A person’s brand is the essence of their company. It’s who they are and what makes them special and unique. When most people think about branding the first thing that comes to mind is usually the printed items. Is there a logo? Are the colors in the logo the same colors used in their flyers, ads, website, Facebook pages and signs? Are the fonts they use always the same.
Think about the restaurants and stores you go into. When the holidays come and the hours change, what does the sign on the door look like that tells you their altered hours? Businesses with great branding will have the sign typed using the same fonts and colors they use on their menus or on the signs that tell you what is down each aisle. Some businesses, though, will take a random sheet of paper and handwrite it using whatever writing utensil was closest to them. In extremely bad cases, the writing isn’t even legible and grammar is atrocious. Which set of businesses do you have the best impressions about? The ones with great branding, of course. That impression translates into a greater trust for their business and an increased likeliness to use their products and services.
As important as the visuals are to a company’s brand, branding is more than meets the eye. The words a company uses and the way the company, its staff and volunteers act are all important to its brand as well. These subtle aspects of the brand help people form a connection to the business. A company that helps people bring calm into their lives should use words and photos on their website that are soothing. When the staff is speaking at a networking meeting or with a client, they should speak slowly using calming words and not appear rushed or frantic. All of these things increase the trust in their business by showing that they get it because they practice what they preach.
Early in my career, I ran a day camp where I hired 50 college-age staff each summer. They were reminded not to wear their staff shirts while hanging out at a bar after work. It didn’t matter to me if they were at a bar. What did matter was that I didn’t want to have my camp associated with the bar because bar behavior isn’t part of the camps brand. I’d also tell them they couldn’t be friends with the campers on Facebook, or their parents, because they were role models for the children and some of the things they did off duty and posted to their pages may not reflect well on the camp’s brand.
Take some time to consider your business’s brand. Do you have a logo that clearly identifies your business and makes it stand out? Does your website, flyers and business card have the same fonts and colors? Do the words you use in your print pieces and when you’re speaking reinforce what you do in your business? Do your photos and the way you and your staff act represent your company well? If you’re not sure, ask a trusted client, colleague or friend to see what they think. I’m happy to help you explore your company’s brand as well in a FREE 30 min Business Clarity Session. Visit www.zandbconsulting.com to get registered.
By Michelle Smith