Key Factors & Elements Your Brand Needs Now
You might notice a different look around here since January, when we launched our new site. That was all thanks to our friend and talented brand developer and designer, Rachel Green, owner of Intentionally Designed. We absolutely loved working with Rachel! She is so knowledgable on so many things, so we asked her to share about branding with our readers. There's something for everyone to soak up in this post, if you're looking to really elevate your business and brand presence this year!
The key factors in building an intentional brand:
Sometimes branding can feel overwhelming. It can feel like a daunting task to brand your business and make it just right. Business owners often assume that branding is more than it has to be, but creating an intentional brand is all about keeping it simple. Doing too much and going over the top with your brand can actually hurt you in the long run. Branding doesn't have to be complicated. Keep it simple. To help you keep it simple and straightforward, I am breaking down branding into a simplified definition of what it is and the key factors you need to build an intentional brand for your business.
What is branding?
Branding is one of those words that is used often, but widely misunderstood. In the most basic sense of the word, a brand is simply your mark or name on a product (or service) to tell consumers of the source. Over the years, the word brand has taken on a whole new meaning in how it is used for your business and marketing efforts. Now, a brand is also how people perceive your business and what they think of your products or services. Branding includes both factual and emotional aspects of your business.
But that doesn't have to be complicated. To break it down, your brand is your logo, website, and offerings, but it is also your mission, intention, ideal client, message, and your personality. Your brand is your identity as a business made up of both visual and emotional components.
How to build an intentional brand:
A brand isn’t just made up of visual elements and pretty things. Your brand is every piece that represents your business from your mission and message to your logo and website. In order to create a cohesive and intentional brand, you have to bring it all together. Each detail tells a part of your story and paints the bigger picture.
Each part communicates something to your audience. Building a brand based on your story will help you to connect with your audience on a personal level. It will always be representative of you, and you will have a solid foundation for your business to grow.
The key elements you need:
A strong and intentional brand is made up of several elements. Below is a checklist for the essential elements of a strong brand. Do an evaluation of your current brand to see what it needs!
Does your brand:
Have a clean and professional look: Think about the visual aspects of your brand. Are they clean and professional looking or do they look like you DIYed them without much thought? The design of your brand can give people a distinct message about your business. You want to be sure that your brand looks like a real brand and business and not like a hobby that you do in your spare time. The wrong type of visual could easily turn people away from your business.
Visually communicate your mission and message: Does the visual component of your brand communicate your mission and message accurately? Are you telling people what you do, why you do, and what you’re all about through your brand? A picture is worth a thousand words and your brand has a lot to say. It speaks volumes about your business so you want to make sure that everything is aligning with the core mission you have established.
Reach your target market: It’s not enough for your brand to be visually professional and communicate your mission. You also want to be sure that you are speaking directly to your target market. I know that’s one of those scary business words that feels hard to leverage. But basically you want to make sure your ideal client or customer can relate to your brand and feel a connection. You want to make them feel like they’ve found the right fit for their needs and that you understand them well.
Uphold brand standards: Are you always using your brand the same way? Creating brand standards will ensure that your brand remains clear and consistent. This typically includes set fonts, colors, patterns, and other elements and how to use them so that your brand is always represented the same. Establishing brand standards acts as a guide for maintaining your brand throughout any part of your business.
Produce a branded experience: Lastly, you want to be sure that the entire experience of working with your business matches up with your brand. This means that your collateral items (print and digital) and touch points need to be branded as well. Anytime you interact with a client or customer, there should be some element of your brand connected with it. That doesn’t always mean visually though. It also refers to the words you use, the way you conduct business, and how you walk them through the process.
The next time you think about your brand and are scared of what that entails, just remember that it is simpler than it seems. While creating an intentional brand takes a lot of time and thought and shouldn't be thrown together, it doesn't have to be overwhelming and daunting either. Work through it one step at a time using this list as a guide and you’ll create a strong, intentional brand that will send the right message to your audience and grow your business.
For the last 5 years, I’ve been serving women just like you. Women who want more from life - who want the freedom to do what they love and live the life they dream of living too. Through intentional business development, valuable education and resources, and a place of community, I’ve been wholeheartedly devoted to giving you that dream and helping you pursue your passions. I don't have it all figured out. I am in the middle of it just like you.
I am a city girl turned farmer's wife who has grown to love and cherish slow living. I am married to my best friend and blessed with two beautiful children. I strive to live my life for what matters and take time to enjoy each day as it comes. As a small business owner, wife, and mother I know firsthand it's hard to draw the line between our work and the rest of our lives. But I believe that we can.