If you own a business, I’m guessing you take pride in presenting yourself to all your customers in a particular way, so they walk away with a certain perception of you. You might present yourself as an expert, so you speak in a passionate yet formal way. Or you might want your customers to feel at ease so you present yourself as welcoming, friendly and approachable when you engage with them. If you’re the expert you probably also dress yourself in a more formal way, such as a suit. If you want to be seen as the friendly business owner you might dress a bit more casual or more colourful. Or maybe you are both and want to communicate both. So maybe you speak in a passionate and formal way, yet wear a bright suit and quirky glasses.
Most business owners are doing the above, communicating some type of message, portraying some type of persona. What about the rest of the business? If you are the book cover will the contents of the story be the same? Is your business authentic or fake? Do people understand what you are about or are they confused when they open the book?
You’re probably guessing by now, that when I ask the question, what are you communicating to your customers? I do mean beyond yourself, across all of your customer touchpoints.
Creating a brand story ensures the cover and the contents match. Most importantly, the person reading the book must connect with it. So it has to make sense. Especially if they are going to buy it! And the next one. And the next. And tell their friends about it.
With branding the goal is to connect your business with your customers. When your branding is focused, with clear messaging it can help you develop relationships with your customers quicker. Brand messaging encapsulates the core essence of your business and should be appealing to your target customer. It’s impossible for you to sit down face to face with every customer, so it’s important to get it right with all the other instances customers come into contact with your business, such as your logo, website, marketing, etc.
Once you figure out how you want to present your business you will know what you want to communicate. There are many elements to brand messaging, but I’ll keep it simple here by focusing in and around your brand identity—tone of voice, imagery, typography, colours, vocabulary, taglines—which must be strategic, appropriate and crystal clear. The main objective is to influence how your business is perceived.
You can try looking at it like this: If your business was a person, what kind of personality would they have? What do they value? How are they different to their competition? What do they embody? What does their appearance say about them? How do they speak? And lastly, would your target customers want to be friends with them? Join their gang?
Figure this out and you can develop a pattern that can be repeated. And remembered.