Your Brand is the Foundation of Your Business
Being intentional and consistent when building your brand is so important when it comes to the future of your business.
Listen, there are a ton of things that make a business successful. For starters, you need to define your own version of success. What does a thriving, healthy, growing business look like for you and your lifestyle?
It takes research, systems, processes, knowledge, testing, time, connections, and everything else in between to build a business that thrives, and guess what all of those things can funnel into? ...Your brand.
I won’t dive into the ins and outs of what a brand is right now, (maybe a post for another time), but I will say this:
Your brand is every touchpoint and every interaction that someone experiences through the lens of your business.
That means your systems, your processes, your research, your market, your communications, your network… that’s all a part of your brand. You can see where I’m going here. Your brand is the experience you give through your business. Your business is as valuable as your brand.
Brand Strategy = Business Clarity
When you know your brand and are intentional and consistent about how you communicate with your clients or customers, then your business model becomes immensely clear. If you’re unsure about what your brand stands for, and don’t have a solid strategy and understanding about who you serve, work with, or sell to, then it’s very easy to get caught up in a world of offering a hundred different things to anyone who will buy it, changing your mind every other day, working in a bunch of different ways, focused on way too many THINGS, ultimately not getting anywhere with your business. I’m exhausted writing that.
Having a well-thought-out, intentional brand strategy in place gives you the clarity you need to propel your business in the right (and focused) direction.
Business Direction = Easier Decisions
When you have clarity about what your brand is all about, then business direction naturally follows. Knowing who you serve, how you communicate, where you position yourself in the market, and your core brand values makes every future business decision a breeze. Ok, well, I mean, there’s still some sweat and stress involved, but it sure does make things way easier.
When you can easily understand what your brand experience is and what matters most in terms of how people interact with your business, then deciding on what services to provide, what packages to offer, and right down to what to post next on Instagram comes so much more simply. You have a foundation, and a stable force in your business to keep coming back to when you end up facing these big decisions.
Marketing Made Easy(er)
That whole bit above about business direction? That also pertains to marketing. When it comes to this broad, vague world of marketing your business, we can often feel like we’re totally overwhelmed and unsure about where to start and what to do, or we pigeon-hole and limit our own reach. Just because there are millions of people using Snapchat doesn’t mean it makes sense for you to spend your time, energy, or resources marketing your business there.
Having brand clarity and strategy in place allows you to figure out the best use of your marketing efforts. You don’t need to be doing all the things. You just need to figure out what works best for your brand and business and do those couple of things really well.
Stand out + Build Trust
I don’t think I need to explain to you that having a solid, professional, cohesive brand is crucial to building trust with your people, do I? Maybe I do. I’ll do it quick.
When you can put your best foot forward when it comes to your branding and business communications (strategies, logos, colours, fonts, imagery, patterns, websites, marketing pieces...etc.), you’re immediately building trust with your audience. And trust means that they’re a lot more likely to take the next step forward in their interaction, which ultimately means more people are buying from you or booking your services.
Having a professional brand that’s thoughtful, intentional, and looks like you give a s*** about your business goes a LONG way in capturing attention, setting you apart in your industry, maintaining engagement from your audience and if we really just get to the point of it, making more money.
Positioning Your Business
Are you the Apple of the laptop world, or the no-name PC that cost you peanuts on eBay? Do you aim to reach the masses or work as premium, elite, high-touch service provider? Somewhere in between?
Figuring out your brand helps you establish your position in the market. It helps you find your spot in your industry, and believe me, there’s room for everyone. When you put energy into building a solid brand foundation and style your brand intentionally, you help to create an experience for your clients and customers that establishes your value.
There is a market for just about anything. There are businesses charging $3 for a cotton t-shirt that another business charges $60 for and both can be very very successful. Know what the difference is? BRANDING, of course.
The difference lies in the brand (and thus, value) you’ve developed around your business/service/product. It’s the experience you are providing for your audience. The $3 shirt is probably pretty no-frills. The website is basic but totally professional and user-friendly and I still trust that they likely won’t steal my $3. The shirt will probably arrive at my house (after I pay more for the shipping than the actual shirt) in a pretty plain box and voila - new shirt! I’ll definitely buy another one in like, a month from now when this one rips and I over-sweat in it at the gym.
The $60.00 t-shirt might have free shipping! Ooohhhh. And check out this fancy website and cool branding. Maybe this new shirt has a really awesome emblem screen-printed on it, designed and processed by the business owner herself. Handmade! Rad! And it comes in this super cool box with a couple of free stickers inside, which I’m definitely going to put on my laptop later and I’ve already shared the arrival of said t-shirt on my Instagram stories, because, hello! It’s so cool.
See… both businesses provided me with a t-shirt. Both serve their purpose. Both are succeeding in some way or another. Both have my attention (and now, my money). Different experiences. Different positioning. Different value.
Where do you want your business to land? Ok great - now focus on branding.
Consistency is Key
I’ve said it before and I'll say it again (probably a hundred times more), consistency is key. If someone lands on your website, wants a little more behind-the-scenes action before deciding to buy, sign up, or hire you and clicks over to your Instagram and sees a hundred pictures of your cat, they’re not having a very powerful or fluid experience with your business. You’ve probably lost them at meow.
Any person who interacts with your business in any way should be having a consistent experience. Receiving a business card through to visiting your website through to clicking on Instagram through to signing up for your course, through to receiving a welcome email, through to paying their invoice… that entire client/customer experience should be fluid and consistent if you want to maintain their attention, interest and trust.
When we travel through the flow of discovering a business to buying something, to remaining a loyal client/customer, we need consistency in order to retain information. We’re so busy these days, right? Everyone running around like chickens with their heads cut off bouncing from breakfast bars in the car, to work meetings, to cell phone browsing while walking, to picking up the little people from school, to dropping them off at (insert extra-curricular activity #1243421 here). Everyone is in their own la-la-land and so the least we can do as business owners looking for a little bit of their attention is to make things easy to find, easy to navigate and easy to remember. Consistency, my friends, is key.
Here's an example of a brand doing consistency RIGHT.
Check out Thinx (which I personally love!):
So, like I said way up there at the beginning of this post, there are so many factors in building a successful business, but if there’s one ring that rules them all, branding is the key to building the foundation your business needs to propel it in the best direction.