Contributed by Haylee Powers
Steve Forbes editor-in-Chief of Forbes said:
“Your brand is the single most important investment you can make in your business”.
The biggest mistake I see entrepreneurs and startups making is that they do not know how
important branding and strategy is for the success in their business. I see a lot of confusion
about what branding is. Branding is not a logo or a marketing plan, a brand is a gut feeling,
experience and the ONE thing that makes you different from competitors. Your difference (we
call this a Unique Selling Proposition) needs to be compelling, concise and motivating.
Great brands create a quality experience and evoke an emotion in the customer. The way that
you can control the perception of your brand or product through the way you design and
strategize is mesmerizing. Brand strategist have studied neuroscience and psychology to create
a deeper understanding of how our brain works as it relates to brands we love and choose over
and over again. Design is used as a tool to create something beautiful but taken a step further
design is a tool combined with strategy to make real impact on customers and on the world.
Branding is meant to turn chaos into order and complexity into simplicity. Branding is SO
SIMPLE and that is what makes it so complex. It involves chiseling away at all the
miscellaneous information so that the exact message is you are trying to convey is obvious.
Branding yourself or your product is definitely an investment, but you know you are going to get
a return on it because your message is clear and concise.
Here a few things a brand strategy will do for your business:
1. Branding will differentiate your business from your competitors.
2. Branding will manage the perception your customers have about you.
3. Branding will build equity, brand awareness and loyalty.
4. Branding will form emotional attachment and trust.
5. Branding will highlight your unique attributes.
After you have created a solid strategy for your brand, you can then develop the Brand Identity.
Your Brand Identity will include things like your logo design, color palette, font choices,
photography, product packaging and more. The order in which you develop your brand is
important, the strategy always comes first when creating a strong brand.
Having a strong Brand will allow you to take a commodity and turn it into a brand.
Coffee, shoes and cars are all commodities. Starbucks, Nike and Mercedes Benz are brands that bring in millions. If you are serious about bringing in money, you need to be serious about your brand strategy. The truth is, customers will pay more for a brand they believe delivers outstanding service or benefits.
You are already branded… which could be detrimental.
Your design, in store experience, the copy on your website, the photos you use and more are creating a gut feeling in your customer and clients. Your customers are walking away with a gut feeling about how you present yourself, your touch points and the mission that fuels your company. Don’t lose money by letting your customer have a negative or uninspired experience with your brand. Control the perception people have of you and develop your unique selling proposition so that your business can bring in a higher income.
Haylee Powers is a Denver based designer and brand strategist working with companies as large as CBS and as small as the solopreneur next door. She founded Bad Bitch Branding in 2016 to empower women through brand strategy and design. She spends her time coaching female entrepreneurs and startups on their brand strategy as well as designing brand identities.