Do you know the difference between your brand and your branding?
Before we talk about your branding, it is important do understand the difference between ‘your brand’ and ‘your branding’. These two terms are very often used to describe the same thing. But, with today’s marketing savvy consumers, they are both very different.
Your brand resides within the hearts and minds of customers. It is the sum total of their experiences and perceptions – some of which you can influence, and some you can’t.
Your branding is everything you do that your customers will see. A way of helping someone identify your brand. Your branding is the brand identity, which includes the logo, colours, typefaces and imagery your use to tell your brand story.
Take control of what you can influence
Creating a brand is about taking control of the experiences you can influence. Determining what you stand for, what makes you different and, most importantly, understanding your target audience and what makes you relevant to them, and how you tell them that.
You do have control over the way you present yourself, the way you act, the way you interact with your customers and the way you respond to certain circumstances. You don’t have control on what your customers say, or tell their friends, about you.
Once you have defined your ‘why’ it is time to think about how you are going to tell your target audience about it. And there is no stronger way of doing this than telling a story.
We have been telling stories since the beginning of man. Cavemen used to tell stories with drawings on cave walls and at bedtime we continue telling stories to future generations. People love stories.
Your story isn’t just what you tell people, it’s also what they believe about you based on the signals your brand sends. The story is a complete picture made up of facts, feelings and interpretations, which means that part of your story isn’t even told by you.
The first people who should hear your story are any employees or stockists you have. They, in turn, will become storytellers, spreading your story.
Your target audience
Remember, your brand is not what you say it is. It’s what your customers say it is.
It’s really important to think about who you are telling your story to. Spend time pinpointing who your key target audience/s is/are.
Think of your brand messages as conversations between you and your customers. That conversation may be very different, depending on which target audience you are talking to.
A lot of businesses make the mistake of trying to tell their customers the story they want to tell. Not the story their customers want to hear.
So why brand?
Your brand is the DNA of your business. It should be present in everything you do.
It is what makes your business unique. And every business is unique. You may provide the similar products and services to your competitors, but there will always be something different in the way you do it or why you do it.
Creating a brand and the story around it, along with consistent branding, will help create create awareness around your products or services and will make it easier for customers to identify with you.
Looking for sound advice and/or a sounding board?
Contact us to organise a meeting with one of our experienced and friendly creative industry advisors.