It may sound like a challenge but it is surprisingly easy to incorporate your brand into the everyday challenges of running your business. Marketing is not just a weekly campaign on social media, nor an advert in the local paper once a month. Marketing should form the nucleus of your business, embracing the core values of your brand and ensuring those values are translated to your customers at every opportunity! So how do you achieve this?
- Brand Definition and Vision If you haven’t defined your brand and its core values then its impossible to portray the correct message to your customers. This doesn’t need to be a ten page document, but merely a few lines outlining what qualities you would like people to associate with your brand e.g friendliness, low prices, good customer service etc. It is also advisable to investigate what people actually associate with your brand in order to identify any areas you may not have thought of or alternatively to identify perceptions you may wish to change. By doing this, you can essentially define and construct your mission statement detailing the core benefits, features and qualities of your brand, hence defining the message you are trying to get across through marketing techniques. This message can then be relayed to employees, designers and any other relevant bodies in order to ensure clarity of delivery.
- Your logo and Design For most people, your logo is the first snapshot they have of your business, therefore it is important to ensure it is memorable for all the right reasons. Choose colours and fonts relevant to your brand e.g a montessori school may choose an informal fun font style using bright colours, whereas an accountancy company may choose a more corporate, san serif, minimalist font along with more muted, formal colours. Whatever the choice it is imperative that your logo design is consistent across all printed materials, from signage to newspaper advertisements to printed promotional materials and employee uniforms. There should be one and only one logo for the company, using variations only as per brand guidelines. The same core fonts should be used for body text on all materials to aid brand recognition and exude professionalism and colours should be used consistently to ensure there are no variations in shades, which is why pantone colours are usually advised for logo design and corporate identity development projects.
- Consistency By creating your mission statement and your logo design you have taken the first steps towards brand consistency. However, it is important not to stop there. Consistency relates to every aspect of the business, from employee behaviour to social media postings to printed promo materials such as posters and flyers. As mentioned above, corporate colours are the most recognised elements of a brand, therefore it is imperative to reiterate them at every opportunity, e.g. shop decor, uniforms and vehicle graphics along with the usual printed items such as signs and leaflets. The other element of consistency relates to written materials, which includes social media postings. All materials must reflect the brand identity as mentioned above, therefore it is important to decide from the offset if you wish to portray a chatty or formal tone of voice, which should then transfer to all postings and written documents, along with employee behaviour towards your customers. Obviously, all employees should be polite to all customers but your brand and business sector should dictate a more personal or formal tone. Your website should also be an extension of this concept, continuing with the same design and , tone and font elements as your printed materials. In addition to this it should be easy to navigate, filled with relevant content and mobile friendly to ensure the best possible user experience. It should also be updated regularly and monitored using analytics.
- Internal Marketing and Customer Service As Richard Branson once said ‘Clients don’t come first, employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the client’. This statement should form the basis of employee management. Employees are the face of your business, and their perception of the company can and will transfer to your clients. Therefore, it is important not only that employees understand the mission statement and values of the business, but that they truly believe in it and wish to aid in its brand development. This can be easier said than done, but with a few words of encouragement and appreciation, monthly incentives or perhaps just an open communication channel within the company, issues can be resolved and the working environment can be kept happy and motivated. If employees are happy, this is the perception that will be conveyed to the client, thus creating the best possible impression of your business. It is also important to recognise the strengths of your employees and to encourage their professional development by delegating when necessary or setting targets for improvement. This can result in an easier working life for you and a more motivated working environment for them, resulting in a win-win situation!
Whilst the above are just guidelines they can form the base point of your marketing journey. Marketing never ends, trends change constantly and we as Designers and Marketers, and YOU as business owners must be ready to embrace this. This could mean changing your brand or logo design to reflect changes in your company or perhaps adding a new service to your business to embrace changing customer needs. Whatever your needs are, we are here to help! Call us today to discuss your requirements on 087 9360358 or email email@example.com.