Its becoming increasing common for your customers to evaluate, and make, purchasing decisions online. Just look at your own buying habits – how often have you reviewed the contest before even walking into a shop (if you even go into a store and not buy online!) . This is exactly why branding is more important than ever.
So, what is branding? It essentially boils down to your customers’ perception of your business and includes character, personality, and values.
Where do you start?
Do your research – who are your competitors, what do their sites look, sound and feel like. Should yours stand out from the crowd or be in accord with the industry. Based on who you serve (and understanding their needs) will dictate your direction.
Understand who you are and who you serve (a little more research!) – what do your clients care about the most? Put your customers first – cater to their own needs from your site first, start with easy to find contact info. Ask yourself whether the copy is too long or is full of jargon. Is your content arranged on the page so its easy to read, does it tell a lot of the story to be helpful, do you provide testimonials to facilitate decision making, are your packages/pricing easy to find and understand? Will they know what they’re getting? We have a excellent worksheet that helps clients understand their client, if you want to receive a copy – please send us an email! We’d be delighted to send it along.
Establish your mission statement and vision -All communication and actions should tie back to your mission statement and vision, and your brand should reflect your future goals. Let’s take for instance that your vision is to recreate an business and stick out by turning the industry on its head, sounds radical? Now what if that is your vision, and your website is shades of gray with very formal text, heavy with jargon. How does that speak to your eyesight?
Design and Copy – do not underestimate the power of visual appeal. Create a logo that is recognizable and choose a color palette that reflects your voice and values. The structure of your website should be simple to navigate, with clearly laid out text, that is easy to digest in a clear font (not overly scripty and difficult to read). Copy ought to be professional and demonstrate experience while talking in a language that all can understand. Your copy needs to be clear of typos and grammatical mistakes (enlist the help of an editor, or at the very least have a trusted peer review your articles ).
Social media is an extension of your brand, this includes both look, feel, and content. Use social media to expand your reach with timely responses to fortify your dedication to customer service, quality information that’s curated and created in line with your vision.
And one bonus suggestion – create a style guide with criteria for tone, voice, style; and includes standards for social media, website design, any graphic design going forward. Do not forget to include team expectations! This is the perfect time to create guidelines for reaction time, signature lines, professionalism and tone.
The key is – you are your brand, so ALWAYS be consistent!
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