Developing an Iconic Brand
Branding is the foundation that supports your whole business— so how to make it a good one?
Author: Flavilla Fongang
A lot of businesses don’t pay attention to the language of their brand. Branding is undervalued. In this day and age, every business is racing to define the future, the short-term rush of product marketing too often steals focus from the slower wheel of brand development. Businesses often forget the big picture, the deeper story, the overarching audience relationship feels less urgent by comparison.
It is a mistake to think that the best product will be the competition. It’s easy to think that the best product will beat out all of the competition, the problem here is that the best products don’t always make the most successful companies. Not having a personal brand tops the list of mistakes that businesses are prone to make.
Your branding deserves at least as much attention as the innovation of your product/service. Branding is the foundation that supports your whole business— so how to make it a good one?
Established companies have this in common: Their brand promise is unmistakably clear, a brand promise is the core concepts that express your basic value proposition and sum up why your customers choose your brand.
A brand promise needs to represent a clear, simple idea that’s easy to wrap your mind around. Branding is a challenge that all companies must overcome in order to succeed. Following is a guide on how to take your brand to the next level.
1. The power of a vision
Every successful brand starts with a promise originating from your vision. For a successful branding, you have to know what you’re aiming for and why. If you want to build your personal brand you need to be brave and intrepid. You have to trust yourself and your ideas to make them come true, no one can stop you and you are going to prove to them that you are different.
Ask yourself this: how does your company vision benefit your audience?
Articulate the answer, and you’ll be one step closer to a strong brand promise.
2. Create a simple, clear message
Once you know who your ideal client is, you need to communicate what it is you offer and what your impact is. Clarity, this word needs to be your keyword for all your content creation. Always put yourself in the shoes of someone in your audience who may not know everything about your domain. Be human when communicating with your audience. Because even if you are a real businessmen/women you are still a human get your audience target is also human so don’t act like a robot, take a break, don’t lose motivation because you’re not perfect and take care of yourself.
Ask yourself: What do you do or what do you sell? Who you work with or who is your product for? What is you or your products’ impact?
Here I’m talking about your target audience, this step is very important to make sure you are taking the time to do it well and don’t hesitate to ask for advice from trustworthy person around you.
3. Your brand promise communicates your USP
Think about what your branding is doing well, that no one else is doing at all? Your unique selling proposition (or USP) is one of the most important components of your brand. It defines who your audience is and why they should care about you.
The USP is the most vital information when claiming your position in the heavily competitive market. Defining your USP is a should be one of your principal goals.
You can identify it through a thorough competitive analysis, informed by extensive interviews with internal and external stakeholders. Once you have defined your USP, you can start building your visual identity.
4. Discover the power of storytelling
There are many ways to tell a compelling story with your brand. The point is, all great branding strategies tell one. Think of it this way.
If your brand story defines the relationship between your company and your audience. A good brand story will stick better in the heads of your audience.
Blogging is a good way to show them what your brand is all about. Know how important it is to create content for your audience it allows you to build credibility, expertise and values. And personal blogging is one of the best ways to create valuable content. Show them who you are and what you are to them.
5. Build your platform
Get out there and start building credibility and visibility consistently. Spread the message about what you do, who you work with and the impact you make.
Evolve, you must know how to constantly evolve. In particular, if you want to stay up to date in this is always changing and developing very rapidly. Therefore, you must always be up to date and your offer must evolve with your market. You have to constantly build up your brand.
Methods include: in-person networking, writing blog posts of your own or contributing to others, doing interviews, creating social media posts and participating in speaking engagements at related industry conferences.Collaboration is the key to networking and visibility but YOU are the key to every issue you can encounter you need to learn, progress and understand and the best way to do it is by solving yourself all the issue you can encounter. Moreover, you need also to become the key to every problem your target audience can have! Don’t stop and don’t let anyone stop you. You have to trust yourself and not stop developing your ideas, your market, your personal brand. You are the master of your career!
It is easy to get caught up with the excitement of running a business and not realise how much it takes to get things up and running well. Most entrepreneurs find it more difficult to attract customers than they anticipated. Here is the easy three-step process that you can use to get more customers, scale up your business, make more money, and attract your dream customers.
D.A.C. stands for; Distinguish, Attract and Convert. This is a unique strategy that you can use today to have a stronger competitive advantage over your competitors, as you will understand how to attract and convert more prospects with less budget.
Phase 1: Distinguish
Every company needs to articulate their uniqueness, to distinguish themselves from the competition, and to attract and convert more prospects into clients. These days people are too scared to be specific and to choose a niche market in the industry. It takes much more effort to focus on more than one sector especially when you’re just starting out, you don’t have a big budget.
So be an expert and know exactly what makes you unique.
The key questions every company needs to ask themselves:
- Who do you want to serve?
- Why/How are your services/products different from the competition?
So what are you going to differentiate yourself on price, product innovation, brand experience, strong brand expertise, values, and purposes?
The more specific the better. A good example of a positioning statement:
Our company, (company name) serves (clients) by providing them (services/products). We are unique because we (2-3 USPs) which allows them to (2-3 benefits).
People want to know exactly what values you offering and when you have that. then the magic happens.
Phase 2: Attract
People love to buy brands, when we are faced with too many options we go for what we know. A great brand can signify quality and inspire confidence.
A unique design, sign, symbol, words or colours can create an image that identifies a product and differentiates it from its competitors. Over time, this image becomes associated with a level of credibility and satisfaction in the customer’s mind. Thus, be the brand that stands out in the marketplace by offering certain benefits and value.
A good logo is essential for your company’s visual identity, it is a reference point and conveys your image through it. The design you give to him represents the purpose and meaning of your brand. It is often the first step in any communication process.
The goal is that from the first look a viewer can get the idea and understand the position of your company. (your sector, your values etc…) Every company strives to create a good logo which will stick with the public for years to come, an eye-catching logo that truly represents their mission. Maybe you are creating a new startup and need a logo, or maybe you already have one, but you need a fresh, new look for your company. Using your favourite font or merely abbreviating your company name with plain lettering may not help you stand out from your competitors.
A recognisable brand pays attention to:
– Creating desire. It’s in our human nature to look for solutions that will somehow enhance our life.
– Becoming a symbol. One good logo alone holds the promise of communicating values. This is the reason every company needs to review many logo designs before settling on the “perfect” one.
– Creating a sense of belonging. These days consumers want to “bond” with a company by understanding its culture and products.
So what makes a good logo? If you want to build a good logo you need to make sure you are following those 10 rules:
As we said before, choosing your favorite font as a logo is probably not relevant even more if it’s comic sans ms. You need to find fonts that will make your logo stand out while staying professional. However, the overuse of different styles of fonts makes the logo look unprofessional and messy. It creates an almost unreadable logo that may turn customers away instead of coming across as trendy. This is especially true if using three or more different fonts that are entirely unlike each other.
Irregular, angular typefaces may appear as aggressive or dynamic; on the other hand, soft, rounded letters give a youthful appeal. Curved typefaces and cursive scripts tend to appeal more to women, while strong, bold lettering has a more masculine edge.
Intelligibility and easy recognition of the company or brand are much improved when a logo uses only one or two different types of font.
Everyone has an emotional response to different colours, this is why the colour choice for your logo is very important. The colour you choose will follow you everywhere (website, social media, advertising campaign, internal papers etc…). The right colour can sell your brand story without words and make your company easy to remember.
Here are common colour associations.
- Red/pink: passion, love, excitement, energy, anger, spice, entertainment, action
- Orange/yellow: happy, fun, young, friendly, cheerful, positive, confident, forward-thinking
- Green: pure, natural, earthy, fresh, organic, calming, caring
- Blue: soothing, peaceful, honest, trustworthy, secure, sadness, new beginnings
- Purple: creativity, luxury, majesty, nostalgic, magical, mystical
- Black: sophistication, authority, modern, luxury, seduction, simplicity, mystery
Research common logo colours in your industry to get a sense of what works. For example, in the tech sector, we can see a lot of blue and black.
Particular logo shapes send out particular messages:
- Circles, ovals and ellipses tend to project a positive emotional message. Using a circle in a logo can suggest community, friendship, love, relationships and unity. Curves on any sort tend to be viewed as feminine in nature.
- Straight edged logo shapes such as squares and triangles suggest stability and can also be used to imply balance. Straight lines and precise logo shapes also reveal strength, professionalism and efficiency. Nevertheless, if they are combined with colours like blue and grey, they may appear cold and uninviting. On the opposite, if you use bright, warm colours you can create something interesting and joyful.
- Triangles are often associated with power, science, religion and law. Often viewed as masculine attributes it can be very interesting to use them if your target tent to be more masculine.
- Our subconscious minds connect vertical lines with virility, strength and aggression, while horizontal lines suggest community, tranquillity and serenity.
- You can also choose a shape that makes sense with the product or service you are selling.
Your logo says a lot about your company, you want your potential customer to understand quickly what is your company’s purpose, what service or product you propose.
But you can also put a lot of different messages inside your logo (some of them can be well hidden). Let’s take for example the Amazon logo; The smile in orange we can see below the wording pointing from A to Z represent the fact that Amazon sells everything from A to Z and the smile on customers faces when they buy a product.
Your logo embodies your values, as you can see from the explanation of the colours, fonts and shapes.
When they are all put together they are representing the values of your company. This is why you have to pick them carefully because the worst would be that your customers don’t understand your company values and misunderstood what to expect from you and feel lost.
When you create a logo you have to make it easily adjustable to various sizes and formats. It’s even truer now with social media and your website because people are going to see them on different devices (phones, tablet, computer, TV…). A distorted logo will make you lose your professionalism and credibility. Make sure your logo is designed in vector format, this way it’s easily scalable and editable. Your logo needs to be a source of creativity and not a source of restrictions. Don’t forget that your logo needs to look good even in black and white because for marketing materials and print advertising use, sometimes the printing will be done in black and white.
The more your logo will be simple and clear the more you will be easily recognised in your market. A simple logo will keep attention on the brand and help the understanding of your viewer. An overly crowded or busy design logo can lead to the loss of potential customers. Keep in mind, the simpler the better.
Simplicity doesn’t mean any personality, you must differentiate yourself from competitors if you want to stand out and catch the attention of your target. Before creating a logo make sure to have a good look through all your competitor’s logo and find the common aspect and the differentiation. You can also inspire yourself by looking at famous brands logo and catch the logo trend that works for your target.
Try to find the differentiation that suits your brand and help you distinguish your brand from the others.
The neutrality and simplicity of design make a logo timeless.
If your brand is here to last, it is essential to spend time creating a good logo that can be used for decades or even generations.
This way your logo will stay in the mind of your customer and they will always remember your brand, your values and the experience they had with your product/service.
I’m sure that with all those pieces of information about the creation of a good logo in you understand the importance and the meaning behind a “good logo”. Here at 3 Colours rule, we know that the creation of a logo is a big deal and it can take you a lot of time. This is why we decided to create our affordable branding packages designed specifically for your industry. Just as there is a difference between a business and a successful business, there is also a difference between a brand and a strong brand.
Follow your instinct and hire a branding expert to help you. It will be time well spent.
Phase 3: Convert
People don’t know what they want until you show it to them. When you listen to their problems your prospects will listen, and when you talk about the solutions your prospects will buy. When you get this, it will change your life forever.
Many companies make the mistake that they talk too much about themselves. Why would they listen to you?
As a business, you need to articulate that you understand the problems that your client/customers are facing and how your unique solution can help them. Provide value before selling.
So offer packages that help your clients reach their ultimate goals. That’s why you need to pick a niche. When you pick a niche you know exactly who you want to serve and then you offer packages adapted for their specific needs. If you use this simple D.A.C. system you can get your business to the next level.
To conclude, brands that last go beyond the expected to always align with the ultimate goals of their customers. Match your vision with your clients’ desires and you will always be relevant.