A brand is a way a company, organisation, or individual perceives it to before those who experience it. More than a name, term, design, or symbol, a brand is the recognisable feeling a product or business evokes.
It lives in the mind of everyone who experiences the brand: employees, investors, the media, and, most importantly, customers.
A brand is a tool driving the commercial value of your business. Meaning a strong brand will increase customers choosing your product or service over your competitors. It attracts more customers that are happy to pay more and buy more often. It comes together in 5 segments which becomes the compass that will drive the direction of your company and is the summary of fundamental truths about your brand. The centre of your compass will always be your purpose, surrounded by Vision, Mission, Values, and Strategic Objectives.
Your company culture is made up out of the collective spirit and purpose of driving the company. Culture is at the core of your values, it defines how your brand engages with the world and why. Strong company culture creates internal brand alignment— where employees understand the most profound level and are motivated to act as its ambassadors.
Your brand has a personality, it’s built out of a spectrum of thoughts, emotions, and behavioural patterns that intrinsics with your brand. Its personality includes a brand’s most individualistic traits. The personality makes it identifiable to the loyal customers creating that personal relationship they form with it.
Brand architecture is the development of the names, colours, symbol (logo), and visual language that defines your brand. Your brand architecture should be highly intentional and intuitive. It is founded on the research that is done in the customer experience. Your brand architecture is made up out of a single master brand and could have multiple sub-brands. The other brands under the parent brand may have different relationships to the divisions or markets.
Your brand name is the introduction to the world. Not all brands have taglines, but if you choose to have one, it should contain meaning and fulfil the business brand narrative. Choosing a name and tagline is a complicated process. Consider doing some in-depth market research, brainstorm, refine it, and testing it. A strong name conveys a brand’s unique value propositions, differentiating it from the competition and leaving a strong impression on those who experience it.
Remember your brand identity is more than just its logo. Your brand identity defines the truths about your brand in strategy and positioning. It embodies all of the defining characteristics of your brand, including its personality, promise, and purpose. It is your stamp on the world — a symbol full of meaning that has the power to communicate your brand’s essence in a visual instant to all who experience it.
Your brand voice and messaging are essential when it comes to engaging with the world. This what will set you apart from your competitors and will reflect the purpose, promise and personality of your brand. It should be heard through marketing collateral, advertising scripts, or website copy makes it easier for your customers to recognise and humanises the brand. This
The voice and messaging are critical to your brand in how it engages with the world. It separates your brand from the competitors by communicates your purpose, promise, and personality and humanises your brand, making it identifiable to your customers. It reflects through your communication like your marketing collateral, advertising scripts, even website copy and your customers should be able to recognise it immediately.
Websites remain one of the most impactful and cost-effective ways to deliver your brand experience to your target audience. It should be mobile friendly and adjustable to other various platforms that people use.
Why should you invest in your brand?
A brand creates a perception, and your brain can not distinguish between perception and reality. What we perceive is real to us and in this lies the real brand power if the perception is real it can demand the need to have. In simple terms; brand = perception = behaviour = performance.
WTF should I invest in a brand?
Whether, your company, is large or small, you will find that most see investing in a brand as an unnecessary expense in their marketing budget. Once you realise how your brand could influence the behaviour of customers and it becomes a long term strategy. Customers no longer purchase a product they buy into a company, its messaging and its philosophy. This is what defines your target market.
By creating content that is consistent across all platforms, you will create a bold new identity, ensuring that every marketing touchpoint more engaging. The guidelines and templates that come out your branding will save you time and money on content in all your future initiatives.
Well-defined, strategically positioned brands are just easier to sell. This is mainly due to customer engagement before the decision to purchase, giving those who sell the brand a closing sales a lot quicker. Your brand could demand a higher price point which is driven through the demand of the brand and could position you as a market leader.
By the ability to increase demand for your brand makes it more valuable and in return, make your company share more valuable. Should you at any stage want to sell your company, you can demand a higher price.
How is this all impacting the Hemp and cannabis industry?
When legalisation comes in, you will find that having CBD or THC in your product will no longer be the deciding factor that sells the product. This merely becomes an ingredient that is part of your brand, because legislation will dictate the volume a product may contain, much like it is at the moment. Your future consumer will look at who you are, what your brands stand for and the story it tells. It will need that emotional connection that connects the consumer with the brand.
You have to ask yourself, is my brand worth what I paid for my logo? Most startups and businesses will approach a freelancer, or an agency ask for a logo design. Some are priced low, some high, you will then need to consider that the product that has been supplied can be trademarked. Logos developed on the lower scale are is usually drawn from a stock library or a logo creation app and will not have been altered to create a unique logo. This is not a bad idea if you planning to create something small without an expectation of business growth.
If your logo is designed by a reputable agency, they will tell you that they don’t do a logo, they build a brand. Once the brand and logo have been created, they will advise you to copyright the logo and trademark the name (watch out for the upcoming article on trademark, copyright and patents). These are a costly outlay at the start of a business, and you will need to budget for this. This is a company investment that will increase in value as your business growth. Think long-term when you think brand equity.
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