We often think that once we have a logo, a business card, and a website our brand is all set! Well it’s not really all that simple.
A brand is actually so much more than these things. In fact, your brand consists of your logo, client/customer experience, voice, message, values, mission, colors, fonts, social media, your demeanor on and off the clock, and so much more. (PHEW!)
Your brand should tell a story about who you and your company is, while making them feel a certain way. How do you feel when you walk into IKEA versus West Elm? Or TJ Maxx versus Anthropologie? Is it the smell that makes you feel like home? Or the simple, no-nonsense merchandising layout that makes shopping that much more straight-forward?
Below are three main checkpoints in making sure your brand is on point with who you are and who you want to attract in your business.
1. Your brand should connect directly with your ideal client.
For me, I absolutely love Joanna Gaines, so when a store popped up just 20 miles away that announced they would be selling some products from her Magnolia Home line, I was instantly intrigued! I knew it would be a store I would connect with.
I am also likely part of their ideal client base. Because their product is a little more classy and upscale, the store is probably not seeking to please those who prefer shopping at Spencer’s Gifts and consignment stores. They’re seeking customers who really care about beautiful, lasting furniture and decor and appreciate the effort and detail that went into making each unique piece. Other people choose to bargain shop and live with less, which is super cool too!
But when thinking about how your brand will connect with your ideal client, it’s so important that you put a lot of thought into every little detail: the first feeling a visitor gets from your website, the smell of your store, the language you use in your marketing, your tone of voice, the quality of photography on your website, the vibe your logo puts off, the theme of your Instagram feed, and the way your colors connect with what your client is attracted to.
2. Your brand should be consistent all the way across the board.
Have you known or worked with a company who changes their logo yearly or close to it? I know someone who did- my mom. My mom owns a dance company and has taught dance since she was 13 years old. Since starting her business in our hometown, her logo had always been changing. She had to reorder company t-shirts and merchandise every year, her registration and marketing materials were always changing, and her website didn’t even really fit any of it. It didn’t all work together.
Since she was changing her look constantly, it got to a point where the ‘dance moms’ were hesitant to keep buying merchandise because their child always wanting the one with the new logo, but they knew another one would be coming out the next year. Lucky for my mom, she is an incredible dance teacher, and her method of teaching, putting on recitals, and treating the kids was always consistent, which was what made her students (and more and more) keep coming back, year after year.
What wasn’t staying consistent, was her logo and overall brand. It was when I was in college that I finally told her she needed a serious brand makeover. She needed a brand that would be long lasting. I told her that she needed a color scheme and font pattern that people could look at and say – yup, that’s Rec Center Dancers, no doubt! Without even seeing the logo!
When you’re consistent in your brand, it develops trust in your clients. It helps your ideal client know exactly what they’re getting into so they have no doubt about what they’ll end up with.
Since Joanna Gaines is so consistent in every facet of her brand, you know that if she were to makeover your house, you would have a little bit of shiplap, clean white walls, and pretty farmhouse decor. I joke that she is the only person I would trust renovating my home because I know I would love it.
You need to also be consistent in the way you present yourself personally. Remember when your boss or teacher said your actions are a direct reflection of the company or your school? You’re not off the hook just because you run your own business! This applies for your brand too, so make sure that you’re appropriately reflecting your brand in ALL areas.
Be that consistent, trustworthy source for your clients!
3. Your brand should represent the quality of work you do.
My mom’s brand didn’t represent how well her classes were taught. The website she had at the time was hard to navigate, she was using all of the colors under the sun, and it was filled with various fonts that didn’t follow any sort of pattern.
By having a brand and website that is accurately representative of who you are as a company, you’ll increase your clients tremendously. By having a website that is tricky to navigate and not user-friendly, your website visitors will get the impression that that’s how their experience is working with you, even if that’s not the case.
Your website tells a lot of your story for you, so be careful how your website could be portrayed. If it doesn’t illustrate you in the best light possible, take it down, sister! Then when you’re proud of your website that represents YOU, go ahead and share it with the world!
If you’ve had any experience with branding or any tips to share about your own experiences, I’d love to hear them! Leave a comment below!