Branding. What is it and why is it important?

BRANDING YOUR BUSINESS IS CRITICAL

Why is branding important? A brand is your business identity. It legitimises you and gives your business a look and feel. It sets a tone and a direction for your business. Most importantly it creates a visual and non visual persona that allows your customers to become familiar with. Using consistency, building brand trust, and then brand lust. And once you have brand lust, you’ve made it because everyone wants what your brand offers.

Brand lust is an important player here, and for those of you who aren’t familiar think about how companies like Coca Cola, Gucci, Billabong, Topdeck, BMW, or KFC advertise their products. Rarely do you see them going over any features or benefits of their products or services, they simply make you want the feeling their brand represents and the experience they are making look so fun, fancy free and quite frankly irresistible.

But brand is so much more than a cool logo. It is the tone of voice, the colours, the price, the packaging the product comes in. It is the font that you use on the packaging.

The advertising itself should speak to the desires of the target audience.

Depending on your product or service here are some questions to ask yourself when creating your brand overview.

For the sake of a practical example lets say I am selling organic fruit icy poles in wholefood style stores.

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YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE

How old are they? What are they into? What do they eat? Where do they party? What clothes do they wear? What do they desire? What are the lacking in their lives? How can your brand fit with them to fulfil that need or desire?

My target audience are young health conscious people aged 18-30. Possibly vegetarian, fruitaian or vegan. They are environmentally conscious. Love the outdoors, love animals and love the wunderlust lifestyle. They’re middle class, but do not strive for an upper-class lifestyle. They lack choice of healthy summertime icecream options.

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COLOUR SCHEME and TYPOGRAPHY

Most likely a bright, happy, outdoors sunshine based colour scheme will appeal in this example. I want to represent fun, friends, exploration, vibrance.

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I want to exude fun, health and a childlike playfulness.

The font should be modern, beautiful, simple and non standard. I want to fill the brand with loads of colour and contrast it with a simple modern typeface.

LANGUAGE & TONE OF VOICE

I want to use words that speak to the adventure and the freedom of my audience. I want them to come of a word journey that says I am healthy, I am free I am happy and its all thanks to this colourful organic icy pole in my hand.

PACKAGING

They’re environmentally conscious so natural recycled or biodegradable packaging is vital.

It should be minimal, colourful and make the product itself look like fun an a paper bag.

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PRICING

The same crowd that is happy to buy $25 avo on toast (remember Tim Gurner) fit into this category of people so they won’t hesitate to drop $6 on a single icy pole knowing it is made of organic fruit. Do your research and see what the competition charges. Also look into what it costs to make the product and packaging and any other associated costs including distribution and marketing. Then look at how much money you want to make in your first year and divide the two by one another. This will tell you have many unit you need to sell to achieve your financial goal above your expenses.

EXAMPLE

DESIRED PROFIT $50,000
COST TO MAKE ONE ICY POLE, PACKAGE IT DISTRIBUTE AND MARKET IT $3.5
$50,000/$3.5 = 14,285 to break even
So if your product was $6 you would need to sell 34,285 to make $50,000

(okay this is a REALLY bad business idea… do not run this business if you want to get rich..but you get the picture)

PRODUCT PLACEMENT

Where is your product and service going to be available?

My icy poles will be in all organic stores across Australia. I have purposely targeted organic stores because it fits with my brand. I want to have my own fridge which will look like an old school icecream stand and for promotional days I will have a staff member dress like a 1950’s icecream (wo)man and give samples.

So there you have it. Brand 101 complete. Now go forth and create something amazing.

Creatively yours

Ala