Strategic branding is designed with your goals and audience in mind, curating, and crafting your brand identity involves so much more than simply designing a logo. Branding is discovering who you are as a business owner: defining your audience and identifying your unique magic. As brand designers, we want to share with you the 7 essentials for effective and strategic branding.
We know, we talk about it a lot but it’s VERY important if you will be investing in a branding service that you get what you really need. So, what makes a brand strategic and effective? Is a drool-worthy color palette? A perfectly laid out business plan? Maybe a breathtaking logo? Sorry friends— none of those are the answers! They are all a small part of the process but these on the surface elements (your visual identity) don’t make up for the lack of strategy behind your brand.
This is why we thought it was the perfect time to share our 7 essentials for effective and strategic branding. Let’s get to the magic!
Your mission statement is a brief statement that describes who & what you serve. It provides insight into who you are, how you serve, to whom you serve, and how you do it. For example, Leona Collective Co. provides compassionate branding for passionate people.
The breakdown is really simple—follow this rule: [Business Name] provides [what you do] that helps [your ideal client].
Moreover, the mission statement is the foundation of your brand, without it, it becomes harder to create a product/service and increasingly becomes difficult to speak directly with your ideal client.
Have you ever read an Instagram post without knowing who posted it and know, oh yeah that’s so-and-so! This is your brand voice. It’s the purposeful expression of your brand through words. It translates to so many different parts of your brand—blog posts, Instagram captions, and email replies, this is part of your brand voice.
Most importantly, your brand voice points to the intention behind your words. This is where you don’t want to get lazy when creating content! Be mindful of the words you choose to share with your audience. Protip: Revisit your ideal client, would it appeal to them? Would this impact serve them? If the answer is no, you need to restructure the content to serve them.
Think through very specifically the kind of person that your product or service helps or who you would like to serve. A client avatar represents your one perfect customer. This is the person who loves your content, loves you, and wants more from you, whatever it is that you create or sell or offer. They are the person that likes everything you put out there, they are your super fan. They tell everyone about you. This is the person you direct your marketing efforts towards. Identifying your ideal client, and speaking directly to them, give you the power to effectively create products and services they need. Without your ideal client insight, you end up screaming into the abyss. Time is money y’all, we don’t want to spend time creating content if no one will be served by it.
By creating a client avatar (or several like we do in our branding process!) you can solidify their demographics, their wants and needs, and motivations (psychographics). Once you have these in place you can refer back to them, “Would Valentina care if Leona Collective to start producing content about fitness?” probably not, Valentina isn’t here to learn about fitness.
We can’t stress this enough: in a professional business, it’s vital to invest in professional design.
A professional design studio/agency/company knows the field and (should know!) all the topics covered in this blog post. They help you craft your know like and trust factor. Leave behind the pre-made, cookie-cutter logos from Etsy and other stock sites- when you invest in your business it pays in dividends! Vet your professional of choice, are they aware and passionate about the 7 essentials for effective and strategic branding?
A brand style guide pulls all your visual systems together so you can hand it off to your VA, teammate, or web designer. This includes anything from logos, typography usage, color palettes, icons, patterns, brand collateral, etc. This is a great place to add the inspiration gathered in the design process like your mood board! It helps remind you of the overall aesthetic of your brand rather than just the cut and dry rules.
Integration is one of the most effective and strategic pieces of a well-crafted brand. Meaning- use your complete brand. A well designed visual identity has more than one logo variation (primary, secondary, and sometimes tertiary!). You have logo variations for a reason, don’t rely solely on your primary logo. For example, include your secondary logo in your email signature, in your website footer. Perhaps your tertiary logo is a seal or stamp that can be used for stickers or turned into a rubber stamp to seal your correspondence. As important it is to have a strong visual identity, it’s even more important to use it!
Y’all ready for it…. CONSISTENCY! Last, but definitely not least.
C-O-N-S-I-S-T-E-N-C-Y builds brand recognition. This is one of the main reasons why you are investing in a strategic brand, to gain brand recognition. It’s essential to grow your audience. Moreover, a large audience means increased sales and full books! (LOUDER FOR THE PEOPLE IN THE BACK)
But hey folks, consistency goes farther than the visuals. Sticking with your color palette, patterns and typography are easy. Consistency is up with a new blog post when you say you’re going to. Sticking to your email schedule, responding to a client when promised. Sending an email to your email list. Sharing content and inspiration on Instagram when you’ve set a pattern.
Hey, no one is perfect, consistency can be hard! Especially in your first year so take it slow and commit, but don’t beat yourself up if you fall behind. This may be our favorite of the 7 essentials for effective and strategic branding.
Now that you’ve learned a little bit of our 7 essentials for effective and strategic branding see what we’ve done for brands just like yours. Sign up for our email list to receive more insight just like this on branding.