Branding Q&A banner

 

What is branding?

Branding is your business or organisation’s identity.

Branding is an ongoing process that creates and grows relationships between people and a company.

What is a brand, and why is it critical to my company’s success?

A brand is an experience that is created from a company’s personality, values and actions.

When we think about a company, any company, we all have a sense about that company’s values and characteristics.

That comes from how the brand of that company connects with us.

Good or bad.

What are the benefits of branding?

The benefits of branding are varied but some of the key benefits of branding are:

Memorability

If people remember you you will be more successful.

Loyalty

When people have a positive experience with your brand you can begin to build loyalty to your company.

Familiarity

We all want our company to be well recognised, even amongst those who aren’t our customers. Think about the familiarity of brands like Coca-Cola and McDonald’s.

Why should I create a brand?

A brand is a promise. If you think of the likes of Coca-Cola or McDonald’s we all know what we are getting when we engage with these brands.

If your brand has a look and feel that appeals to your audience then you can tap into the ability to make people identify with your brand.

If we look at supermarket brands in the UK for example. People form opinions of other supermarkets by the supermarket they shop in. Customers of Waitrose and Marks and Spencer are seen as being well off as opposed to those who shop in B&M or Farmfoods, when in fact neither customer may fit these stereotypes.

Nonetheless, people identify with brands. That is why every company should brand properly.

Fundamentaly, it means you can reach your target audience.

What is the difference between a company logo and a brand?

A logo and a brand are two very different things that must work together cohesively.

A logo is a quick, visual representation of a brand’s message and position.

It is an easily recognisable and reproducible design element, often including a name, symbol, specified colours or a trademark.

A brand is an experience that is created from a company’s personality, values and actions.

How often should I update my brand?

There are several indicators that can let you know it’s time to refresh your brand.

You have to ensure that your brand represents the character and ethos of your company.

Perhaps you have a traditional logo that no longer represents your modernised organisation.

You should also look at how old your brand is? Have you had the same logo for a long time?

It is a good idea to reassess your brand at regular intervals.

You may only have to make a subtle change but even big brands like Ford update their long held logos with subtle changes to colour, font width etc.

Do I need a custom logo?

The simple answer is yes.

In order to stand out you should ensure your logo differentiates your business from your competition.

How do I build a successful brand?

A successful brand has to be consistent in communication and experience.

You must ensure consistency across areas like:

• Environment (your shop or office)

• Prints and signage

• Website & online advertising

• Social media & content marketing

• Sales & customer service

Your first step is to consider if these areas share that common experience.

How much does it cost to build a brand?

Branding budgets can vary widely.

Perhaps an oversimplified answer would be “whatever you are willing to pay”.

However, you have to know how much you are willing to budget for when it comes to branding.

The options are wide and varied.

You could pay as little as £1,000 for some monthly branding services or up to hundreds of thousands and beyond for whole brand creation and delivery.

What is the purpose of brand management?

Brand management is the analysis and planning of how a brand is perceived, focusing directly on the brand and how that brand can remain favourable to customers.

Successful brand management can lead to increases in sales and success for the business.

How can I properly manage my brand?

There are a number of marketing platforms and tools you can use to manage your brand including (but not limited to):

• Website

• Social media

• Blog

• Online advertising

• PR

• Television

• Radio

• Newspapers

• Magazines

• Brochures

• Advertising displays

• Conferences

• Trade shows

In order to properly manage your brand though you need to decide which platforms or tools you are going to use that will complement your goals and help you to achieve them.

Having a website is essential as you need to offer your current and potential customers a place to go where they can find out more about you, your business, your products and your services.

You should then utilise social media to widen your audience and promote your brand whilst directing them to your website.

Regardless of the platforms or tools you decide to use you must keep your band consistent across them all otherwise you risk losing credibility among your target audience.

What are the benefits of re-branding?

There are a number of benefits to re-branding including:

Connecting with a new audience

A carefully planned and structured re-brand has the ability to put your business in front of a whole new audience.

Staying current

Your brand is central to how people view your business and therefore your brand needs to feel modern and current.

By moving with the times your customers will view your company as one who is constantly looking to evolve and develop with changes in your industry.

Standing out from the crowd

Re-branding gives you the opportunity to set yourself apart from your competitors not only in look and feel but also by cementing what makes you different from the rest.

Highlighting your growth

As companies grow and develop their products and services they can often find that their brand does not reflect their current offering.

Re-branding gives you the opportunity to reposition your company to recognise how you have changed whilst retaining the core values that made you who you are.

Increasing profits

Re-branding will help you to become more profitable as you will be reaching more customers, standing out from your competition and showcasing not only the products and services you offer but also what makes your service unique.

Should I worry about losing customers if I re-brand?

The simple answer is no.

The reason for this is that when you are re-branding your focus should be on who you are selling to (your customers) and not what you are selling (your products or services).

Your customer should therefore be at the centre of your re-branding strategy and you need to find out what type of experience your customer wants to have with your brand.

You can do this by:

1. Involving your customers

2. Listening to your customers

3. Communicating with your customers

4. Remembering your history

1. Involving your customers

The easiest way for you to find out what type of experience your customers want with your brand is to ask them.

Create a simple and easy survey with some key questions that you would like answered and then share it on your website and social media.

Not only will you gain valuable data but your customers will also appreciate you involving them in your decision making process.

2. Listening to your customers

Yes even the negative ones, in fact they are usually the most valuable.

Look at the feedback you have received from your customers and try to identify any trends.

This feedback can be gathered from customer emails, social media channels (both your own and others), website feedback forms, surveys, events etc.

Looking at this feedback will give you an understanding of the areas you should focus on in your re-branding.

3. Communicating with your customers

When you are close to launching your new brand let your customers know.

Let them know why you have decided to re-brand and what your hopes for the future are.

Send them an email, place an article on your website, put a post on your social media or even call your most loyal customers.

What you do not want to do is launch your new brand without letting your customers know, as this could cause confusion and distrust among your customers.

4. Remembering your history

If your re-brand involves a massive change like changing your name then you will need to keep reminding your customers that you are the same business.

You can do this simply by using ‘formally known as’ in you communication and by adding a section to your ‘about us’ page on your website.

You should continue to do this until you feel comfortable that your customers know who you are.

How do I go about getting someone to design my brand?

Your brand can make the difference between success and failure and so it is vital that you find a company who will not only take the time to understand you, your business and your customers but also be able to effectively communicate your vision.

Before you start looking for a branding company ask yourself the following questions:

• What are your company objectives?

• What experience will a branding company need to achieve these objectives?

• What are your values?

• Who is your target audience?

• Do you have a vision for your brand?

Then use the answers to these questions to create your ideal branding company profile and use this to create a shortlist of agencies to contact.

Is branding important for a small business?

Absolutely! Not only does your brand set you apart from your competitors but it will also help you secure business, both of which are extremely important as a small business.

The key thing to remember is that a small businesses brand is not a good name, logo or font. It is your values, your story and your customer service.

Your logo, name, font etc. are simply ways that you can bring these traits to life.

What is brand consultancy?

Brand consultancy is a service that is offered by a branding company and their brand consultants.

The aim of brand consultancy is to help you develop a stronger brand that will attract new customers from your target audience.

A brand consultant can help you create:

• A brand that reflects your goals

• Your branding strategy

• Customer profiles and their needs

• A sustainable budget that meets your resources

To give you an example of how much these services can cost, we charge £75 per hour for our branding strategy work with a block of 10 hours available for £500.

How does branding link in with marketing?

Your brand represents who you are as a business, what your core values are and the service you offer to your customers that is different from your competitors.

However, if you do not tell people about this then how will they find out?

This is where branding relies heavily on marketing as your marketing activities will give you the platforms you need to communicate this information to both your current and potential customers.

Marketing therefore plays an important part in making your brand a success.

How can I change the way my brand is perceived?

Consumers’ perception of a brand can change very quickly and it is therefore important to stay on top of how your customers view your brand and what you can do to change this.

Changing your brand perception is a challenging and time consuming task however it will play a huge part in the success or failure of your business moving forward.

The temptation is to jump in and begin to fix what you think may be broken but the key to success is to find out what people actually think and how you can fix it.

There are five steps you can follow to help make this happen:

1. Ask for feedback

2. Understand your customers

3. Involve your team

4. Make big changes

5. What’s next?

Ask for feedback

You need to understand what people actually think of your brand and the best way to do this is to ask them.

There are a number of ways you can gain feedback from your customer’s including emails, social media posts and feedback forms.

The easiest way to gather feedback is to create a survey (you can create one for free using websites like Survey Monkey) and share it on your social media channels, your website and via email using your contact list.

You want your customers to be as honest as possible so do not try to influence their answers by asking leading questions.

Make sure you include questions that not only ask what they think of your brand and why but also what they would like to see change.

You may receive feedback you do not like, but this process will give you a much better understanding of your brands perception among your customers.

Understand your customers

Now that you have your feedback you need to understand why your customers think that way and what they would like to see change.

Gather all of your feedback and look for any trends. It may be that your branding is dated, or that you are not meeting their needs.

Then compare these trends to your brand objectives and customer profiles to see if you can identify where the process has fallen down.

If you would like to know more about some of the trends then do not be afraid to go back and ask.

This is where it can be a good idea to include a section asking the respondent to leave their contact details if they would be willing to discuss your brand further.

Involve your team

You now know what you need to do and you are ready to make the changes happen, but have you involved your team in the process?

Your employees are your brand advocates and they need to be fully behind the changes you are going to make before you make them.

You need to take the time to let your employees know:

• What the changes are

• Why you are making them

• The benefit to your customers

• The benefit to them

• The role they play in making it a success

Finally, ask them what they think of the changes and if they have any suggestions as to how you can make them better.

This will give you the highest chance of successfully making your changes happen.

Make big changes

If you are going to change then make it big!

Customers want to see that you have listened to them and that you are taking your brand seriously.

It is incredibly powerful to tell your customers that you have listened to their feedback and are making changes because of this and they will feel a real connection to your business, with many becoming brand advocates in the process.

Making big changes not only send sends a bold statement to your customers but also to your competitors.

What’s next?

Unfortunately your brand perception can change very quickly and it is therefore important to continue to listen to your customers and regularly ask for their feedback, not only to build their loyalty and trust in your brand but also to help prevent you from having to make big changes in the future.

How will I know if my branding is successful?

The best and most accurate way to know if your brand is succeeding is to ask your customers.

You can also measure this by looking at your customer’s interaction, engagement and participation with your brand.

Interaction

Measuring interaction is simple.

Have your customers taken any action based on your activity?

Have they (for example):

• Replied to an email

• Liked your social media channels or posts

• Clicked on a link

• Contacted you

• Come into your office

These are great ways to measure interaction however this does not mean they are your customers.

You need to dig a little deeper.

Engagement

Now you need to look at how your customers engage with you.

Do they (for example):

• Comment on or share your social media posts

• Send you feedback

• Complete surveys

• Sign up to mailing lists

• Leave comments on your blogs or videos

Customers who do these things are the most likely to be using your products or services, however they may still be swayed to use one of your competitors.

Participation

Customers who actively participate with your brand are your most loyal advocates.

They will:

• Actively promote you on their social media channels

• Tell their friends, family and anyone who will listen about you

• Attend your events

• Sign up for your content

• Send new customers to you

• Regularly use your products and services

These customers are worth their weight in gold and your strategy should focus on getting your customers to this stage.

When you have customers who actively participate with your brand you know it is succeeding.

How will I know if re-branding is right for me?

There are a number of ways for you to know if re-branding is right for you including:

• You no longer feel proud of your brand – Do you feel reluctant to give out your website address or business card?

• Your brand does not represent your vision – Has your company grown to the point where your brand no longer represents the direction of your business?

• Your brand does not stand out – Is your brand getting lost in the shuffle?

• Your brand is too complicated – have you grown to the point where your brand has lost its identity?

• You are merging with/acquiring another business – Will this cause confusion around what your brand stands for?

• You cannot attract top candidates – Would you want to work for your brand?

Can’t find the answer you are looking for?

Send us your question today!

Branding Q&A banner mobile

 

What is branding?

Branding is your business or organisation’s identity.

Branding is an ongoing process that creates and grows relationships between people and a company.

What is a brand, and why is it critical to my company’s success?

A brand is an experience that is created from a company’s personality, values and actions.

When we think about a company, any company, we all have a sense about that company’s values and characteristics.

That comes from how the brand of that company connects with us.

Good or bad.

What are the benefits of branding?

The benefits of branding are varied but some of the key benefits of branding are:

Memorability

If people remember you you will be more successful.

Loyalty

When people have a positive experience with your brand you can begin to build loyalty to your company.

Familiarity

We all want our company to be well recognised, even amongst those who aren’t our customers. Think about the familiarity of brands like Coca-Cola and McDonald’s.

Why should I create a brand?

A brand is a promise. If you think of the likes of Coca-Cola or McDonald’s we all know what we are getting when we engage with these brands.

If your brand has a look and feel that appeals to your audience then you can tap into the ability to make people identify with your brand.

If we look at supermarket brands in the UK for example. People form opinions of other supermarkets by the supermarket they shop in. Customers of Waitrose and Marks and Spencer are seen as being well off as opposed to those who shop in B&M or Farmfoods, when in fact neither customer may fit these stereotypes.

Nonetheless, people identify with brands. That is why every company should brand properly.

Fundamentaly, it means you can reach your target audience.

What is the difference between a company logo and a brand?

A logo and a brand are two very different things that must work together cohesively.

A logo is a quick, visual representation of a brand’s message and position.

It is an easily recognisable and reproducible design element, often including a name, symbol, specified colours or a trademark.

A brand is an experience that is created from a company’s personality, values and actions.

How often should I update my brand?

There are several indicators that can let you know it’s time to refresh your brand.

You have to ensure that your brand represents the character and ethos of your company.

Perhaps you have a traditional logo that no longer represents your modernised organisation.

You should also look at how old your brand is? Have you had the same logo for a long time?

It is a good idea to reassess your brand at regular intervals.

You may only have to make a subtle change but even big brands like Ford update their long held logos with subtle changes to colour, font width etc.

Do I need a custom logo?

The simple answer is yes.

In order to stand out you should ensure your logo differentiates your business from your competition.

How do I build a successful brand?

A successful brand has to be consistent in communication and experience.

You must ensure consistency across areas like:

• Environment (your shop or office)

• Prints and signage

• Website & online advertising

• Social media & content marketing

• Sales & customer service

Your first step is to consider if these areas share that common experience.

How much does it cost to build a brand?

Branding budgets can vary widely.

Perhaps an oversimplified answer would be “whatever you are willing to pay”.

However, you have to know how much you are willing to budget for when it comes to branding.

The options are wide and varied.

You could pay as little as £1,000 for some monthly branding services or up to hundreds of thousands and beyond for whole brand creation and delivery.

What is the purpose of brand management?

Brand management is the analysis and planning of how a brand is perceived, focusing directly on the brand and how that brand can remain favourable to customers.

Successful brand management can lead to increases in sales and success for the business.

How can I properly manage my brand?

There are a number of marketing platforms and tools you can use to manage your brand including (but not limited to):

• Website

• Social media

• Blog

• Online advertising

• PR

• Television

• Radio

• Newspapers

• Magazines

• Brochures

• Advertising displays

• Conferences

• Trade shows

In order to properly manage your brand though you need to decide which platforms or tools you are going to use that will complement your goals and help you to achieve them.

Having a website is essential as you need to offer your current and potential customers a place to go where they can find out more about you, your business, your products and your services.

You should then utilise social media to widen your audience and promote your brand whilst directing them to your website.

Regardless of the platforms or tools you decide to use you must keep your band consistent across them all otherwise you risk losing credibility among your target audience.

What are the benefits of re-branding?

There are a number of benefits to re-branding including:

Connecting with a new audience

A carefully planned and structured re-brand has the ability to put your business in front of a whole new audience.

Staying current

Your brand is central to how people view your business and therefore your brand needs to feel modern and current.

By moving with the times your customers will view your company as one who is constantly looking to evolve and develop with changes in your industry.

Standing out from the crowd

Re-branding gives you the opportunity to set yourself apart from your competitors not only in look and feel but also by cementing what makes you different from the rest.

Highlighting your growth

As companies grow and develop their products and services they can often find that their brand does not reflect their current offering.

Re-branding gives you the opportunity to reposition your company to recognise how you have changed whilst retaining the core values that made you who you are.

Increasing profits

Re-branding will help you to become more profitable as you will be reaching more customers, standing out from your competition and showcasing not only the products and services you offer but also what makes your service unique.

Should I worry about losing customers if I re-brand?

The simple answer is no.

The reason for this is that when you are re-branding your focus should be on who you are selling to (your customers) and not what you are selling (your products or services).

Your customer should therefore be at the centre of your re-branding strategy and you need to find out what type of experience your customer wants to have with your brand.

You can do this by:

1. Involving your customers

2. Listening to your customers

3. Communicating with your customers

4. Remembering your history

1. Involving your customers

The easiest way for you to find out what type of experience your customers want with your brand is to ask them.

Create a simple and easy survey with some key questions that you would like answered and then share it on your website and social media.

Not only will you gain valuable data but your customers will also appreciate you involving them in your decision making process.

2. Listening to your customers

Yes even the negative ones, in fact they are usually the most valuable.

Look at the feedback you have received from your customers and try to identify any trends.

This feedback can be gathered from customer emails, social media channels (both your own and others), website feedback forms, surveys, events etc.

Looking at this feedback will give you an understanding of the areas you should focus on in your re-branding.

3. Communicating with your customers

When you are close to launching your new brand let your customers know.

Let them know why you have decided to re-brand and what your hopes for the future are.

Send them an email, place an article on your website, put a post on your social media or even call your most loyal customers.

What you do not want to do is launch your new brand without letting your customers know, as this could cause confusion and distrust among your customers.

4. Remembering your history

If your re-brand involves a massive change like changing your name then you will need to keep reminding your customers that you are the same business.

You can do this simply by using ‘formally known as’ in you communication and by adding a section to your ‘about us’ page on your website.

You should continue to do this until you feel comfortable that your customers know who you are.

How do I go about getting someone to design my brand?

Your brand can make the difference between success and failure and so it is vital that you find a company who will not only take the time to understand you, your business and your customers but also be able to effectively communicate your vision.

Before you start looking for a branding company ask yourself the following questions:

• What are your company objectives?

• What experience will a branding company need to achieve these objectives?

• What are your values?

• Who is your target audience?

• Do you have a vision for your brand?

Then use the answers to these questions to create your ideal branding company profile and use this to create a shortlist of agencies to contact.

Is branding important for a small business?

Absolutely! Not only does your brand set you apart from your competitors but it will also help you secure business, both of which are extremely important as a small business.

The key thing to remember is that a small businesses brand is not a good name, logo or font. It is your values, your story and your customer service.

Your logo, name, font etc. are simply ways that you can bring these traits to life.

What is brand consultancy?

Brand consultancy is a service that is offered by a branding company and their brand consultants.

The aim of brand consultancy is to help you develop a stronger brand that will attract new customers from your target audience.

A brand consultant can help you create:

• A brand that reflects your goals

• Your branding strategy

• Customer profiles and their needs

• A sustainable budget that meets your resources

To give you an example of how much these services can cost, we charge £75 per hour for our branding strategy work with a block of 10 hours available for £500.

How does branding link in with marketing?

Your brand represents who you are as a business, what your core values are and the service you offer to your customers that is different from your competitors.

However, if you do not tell people about this then how will they find out?

This is where branding relies heavily on marketing as your marketing activities will give you the platforms you need to communicate this information to both your current and potential customers.

Marketing therefore plays an important part in making your brand a success.

How can I change the way my brand is perceived?

Consumers’ perception of a brand can change very quickly and it is therefore important to stay on top of how your customers view your brand and what you can do to change this.

Changing your brand perception is a challenging and time consuming task however it will play a huge part in the success or failure of your business moving forward.

The temptation is to jump in and begin to fix what you think may be broken but the key to success is to find out what people actually think and how you can fix it.

There are five steps you can follow to help make this happen:

1. Ask for feedback

2. Understand your customers

3. Involve your team

4. Make big changes

5. What’s next?

Ask for feedback

You need to understand what people actually think of your brand and the best way to do this is to ask them.

There are a number of ways you can gain feedback from your customer’s including emails, social media posts and feedback forms.

The easiest way to gather feedback is to create a survey (you can create one for free using websites like Survey Monkey) and share it on your social media channels, your website and via email using your contact list.

You want your customers to be as honest as possible so do not try to influence their answers by asking leading questions.

Make sure you include questions that not only ask what they think of your brand and why but also what they would like to see change.

You may receive feedback you do not like, but this process will give you a much better understanding of your brands perception among your customers.

Understand your customers

Now that you have your feedback you need to understand why your customers think that way and what they would like to see change.

Gather all of your feedback and look for any trends. It may be that your branding is dated, or that you are not meeting their needs.

Then compare these trends to your brand objectives and customer profiles to see if you can identify where the process has fallen down.

If you would like to know more about some of the trends then do not be afraid to go back and ask.

This is where it can be a good idea to include a section asking the respondent to leave their contact details if they would be willing to discuss your brand further.

Involve your team

You now know what you need to do and you are ready to make the changes happen, but have you involved your team in the process?

Your employees are your brand advocates and they need to be fully behind the changes you are going to make before you make them.

You need to take the time to let your employees know:

• What the changes are

• Why you are making them

• The benefit to your customers

• The benefit to them

• The role they play in making it a success

Finally, ask them what they think of the changes and if they have any suggestions as to how you can make them better.

This will give you the highest chance of successfully making your changes happen.

Make big changes

If you are going to change then make it big!

Customers want to see that you have listened to them and that you are taking your brand seriously.

It is incredibly powerful to tell your customers that you have listened to their feedback and are making changes because of this and they will feel a real connection to your business, with many becoming brand advocates in the process.

Making big changes not only send sends a bold statement to your customers but also to your competitors.

What’s next?

Unfortunately your brand perception can change very quickly and it is therefore important to continue to listen to your customers and regularly ask for their feedback, not only to build their loyalty and trust in your brand but also to help prevent you from having to make big changes in the future.

How will I know if my branding is successful?

The best and most accurate way to know if your brand is succeeding is to ask your customers.

You can also measure this by looking at your customer’s interaction, engagement and participation with your brand.

Interaction

Measuring interaction is simple.

Have your customers taken any action based on your activity?

Have they (for example):

• Replied to an email

• Liked your social media channels or posts

• Clicked on a link

• Contacted you

• Come into your office

These are great ways to measure interaction however this does not mean they are your customers.

You need to dig a little deeper.

Engagement

Now you need to look at how your customers engage with you.

Do they (for example):

• Comment on or share your social media posts

• Send you feedback

• Complete surveys

• Sign up to mailing lists

• Leave comments on your blogs or videos

Customers who do these things are the most likely to be using your products or services, however they may still be swayed to use one of your competitors.

Participation

Customers who actively participate with your brand are your most loyal advocates.

They will:

• Actively promote you on their social media channels

• Tell their friends, family and anyone who will listen about you

• Attend your events

• Sign up for your content

• Send new customers to you

• Regularly use your products and services

These customers are worth their weight in gold and your strategy should focus on getting your customers to this stage.

When you have customers who actively participate with your brand you know it is succeeding.

How will I know if re-branding is right for me?

There are a number of ways for you to know if re-branding is right for you including:

• You no longer feel proud of your brand – Do you feel reluctant to give out your website address or business card?

• Your brand does not represent your vision – Has your company grown to the point where your brand no longer represents the direction of your business?

• Your brand does not stand out – Is your brand getting lost in the shuffle?

• Your brand is too complicated – have you grown to the point where your brand has lost its identity?

• You are merging with/acquiring another business – Will this cause confusion around what your brand stands for?

• You cannot attract top candidates – Would you want to work for your brand?

Can’t find the answer you are looking for?

Send us your question today!

07523708876
info@vertigo39.com
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