I will start this article with a question for you: How would you like to be perceived by your customers? What should they say about you when they talk to other people?
Don’t worry if you don’t have an answer to this question so spontaneously. I say that most self-employed people don’t have an answer right away.
So there’s nothing to worry about.
But you can do something about it and be better off than many of your colleagues. All you have to do is read on and implement what I tell you in the next few lines.
Branding is a central topic for me. For many years I worked in marketing and for me there is no way around the topic of branding. Even before I started with Crux, I thought a lot about my desired market appearance and worked with my graphic designer after the visual implementation.
For the following three reasons it was very important to me:
Branding is the creation, development and establishment of a brand (also a personal brand). It is therefore about the formation and anchoring of a brand in the minds of the target group. To achieve this, it is necessary that you develop a brand strategy and consistently follow it. Best before you enter the market. If you are already on the market, then you should absolutely make up for this step.
Branding is not only more than a logo but also more than a visual appearance. It’s about messages, values and attitudes that you want to convey to your target audience, at every point of contact. Branding is the overall perception of your company.
With your brand you want to appeal to people, appeal to your target group and ideally convert them into customers. They should be able to identify with you and remember you positively. That’s what you want, isn’t it?
First take your time to reflect and think. It is best to take a pen and a piece of paper and answer the following questions as clearly as possible.
Who are you and what do you offer?
What is your unique selling point?
What do you or your brand stand for?
Who do you want to reach with your brand?
How do you want to be known?
How do you want to build trust with your target group?
In this step you describe the content of your brand. In technical jargon, the term corporate identity is used here.
By answering these questions you can optimize your positioning and develop a communication strategy that suits you, your business and your target group. This also includes the definition of goals, messages and topics.
Only when you have clarity about the content identity of your brand and can describe it, the visual identity will be developed. In technical jargon we speak of corporate design. This includes
The visual components ensure easy recognition, attention and arouse emotions with your readers.
Often the mistake is made that the second step is made before the first. You can imagine that the identity of the brand doesn’t really match the design.
That’s why: Before the graphic implementation you should have clarity about the identity of your brand!
Once your brand’s corporate identity and corporate design are in place, you’re ready to get involved with branding. Become visible. Launch your (new) website, communicate on your social media channels, write blog articles, create videos or podcasts. But also make sure you have good customer service, respond to emails from your prospects, and make sure you fill your brand with life and stay true to your brand values across all channels.
If you can, you’re on the right track!
If people can identify themselves with a brand or a person(s), they will remember it positively. My colleague Carina Herrmann, for example, has a very successful branding of around 180 degrees. She addresses exactly those women who can identify themselves with her and her lifestyle and binds them to her. She knows her readers very well and knows how they think and what they need. She not only inspires her readers with her texts, but also makes them smile, think and act with her very own writing voice. No matter where you are on the net, you will recognize Carina even if her name or logo does not appear. You recognize her by her writing voice, her humor, her colors and her fonts.
A good branding triggers emotions. Visual factors are often decisive for purchasing decisions. Think about how many websites you leave because they don’t appeal to you visually. An appealing website and a beautiful logo are important. But also the experience after the purchase. Every single point of contact between you, your brand and customers or potential customers pays for your branding.
Remember: A strong brand is based on a strong strategy.
Only a few self-employed people rely on well thought-out branding right from the start. Use it to your advantage and give your brand personality!