Are you ready for a branding lesson from the world of home improvement? (Branding and remodeling: 2 of my favorite things to talk about!)

My husband and I are smack dap in the middle of buying a house that needs some serious TLC. Included in our planned projects is a kitchen remodel and of course, that includes getting a new sink!

I found 2 faucets that seemed promising, one from Lowe’s and the other from a company selling on Amazon. Both faucets looked similar, but the product from Amazon was almost a third of the price of the Lowe’s faucet. While it is true that we’re trying to save money on our home remodel, I didn’t immediately pull out my credit card and buy the faucet from Amazon. But why?

It’s the power of brand trust at work. I know and trust Lowe’s products (and the higher price point suggests that their products are better quality).

Here’s the bottom line: Your brand is more than just your logo or the graphics you put up on social media. Every interaction someone has with your business is building your brand. The power of effective branding is the power to open wallets and get people telling their friends about the awesome experience they had with you. That’s what we want!

So to that end, I’m going to teach you what branding actually is, the tools you have at your disposal to build your brand, and some actionable steps to craft a brand that your potential customers will trust.

What Even Is Your Brand? (It’s more than just your logo.)

When you hear the term brand thrown around, it is typically referring to the visuals that represent your business (i.e. your logo, colors, fonts, etc.). But if we’re going to be precise, your brand is not something physical, visual, or tangible. Your brand is the way your business is perceived when someone thinks about you.

Is your business perceived as innovative, top-of-the-line, and technologically advanced? Or do your customers think of your business as solid, steady, and trustworthy? Or maybe fun, adventurous, and youthful?

What feelings do you want your customer to have when seeing your ad on social media or entering your store? This is where the act of branding comes in. Branding is the process of producing those desired feelings in the minds of your potential customers by capturing the core of your message and communicating it in a way that’s recognizable, appealing, and enticing.

Remember I said that your brand is really just a perception? Well, the good news is that perceptions are shapeable. And there are several tools in your branding toolbox that you can use to mold your customers’ perception of your business into what you want it to be.

Branding Tools

Your brand is being built every time someone interacts with your business. So in order to guide their perception, we need to utilize every instance that they see or hear you. There are two types of elements at work here: visual and non-visual.

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Visual Elements

Your Logo

Your logo is a recognizable mark that represents the essence of who you are. While your logo cannot stand alone as the lonely soldier of your branding efforts, it is a powerful opportunity to bring your business top-of-mind to your customers and increase brand awareness and brand recognition.

Colors and Typography

Colors are powerful! They evoke emotion and can provide a consistent and top-notch experience for your customers. And your typography is an excellent opportunity to set the tone of your brand.

Brand Illustration, Package Design, and Other Visual Elements

Build trust and reinforce your brand message every time you get in front of your customers. Do this by maintaining consistency in every visual element you put out into the world, whether it’s brand packaging, a thank you card, or a social media graphic. You get the idea.

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Non-visual elements

While the visual elements of your branding efforts are important (I wouldn’t be a brand designer if I thought they weren’t), your customers’ interactions with your business extend beyond seeing your logo and colors on a billboard. Much of their perception is shaped by non-visual elements, such as:

Messaging

Messaging is essentially your “Why You?” factor. It’s the words you say to communicate who you are, what you do, and who you do it for. You messaging will show itself in the brand statement on your website and in the elevator pitch you give your uncle at family Christmas when he asks you what you’ve been doing with your life.

Tone and Voice

Tone and voice are how you come across. Are you playful and casual? Serious and sophisticated? Or funny and edgy? Every piece of copy you write for your marketing efforts (and even the way you speak out loud) are times you can use your brand’s intentional and consistent tone and voice.

Customer Service/Customer Experience

Just because someone purchases from you or hires you for a service does not mean that your task of building your brand is complete. I would argue that the best way to build brand trust with your customers is to provide an awesome customer experience! The businesses we keep going back to are the ones that have treated us right. They’ve proven they are trustworthy, so we keep buying from them and we tell our friends about them too.

Nail your customer experience. Provide top-notch customer service and your brand will benefit.

Pricing

Yes, even your pricing is part of building your brand. Pricing communicates. I assumed the Lowe’s faucet was higher quality and would last longer than the faucet from Amazon partly because it cost more. Is it actually higher quality? I don’t know. But my perception is that it is a better product and might be worth the extra $$$ I’d spend to have it in my home.

Don’t hear me say, “Set your prices super high!” unless a higher price point will reinforce the feeling you are trying to evoke. But do hear me say, “Set your prices strategically – with thought to how it will affect your brand’s perception.”

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What About Your Website (Or Storefront)?

Your website did not make its way into either of the lists above because it is a combination of visual and non-visual elements. (Your website is your online storefront, so the same would apply to a physical store if you sell products in a brick-and-mortar setting.)

Your website includes visual elements like graphics, colors, and typography, and non-visual elements like the words you type, the user experience you provide, and how you display your pricing.

No wonder almost every single one of your customers will check out your website before sending you a dime. It is the best place to bust out the big strategy guns and create an intentional, immersive customer experience.

That’s why a good website designer needs to also understand your business’s brand strategy and create an online experience to match.

Side Note: This is why I love offering an all-inclusive brand and website design experience. I make it my mission to get to the core of your message and create brand collateral and a website that are the beautiful outflow of the strategy we create together.

That’s What I Need!

How to craft a knock-out brand
that inspires trust and opens wallets

Now, for action. The art of shaping perceptions is an ongoing process and a learned skill. Here are 4 things to remember and put into practice as you are continually building your own brand.

1. Nail down who you are, what you do, and who you do it for.

These are the core elements of your brand message. Can you tell a complete stranger what you do and why it matters in 2 sentences or less?

For the sake of example, here’s my core brand message: I help small business grow their impact and income online with authentic, true-to-you brands and websites.

(When we work together for brand strategy and development, I’ll take you through the process of crafting your very own core brand message.)

2. Ask this question:

“What emotions do I want my potential customers to feel when they interact with my business?” Write these adjectives down! These words will serve as guides when you’re creating collateral and content for your business.

3. Create visuals and write copy that embody those adjectives.

When you’re designing your logo, selecting your brand colors, writing an Instagram caption or writing a blog post, ask yourself, “Is this communicating the brand adjectives I want my customers to feel?”

If yes, awesome! You’re right on track. If not, you may need to choose different colors or choose different words. Don’t worry, this gets easier the more you practice!

4. Stay consistent.

Remember that every interaction someone has with your brand is shaping their perception. Stay consistent in the fonts you use, the words you say, and the quality of service you provide.

If you have a team, be sure to communicate the core elements of your branding efforts so that your customer will have a consistent experience with your brand across the board.

In Summary

Branding is a huge topic and I’ve only just been able to scratch the surface. But now you can be intentional in each of the customer-facing elements of your business and create a consistent experience that builds a brand they trust.

Have a question about how your brand is coming across? Shoot me an email or a DM on Instagram and let me know what’s on your mind! Seriously, I’m happy to help and offer any insight I can!

Is it time to level-up your brand?

Your brand needs a solid foundation. Let’s nail your brand strategy from the start and help you build a brand that makes you money!

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Oh hi!

I’m Mary

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I’m the strategic designer and big picture visionary that will help you tell your story and stay true online with a true-to-you brand & website that attract your ideal customers.

That's What I Need

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