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Branding. Where to start

No matter how big or small a company is, branding is important. Before we jump into the basics of building your brand, let's start with the basics - What is the difference between a brand and branding?

Put simply, your brand is the personality of a business and a promise to its customers. It encompasses who you are, who you want to be and how customers see you. A brand includes a name, logo, tagline, and voice.

Branding, or brand development as we prefer to call it, is the process of creating a brand. It involves positioning of a business, product or service in the market, designing a brand identity including a voice, and setting brand standards.

Brand identity includes elements such as typefaces, colours and imagery are an integral part of branding. They become the basis for most marketing efforts and customer touch points from advertising to follow up and thank you communication.

At Splashing Duck Inc., we like to start brand development with the big 4:

1.Why did I start this business? This may seem like a funny question but it's a question that deserves some serious thought. Besides the standard “to be independently wealthy” and “to be my own boss”, dig deep to figure out why you choose the type of business you did. Did your inspiration for your business come from a skill set you have developed and are comfortable with? Was it to solve a problem or fill a void in the market? Had someone noticed a piece of jewelry or woodwork you made and asked to buy it? The why is your story and the first step in developing your brand. The why is your mission statement. Knowing who your intended customers are will help you determine the best way to reach them.

2.Who are you trying to reach? Here are a few demographic questions about your customers to get you started:

  • What is their age range?

  • What are their actual vs. desired lifestyles?

  • What do they do for a living?

  • What are they struggling with?

  • Many people find customer personas (check out our post on these) helpful in this process.

3.What makes my business different? Is there something about your service or product that is different, either with the service / product itself or in the delivery, that is different then what your competitors offer? Understanding your key differentiator(s) will help determine the brand voice and messaging used in collateral and advertising.

4.How do I want customers to view my business? This is where we start to build brand identity from an experience stance. We find it is best to start with the customer experience side and build the visual to support. Is your product or service a one-time event or are you hoping to build a relationship and repeat business?

What words describe the experience you are attempting to achieve? Some common ones we hear are that might get you started are: trustworthy, exciting, friendly, compassionate, responsible, and innovative.

The answers to these two questions typically become the framework for a business name, tag line, and in some cases, the “brand promise”.

Next we like to delve into the desired culture and employee experience as this is often an overlooked yet just as important and the customer experience.

Stay tuned over the coming weeks as we dig further into branding!



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