What is branding?
First of all – we want to give you an insight into something that even some of the most seasoned marketers and career business owners fail to comprehend over the course of their lifetime.
Your brand and your branding are interlinked – but not necessarily the same thing.
A brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. We could all sell the same product or service if we wanted to, but the way we would distinguish ourselves would be by our name or some other distinguishing characteristic.
Branding, however, is the message or the meaning that the receiver (YOUR CUSTOMER) attaches to your product or service. It could be a positive association – or a negative one if you do not effectively manage your brand and any issues that arise for your brand. It is individual in many ways, but most often shared by groups of people.
Good news – as the SENDER of this message, you can shape it. And win at the game of marketing your business!
Here’s the simplest way we define branding here at O2L Media. Branding is about the promise of a distinct, memorable experience. It’s about creating an expectation and delivering it consistently every time anyone comes into contact with your brand whether it’s the way you answer the phone, how your website functions, your customer service process, how your office looks or how your product/service performs. It’s how you make your customers feel about themselves and their decisions when they are interacting with your brand. It’s why you shop at store A vs. store B even if the price or product might not be that much different.
Developing a strong, authentic brand and delivering it consistently is the foundation upon which every successful business is built. And we can help you lay that first stone. We’ll help uncover what makes you special, differentiates you from the competition and defines who you are and what you want to be, and what your target audience wants you to be. The development of this brand will be essential to consistently delivering the right message to the right people to create just the right reaction.
We would love to offer you a price guide on our branding services, but the fact is – your branding needs are as unique as you are in your industry.
If there was a cookie cutter approach to branding – then all businesses would be the same!
However, here are the four broad stages we will go through together to determine your business branding strategy.
The first step involves our team really getting to know your business, your industry, your competition and your customers. This involves meeting with your team, conducting some research, doing customer interviews and really drilling down to the core of how people see you now and how you want them to see you moving forward.
Once the discovery is complete, our team will develop a brand strategy unique to you. We’ll present what we feel the promise is that you need to communicate and suggest tactics for how it can be expressed throughout your business operations.
Once we’ve developed your brand strategy and you’ve approved this direction, our designers will move into interpreting your brand characteristics in a more visual way, such as your logo, your slogans and your brand documents.
Once these steps are complete and you have signed off your approval, we’ll develop brand guidelines for you. This is your handbook for how to properly express your brand: where and how to use the logo, colours, fonts and just as importantly, how NOT to use them, in order to consistently communicate your message.