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Branding is More Than Your Logo

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Author: Ludwina Dautovic

I have had many women ask me lately to define what a brand is. It is often perceived to be your business name and logo but in fact it is much more than that. A brand identity encompasses many aspects and I will cover a few in this article.

What is a brand? (Wikipedia)

A brand is a collection of images and ideas representing an economic producer; more specifically, it refers to the descriptive verbal attributes and concrete symbols such as a name, logo, slogan, and design scheme that convey the essence of a company, product or service. Brand recognition and other reactions are created by the accumulation of experiences with the specific product or service, both directly relating to its use, and through the influence of advertising, design, and media commentary. A brand is a symbolic embodiment of all the information connected to a company, product or service. A brand serves to create associations and expectations among products made by a producer. A brand often includes an explicit logo, fonts, colour schemes, symbols and sound which may be developed to represent implicit values, ideas, and even personality. The key objective is to create a relationship of trust.

What makes up a brand identity?

A classic brand identity includes a brand name, positioning statement, category description, business values and the reasons why you would purchase the product or service along with concrete and emotional benefits (how you will experience the brand).

Your brand is more than your business name and logo.

Many believe that your business brand is simply your business name and logo when in fact it is much more than that. Your brand is how your customer sees you, experiences you, feels about you and reasons with you. It is how they unconsciously associate their purchase need with your product. E.g. when you think about Nike, you might think about 'just do it'. When you think about Volvo you might think about 'Safety'. What message and experience is your brand sending to your customers? If you are unsure about that, perhaps it's time to do some market research.

Does your branding match your target market?

When considering the development of your brand; consider your target market first. Your brand must match your target market otherwise your brand message won't be heard or understood by the right people.

Let's use 'The Red Tent Woman' as an example. My target market is women in small or home based businesses. They are usually juggling family, their household as well as their business. They are around 40 years of age and are going through a transitional stage in their life. They want a profitable business but lack business skills. My ideal client is not from the corporate world. Will not relate to suits and technical business jargon and wants to feel that I can relate to her.

Brand Name - The Red Tent Woman

Brand Image - The Red Tent Woman logo of the woman in red; it signifies freedom and the future.

Positioning Statement - I provide an organic, relaxed approach to business development and networking for women

Category Description - Business Mentoring and Networking Events for Women in small or home based businesses.

Brand Experience - At all our events and when I am coaching my clients, the environment has candles and aromatherapy in a relaxed, organic environment.

Now ask yourself, does your brand match your target market?

Is your personal style and head shot aligned with your branding?

This is an important consideration but one that is often overlooked. How you dress and how people view your head shot will either build on your brand or confuse it. Does your personal style and your head shot fit in with the brand you are building. e.g. As 'The Red Tent Woman' you will never see me in a suit or formal business attire. It is not what my client base would relate to. Therefore, I wear clothing that better suits the style and flavour that my business portrays. My headshot follows on with that theme as well. In fact, when my photographer asked me how I wanted to be perceived in my shot I said, 'I want women to feel as though they can come and have a cup of tea with me'.

Is your brand consistent?

As your business grows things will change, therefore it is imperative that every now and then to sit back and take a bird's eye look at your overall brand. What tends to happen is your design will change, the general feel for your business will change and then you are left with a brand that is confusing and sending mixed messages. If you are unable to do this yourself, then get a branding specialist to do it for you. It is a cleansing experience and will get your brand back on track.

Would you like to know more about branding?

There is a lot more to branding then what I have covered here. If you would like to understand in greater depth what branding is and how you can develop your brand into a strong recognised brand, then I strongly recommend that you order a copy of 'The Business Success Series' audio titled 'Branding Your Business'.

There are three interviews, three e-books and almost $1000 worth of business offers from three branding specialists. Angela den Hollander from Communic8 Design talks about 'Getting your Business Brand Right'. Ben Angel a Personal Style and Branding Specialist from Nationwide Networking talks about 'Your Personal Style Matching your Business Brand' and Kon Iatrou from 'Ikon Images' shares his tips and insights on how to match your head shot with your business brand.

About the author: Want to use this article in your e-zine or website? You can as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

Ludwina Dautovic is the director and founder of The Red Tent Woman, an organisation supporting women in small and home based businesses. They host networking events, offer business mentoring and provide online and offline resources. Ludwina specialises in low cost and innovative online marketing strategies such as brand identity and blog marketing.

The Red Tent Woman is the 2008 MCEI National Marketing Award Winner for the 'Women in Business' Category.

If you are looking to start your own small business or have been struggling with your existing one, then go to now and get your free e-report and audio on 'The 7 Keys to Unlock your Business Potential' valued at $97.

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