These days we hear a lot about brands and branding. Brand Packages, Brand Essentials, Brand Strategy, Brand Style, Personal Brands, business branding… But what is a brand?
Everyone online talks about their ‘brand’ but what is a brand?
Why do you need to learn what one is and how to use it properly?
Isn’t brand just a new fancy word for your business name?
What is a brand?
Whilst every business is kinda sorta ‘technically’ a brand and by having a business social media account you would also kinda sorta be technically classed as ‘digital brand’ but a name and a logo aren’t enough in today’s market if you want long term business success.
A brand is how your business is perceived in people’s minds. How do others think and feel about your business and what you do?
Digital Marketing influences that perception, but your brand exists whether you actively market your business or not.
If you’re out there and people are interacting with your business, you have a brand.
Brand perception is influenced by Digital Marketing.
Your digital profile is generally the first thing people see about you, you want to use it to optimise your brand and ensure people think and feel about your business in a good way, before their first interaction with you.
Marketing for Brand Success
To be successful in the current market I recommend the following:
- A professional Brand Style Guide with a minimum of logo, submark, favicon, colour palettes and fonts. You may like your DIY Canva logo but is it enough to stand out from the crowd when the internet is so overcrowded?
- A professional website that is search engine optimised. A professional UX shows clients you are a professional business.
- If you have a physical location you need a Google Business Listing that is optimised.
- At least 1 social media account. Use your Brand Style Guide to keep your social media consistent and look professional.
There are many free tutorials on youtube if you want to learn how to create your own website, SEO and social media but for many businesses, it is worthwhile to pay a professional.
Time is money so it makes good business sense to pay a digital professional for their brilliance to give you time to focus on your brilliance
If you are a new business without the budget for professional services, spend a little on courses so you can learn the correct way to do things from professionals.
It’s much easier for a professional to help later if you are set up well from the start
Why do some brands do well and others fail miserably?
Before the internet, reputation was everything and work was mostly word of mouth and maybe an advertisement in the yellow pages. My dad is an 80-year-old retired tiler and still has work requests due to his great reputation for quality workmanship. Lots of the older tradies are probably booked up until next year even with Covid restrictions and a bum economy.
Reputation is still no.1 for business success but to get a new business off the ground and increase your market share, brand and digital marketing are a must-have.
It takes time to build a brand and most industries are quite oversaturated so a solid strategy is imperative to get ahead.
What is a Niche?
When I started in ‘IT’, it was called ‘Information Technology’ back in the 90s, my official job title was ‘analyst programmer’.
I did contract work so each contract was different but it involved code, design, analysis and using my brain to get a project over the line.
What we didn’t know, we learn and tested and if someone couldn’t juggle lots of things and learn quickly they often didn’t last long in the project.
These days, a lot of people have a niche or a specialisation. Finding your niche can be helpful as you can be the expert in that niche.
The Minx Digital Brand
When the pandemic hit in March 2020 some of my work was put on hold. I had happily worked for years doing Whitelabel work for website designers, and agencies and working via referral so I used the quiet time to do a little website.
I was looking for a new business name so I did my checks. I share the process of how I look for business names and domains in my blog post choosing a business name
The domain (minx.net.au) is short, an expired domain and available with an Australian TLD.
Whilst the meaning of Minx in some dictionaries may be a little controversial word. In modern language, it’s generally synonymous with fun and a bit of mischief.
I didn’t want anything too serious, I like playful colours and enjoy working with clients who think “outside the box”.
Yes, I am techy, I code and do all the nerd things but I am not a boring nerd.
I may like data but I also love Chanel handbags and designer shoes
Minx brand is a little bold, yet relaxed and fun with a touch of mischief
The mood board I created for Minx was summery and beachy. I love flamingos and the area I am based in is beachy so I found some images of things I loved and the colour concept grew from there.
Being my own site, the process is different, I am able to design organically and tweak whenever I wish so I am always messing about with the colours and fonts.
What is your point of difference?
If you don’t know you can ask your clients. My clients tell me, I am different because I am a big nerd who knows lots of stuff yet can explain it to them and make it fun. I have a mischievous sense of humour and make sexy websites. Minxy right? haha
Tweak your digital brand for success
Failure in some areas is part and parcel of running a business. Not everything works forever and being able to adapt and be open to change is how you succeed.
What works for a digital brand today, may not still work this time next year.
However, quality service and reputation are steadfast so your brand will always be a success with these qualities.
Your business brand is not your colour palette, that’s just part of your brand.
Cohesive brands stand out as they are consistent. Their digital marketing is ‘same same but different’ on each marketing platform.
They are promoted using the same style, brand colours, fonts and narrative to remind you who they are constantly and they stay the same in their messaging.
Minx Digital is a bit silly but nerdy with a summerly colour palette reminiscent of beach picnics on the south coast. And you will find minx.net.au labelled on everything to remind people of the URL each time they see it.
Like most ladies, I love shoes. If I want to find shoes on the internet I usually check my favourite brands first (Manolo Blahnik, Sophia Webster, and Chanel). I may also look at my favourite stores, net-a-porter, Harrods, Bergdorf Goodman
If I was less brand loyal and just wanted to find a shoe shop I may try ‘shoe store near me’ or ‘shoe store near me’ and I may find a website with branding that I like so I may end up becoming a client.
Just as branding is important for shoes, a brand is very important for all businesses. Chanel is a niche brand known for its highly desirable luxury goods for over a decade.
I hope you found this post on Brand Essentials helpful
until next time