I get it. You’re sitting there all by yourself, running the show. You’ve done your own design work (or maybe even hired someone to do a little here and there for you), you’ve put your programs and packages together, and you’re selling. Maybe not as much as you want, or as much as you could, but you really can’t figure out why.
If you think for one second that the only people who spend money on branding are ‘big names’, then I have to ask you this: How do you think they got there? It certainly wasn’t by NOT investing back into their business.
Sure. Your clients’ and customers’ needs absolutely have to come first in your daily docket. And then, of course, there’s your family or your pets, or that shower you’ve been meaning to take for a couple of days. You don’t have the time to put into doing the research and figuring out if you even have the talent or skill set required to truly make your company even HAVE a brand, much less make it a good one. Amirite?
“Branding” is kind of an all-encompassing word. I would even say that it has to do with more than just making sure everything is the same shade of blue (though that’s kind of important to the mix). But no one’s going to sit there and pull up all your social media accounts just to make sure you’re on hue. They WILL, however, recognize your branding efforts when they see them. And that, my lovely, is what keeps you on top of the game in their minds.
C’mon, let’s look at this logically. “The Golden Arches” – you see them and immediately know what’s underneath. The orange “D” followed by a pink “D” tells you there’s coffee nearby. So does the Siren on a circular field of green.
“But, Lara,” I can hear you say, “I’m just me. I’m not a fast-food monster or a caffeine-laden sweets shop. I’m me.”
True. But you still need customers and clients. You still need at least a handful of people to notice and remember you every month or so, right? Maybe more?
Alright, so what does a brand actually do for you besides provide recognition?
How about reputation? You’ve gone about making good impressions, right? But what is it that makes your business uniquely the best choice for those impressions to turn into an actual transaction of money?
Here’s the very first step to figuring that all out… are you ready?
You have to decide what you stand for, what your USP is, who your ideal customer is, and how you want to position yourself in your potential relationship with them.
There is a ginormous difference in how you would present yourself and your products or services to a 60-year-old retired Army veteran, than you would to a 35-year-old mom of three, than you would a 22-year-old college grad. EVERYTHING counts… colors, fonts, shapes, patterns, the whole look and feel of anything you present or represent is based on WHO your ideal customer is and what you’re trying to get them to notice about you.
And all of this is exactly why your business needs branding and a professional presence. I kid you not – if you’re not focusing on these things with at LEAST a mood board or style board for reference, you’re going to blend in with all the others who are flailing their arms trying to swim in the sea of YOUR competition.
So are you going to drown, or soar?