Branding like a Boss

Branding is all about being different but to be different you need a strategy the tie everything together.

Steve Lindgren
May 2, 2018
BRANDING
4:00min

Once Upon a Time

A common misconception is that when you get help with branding, you get a new shiny logo, different colors, and an updated business card. Side note, does anyone use letterheads anymore?

The truth is that branding is about much more than your logo.

Branding is the way consumers remember your product and make emotional connections to your product. The branding that your business has also can communicate your values, quality, level of trustworthiness, and style. In a world where there are many options, and lots of noise for consumers, branding is the key in creating an emotional connection that stands out with potential buyers.

First, let’s walk through the message behind your brand before getting into the visual aspects. The messaging behind your brand in this case is not the literal language around your brand. Instead, it’s what your brand says to consumers. Consumers consciously and subconsciously pay attention to not just visuals, but the message that the visual sends. These things together inform the consumer and can trigger an emotional response. The message behind your brand should be authentic and attractive to your audience.

Define & Discover

By now you should have your values, power 5, mission and vision statements complete-ish. These are all important elements to communicate, but don’t force them all into your branding. For example, if one of your values is family, it doesn’t necessarily need a place in your brand or brand messaging. It’s enough to have it listed on the about page of your website, and in how you treat employees starting families or who already have families. However, if your product has a direct relationship with one of your values, then it is something that should be a more prominent element in your branding.

Let’s get into an example for the waters get too murky here.

Try thinking about how you want your brand to be described. What does it feel like? What would it say to me if it could talk? What do others say about your brand already? Does it hinder purchases or support purchases? For example, if you are based in sunny California on the coast and hate business clothes, then maybe one of your attributes is, “We wear board shorts to work.” That statement tells me more than just the fact that you like board shorts. Now you try it. Have some serious ones and some fun ones.

Here is an example from Aux One Consulting:We keep it casual & humorous . (Yeah, that’s us)We are driven to initiate, innovate, and inspire.Energetic is our middle name.We subscribe to simplicity.We believe in sharing our knowledge.

We are San Diego natives 

You just set the tone and messaging for your brand, but don’t get too far ahead. The best brands are able to remain authentic to themselves and connect with your audience. We haven’t gone over audience yet, but you likely have an idea of who they are. Can you see them in your list of attributes? If not, how can you incorporate them while remaining genuine to who you are?

Now that you have your brand mood and messaging, it’s time give them a description. Massage these thoughts out a little so you get a bigger sense of what your brand feels like. Understanding this part of your brand will help you see potential or missed opportunities to connect with your audience.

Your Turn

Go through each message and give them a description. Make sure to note which ones connect directly with your audience.

Here is a quick example of one of ours:

1. We keep it casual & humorous.The atmosphere of Aux One is very casual. That tone is set from the start, and in how we talk and communicate. It doesn’t mean that we aren’t professional, it just means we are laid back and easy going. Also, what’s life without a little humor? You won’t see anything funny looking in our branding, but you will see some humor in our actual content.

After going through some of yours, you may notice that some are more for mood and others are more for actual branding elements (logo, colors, etc). After you spend some time thinking about your 5 and describing them, determine which 2 are most important to you and your audience. Those are the two that you should use to guide your brand elements.

Good luck, and let us know if you need any help!

Steve Lindgren
Steve Lindgren is a Brand Specialist & UX Designer based in San Diego. His passion is to build brand experiences that educate, engage, and inspire.

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