How do I know that I have the right brand?
Your brand has to do a few basic things. If it accomplishes these tasks, then you can be assured that you have the right brand.
1. Communicates your brand story. To do this, first create your brand story:
- Who your small business is (brand personality)
- What you do (services, problems you solve)
- What makes you different (who is your competition? what differentiates you? what’s your unique process, expertise, or talent?)
- Who your best clients are (who are they? what do they want from working with you? what motivates them?)
Once you have the brand story established, you can take that to a designer and have them translate it symbolically into your logo, Visual Vocabulary and brand identity.
2. Speaks to your best clients. Your brand has to visually appeal to them, have visual interest, and have meaning to them. You want them to look at your materials and then be compelled to learn more. And you want them to see your brand and be inspired to have confidence to work with you.
3. Gives you confidence. You want to look at your brand and be proud of it. To want to show it to other people. To be happy that it’s your business’s face in the world.
4. Stands out from the competition. All of your brand materials should show your differentiators. Symbolically show what you’re all about by communicating your unique message. And, they should look better than your competition’s materials – that means printing them well, coding your web materials well, creating eye-catching designs and making sure they’re consistent.
5. Is a brand that you can live with for a long, long while. You don’t want to be in danger of getting bored of your brand before it’s really time to change it. And, you don’t want your brand to “age out” – start looking old or dated. Create a brand with some capability to evolve with the times. Or that is cleanly, solidly designed so that it will always look fresh.
6. Grows with your business. You don’t want your brand to trap you – to keep you from entering a new market, or doing new promotions because there isn’t room to expand it. Design your brand so that it can support you in whatever you decide to do in the future.
7. Promotes a general good feeling. This doesn’t mean that everyone has to love your brand – in fact, they shouldn’t. People who just aren’t your target audience, and who aren’t connected to your business don’t need to like the brand. But, you, your clients, your partners, affiliates and close colleagues that you work with should all be glad to have your brand associated with them.
If your brand passes this assessment, then you can be assured that it’s a good fit for your business and that it will help your business grow.