There’s a common misconception in the small business world that looks like this:
Brand = Logo
That’s simply not the case–a brand is so much more! If you think your brand is the same thing as your logo, then you’re missing out on your chance to harness most of your brand’s power.
Here are the 5 powerful parts of your brand:
1. Brand Positioning I call this the foundation of your brand. This is where you get really clear on exactly what your business is all about and stake your claim. Your position is your chance to choose what you want your business to create. You get to declare who you are, what you do, what makes you different from the competition, who your ideal clients are and what impact you make on them.
Your position can even say what you aren’t–you can say “unlike other business coaches, who are milking the same tired marketing approaches that you see everywhere, I focus on finding new, innovative ways that you can market and monetize your business and I make them easy, so that you can be ahead of the pack”.
You need to create your brand position before you do anything else with your brand. When you have a strong brand position that’s focused and clear, you’ll be able to create the rest of your brand to express that. Everything in your brand will be consistently singing the same song, which is essential to creating a profitable brand.
2. Brand Identity This is where the logo fits in. A logo is a part of your brand, certainly–it’s the face of your business. When you pair your logo with other visual elements of your brand like your color palette, website design, look and feel, your headshot, and other design elements, these make up your visual brand, which is also called your brand identity.
In your brand identity, you can communicate about your business and to show your style.
Your brand identity speaks to your ideal clients through symbolism, the meaning of colors, emotion in photos, and the overall “look and feel” of your designs.
3. Brand Message Every place where you’re writing about your business is a part of your brand message. This is your business name, tagline, features and benefits, your expert title, and the text in your website and on all of your other marketing materials.
Your message is another opportunity to showcase your brand positioning.
To make the most of your message, use those “just-right” words. By using your words precisely and by picking interesting words with personality, you’ll be able to communicate effectively and clearly with your clients.
4. Brand Strategy Your brand strategy is an intentional, step-by-step plan that lays out how you’re going to use your brand message and brand identity to communicate your brand positioning to your ideal clients. What pieces, exactly, do you need to create? What will each communicate? How are you going to get them in front of your ideal clients? What’s your plan to keep everything consistent?
Without a strategy, the other components of your brand are simply bits of stuff you’ve designed or created. The strategy is the part that helps you convert those “bits of marketing stuff” into paying clients.
5. Brand Experience This is the experience of doing business with your company. Are you pampering your clients with VIP service? Is your business about get-results accountability? Do you guide your clients through your process and teach them what you know, or do you just jump in and get things done for them so they don’t have to worry about it?
From the time that your client first hears about you, while they’re learning about you, to when they hire you, to the time when you’re delivering your service, all the way through to your follow-up after you’re creating an experience for them. What does your experience say about your brand?
The bottom line is, you have to think both deeper and beyond your logo when you create your brand. So plan your brand on all levels to communicate and you’ll create a brand that’s powerful and profitable!
Erin Ferree is a brand strategist and designer. She works with small businesses to create brands with substance and style that fit their businesses perfectly.
She’s designed brands for hundreds of small business all over the world. Her brands help her clients attract their ideal clients, outshine their competition and make them unforgettable. She also works with small business owners to develop complete clarity about their brand positioning and to develop total brand clarity.