap and Banana Republic are there brands owned by the same company to reach different target markets. Then finally, consider your Competitive Advantage - What are you better at than anyone else? I’ve heard it said that you should become famous in your market for one thing. What is that one thing that will make your business stand apart? Quiznos took on Subway with the simple position “toasted tastes better”.
A simple activity to help you define your brand is to evaluate your competitors and determine how your brand can stand out against them. To do this, look carefully at how your competition presents to your market. What are the key elements of their brand, what is their positioning and their strengths/weaknesses? Then determine what your business or product stands for that is unique vs. your competitors. You can now see how to position your brand in every touchpoint with your market to break through the noise of your competition. Let’s see how this can work with the example of Tom here, who owns Bliss Bakery that sells an amazing assortment of delicious home-baked breads and pastries. His business is doing ok, but he has some very strong competition in his local market. He wants to take his business to the next level by positioning his brand uniquely against his competition: Panera Bread, Wuollet Bakery and French Meadow. Tom’s first step is to write down the strengths and weaknesses of each of his top competitors. Then he can determine the unique aspects of Bliss Bakery that will make him stand out from the positioning of his competitors.
Now that you know how to position your brand vs. competitors, this next activity helps to determine the specific messages your brand needs to communicate to claim that unique position. This exercise starts by writing down all the words that best describe your company. You can see here the words that Tom wrote down for Bliss Bakery. Circle your key differentiators Rank the terms that best describe your company – these are the elements that best describe and differentiate your business – this is the basis for building and communicating your brand If a small group: Ask the audience members to volunteer a shout out of their #1 differentiator and talk about how they make that come to life in their marketing. You’ve now defined the unique character and focus of your brand!
Step 2 Now that you have defined your brand, it’s time to create the key elements that will represent your brand in the market.
Start by choosing a unique and memorable company name. It should: - Reflect your business - Have an available Internet domain name - Be meaningful for your customers - And be easy to remember Most of you probably already have a company name, but if you haven’t registered your domain name you need to reserve it quickly. Choose the colors that will represent your company. Color affects your image and your customer’s motivation to buy. Different colors evoke different emotions and perceptions, so do your research carefully to choose the right colors for the image you want to promote.
For example, GREEN communicates health, freshness and promotes a feeling of serenity and well-being. Green is often used by businesses in health and wellness, education, and landscaping. You can see some a sampling of logos that Deluxe’s Logo Mojo by Deluxe design service has created for customers that convey these attributes.
Blue suggests that you are trustworthy, dependable, responsible and stable. For these reasons, blue is common with Financial Services providers for example.
In contrast, Red creates excitement and energy, suggesting passion, courage and vitality. Red is often selected by businesses in sports, entertainment and food industries.
Another critical step in creating your brand is to design a logo. Your logo is the visual representation of your brand that gives prospective customers a glimpse into the personality and professionalism of your company. Logos are often the first thing people notice about your business, so it’s important your logo makes a memorable first impression. We strongly recommend having your logo profesionally designed to ensure it’s as memorable and compelling as possible.
And finally, consider a tagline to tell customers who your are and what you stand for in a few short words. Some great examples include “You’re in good hands with Allstate”, or “We try harder” by Avis.
As I noted, your logo is the visual representation of your brand. Done right a logo will capture the unique essence of your business to help you stand out from the clutter of your competitors. It will make you more recognizable and memorable to your target audience. A strong logo will make you look professional, credible , and maybe even bigger than you are.
From our research, we know it’s not uncommon to start with an image that isn’t professionally designed. Over half of companies that have a logo designed it themselves or through a friend/relative.
However, when asked where they would design or refresh a logo in the future, most of these businesses say they would be more likely have it professionally designed – either through a local designer or online firm. Evidently, many businesses who designed a logo themselves quickly find value in hiring a professional for a better outcome next time.
If you already have a logo, does your logo project the image you want? If not, perhaps it’s time for a refresh. Most of the world’s top brands, like Pepsi, have updated their logo over time so it stays fresh, up-to-date and reflects the changing personality of their business. On average, businesses update their logo every 10 years. Pepsi’s latest logo was updated in 2008 to look more contemporary and appeal to a younger target audience. Some of the key questions to ask yourself to determine if your logo could use a refresh: - Does it look as professional and eye-catching as it could? - Does it uniquely reflect your brand positioning and personality of your business? - Has your target audience or products/services changed? - Are the fonts, colors and design up-to-date and current? As your business evolves and grows, it’s important your logo does too.
There are a number of best practices for logo design that will ensure your logo makes the best first impression for your business. First, use a professional designer to make sure your logo is as eye-catching and professional-looking as possible. Here are two actual examples of a logo for DocuBanc. Which of the two do you think was designed in-house by the company, and which was created by our professional team of designers? [Reveal “Do” and “Don’t”]
Keep your logo simple with one strong prominent feature. Don’t try to communicate everything about your business in your logo. A logo needs to communicate a message within 3 seconds. If it takes longer than 3 seconds to process your logo, you’ve already lost people. Your logo needs to look professional and memorable instantly. Which one of these two logos does that better?
Using too many fonts and colors will make your logo less clear and compelling. It’s also more expensive to imprint a logo on stationery or other products in multiple colors than a logo in just one or two colors. Which of these two follows this best practice?
Your logo needs to look good large and small, to give you the most flexibility in how you can use it. A rule of thumb is to make sure it looks good as small as one inch, or even smaller if you’re planning to use it on a pen or other small promo item. Conversely, think about how it would look blown up on a billboard. Which of these two logos do you think is most scalable?
Make sure your logo works well both in color and black and white. There may be some applications where you’ll need to use a black and white version – a newspaper ad or yellow pages listing for example. Which of these logos works best in black and white?
Design your logo so it’s timeless, not trendy. Your logo shouldn’t go out of date every time styles change. But while you don’t want your logo to be trendy, you need to make sure the logo fonts, styles and colors look contemporary or it will make your business seem old-fashioned. Do we need to ask which is the “Do” and “Don’t” here?
Another good rule of thumb is to design the logo so your business name can be disconnected from the icon. There may be times you want to pull them apart and use the text on its own, or use the icon alone. Which of these two logos lends itself to separating the text from the design?
Now that you’ve created the tangible elements of your brand, including a logo, the next – and most important – step is to Live your brand. This is where many businesses miss out on the REAL value of their brand – and where even those that have a more fully developed brand still have opportunity to leverage their brand more consistently.
First, you need to adopt your brand internally. Make sure your entire team understands and exemplifies your brand when interacting with customers and with each other. Your location, employee apparel, staff policies and procedures, customer service approach - all should reflect your unique brand identity. Apple has done an amazing job of defining and living their brand. Even the address of their Corp HQ: One Infinite Loop, reflects their unique brand value. This uniqueness carries through in even the smallest details, even the handwashing signs in company washrooms.
Every point of customer interaction is an opportunity to build your brand. Message your brand consistently across every point of contact with customers and prospects, including your: Website Storefront/office, vehicles, signage Customer communications Advertising Business forms, stationary Apparel Promotional items Once more, Apple’s brand is infused throughout all of their products and customer communications – even the dress-down look of employees in Apple stores is carefully orchestrated to reflect their hip and casual brand positioning.
But putting your brand into action in a big way isn’t just for the Big Guys like Apple. Even the smallest businesses, like our friend Tom at Bliss Bakery can create the same kind of memorable brand experience – by promoting your brand consistently across every point of customer interaction.
Even if you already have a brand, there may be touchpoints where you are not fully leveraging your brand identity to create connections with customers. A third Branding Activity we’d suggest is to write down all of the ways in which your business touches your customers or prospective customers: both online and offline. Then identify those areas where you have an opportunity to more effectively reinforce your uniqueness and value. What about your greeting when you answer the phone, the doors on your delivery trucks, or the invoices you send?
Remember, consistency is key to building your successful brand Your brand strength builds over time as you reinforce your brand promise at every point of customer contact You should consistently use the same colors, logo, and other visual cues. This helps you customers recognize your business, product or service. Whether it’s your business card, or your website—the look, feel, and tone of the words should be consistent. Ask yourself: “Is my business sending a consistent message across all communications?” “Does the branding on my marketing materials match my final product?” “Would a visitor to my website be able to recognize an invoice or letter from my company in the mail, or would it get thrown out with their junk mail?” Each element builds on the next to create value and strengthen your brand promise – multiplying the impact of each individual element. Allow no variation or compromises. If you deviate from that it makes it harder and more expensive to create brand awareness and build trust
What’s in it for me? – Remember your brand: Helps define for your customers, potential customers what they can expect from your business Creates a starting point for you and your employees in setting priorities All this consistency in expectation and delivery drives the RIGHT people to use your business and want to work for you in 3 easy steps (Define, Create and Live) It’s not just a roll of the dice, or the spin of a wheel that makes your businesses successful It takes some discipline, leveraging the skills of people around you and ok- maybe a bit of the luck of the draw – but you made it this far didn’t you?
Branding - Deluxe Small Business Heroes Tour
Make Your Business Stand Out Essential Branding Basics follow hashtag #deluxehero
What is a Brand? <ul><li>It’s more than “just” a logo </li></ul><ul><li>It’s what you stand for </li></ul><ul><li>It’s the experience you provide </li></ul><ul><li>It lives in the minds of your customers </li></ul>
<ul><li>Awareness </li></ul><ul><li>+ Memory </li></ul><ul><li>+ Trust </li></ul><ul><li>+ Emotional Attachment = </li></ul><ul><li>Increased Business Value </li></ul>Why Brand?
Branding Your Business <ul><li>Step 1: DEFINE what makes </li></ul><ul><li>your business unique </li></ul><ul><li>Step 2: CREATE your brand </li></ul><ul><li>and its elements </li></ul><ul><li>Step 3: LIVE and promote your </li></ul><ul><li>brand consistently </li></ul>
Branding Activity #1 How do I position my brand to STAND OUT?
Branding Activity #2 Nutritious Variety Neighborhood Friendly Personal service Easy parking Bread Fresh Natural Delicious Homemade Whole grains What should my brand communicate ?
<ul><li>CREATE your brand </li></ul>Now that you’ve defined who you are…
Step 2: Create Your Brand <ul><li>Select your company name </li></ul><ul><li>Choose company colors </li></ul>
Step 2: Create Your Brand <ul><ul><ul><li>Green </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>health, freshness and serenity </li></ul></ul></ul>
Step 2: Create Your Brand Blue trustworthy, dependable, fiscally responsible and secure
Step 2: Create Your Brand Red energy, excitement, passion and courage
Step 2: Create Your Brand <ul><li>Select your company name </li></ul><ul><li>Choose company colors </li></ul><ul><li>Design a professional logo </li></ul>
Step 2: Create Your Brand <ul><li>Select your company name </li></ul><ul><li>Choose company colors </li></ul><ul><li>Design a professional logo </li></ul><ul><li>Consider a tagline </li></ul>
Importance of a Logo Recognizable Memorable Professional STAND OUT Credibility Differentiation UNIQUENESS
<ul><li>Over half (58%) of current logos were designed in-house or by an acquaintance </li></ul>Deluxe for Business research, 2010 Who should design my logo?
<ul><li>More likely in the future to outsource locally (44%) or online (22%) </li></ul>Deluxe for Business research, 2010 Who should design my logo? Online Design Firm, 22% Local Designer/ Firm, 44% Friend/ Relative, 12% Self/ Employee, 20% Other, 3%