What does your brand say about you as a company? Here, we explain what branding is, why it’s so important, and how you can start changing your brand image with help from a branding agency.
Why should I care about branding?
People often think of a brand as just a logo, but as any good branding agency will tell you, it’s so much more than this. Branding relates to everything you do and say as a company. Your brand tells the story of who you are. But most importantly, your brand reflects how a person feels about you. This feeling is made up of thousands of interactions which all get stored away in a person’s mind.
Each of us has subconscious ‘dossiers’ stored in our brains on thousands of companies. Every time someone sees your logo, website, signage or brochure, this gets put into their ‘folder’ on you. But the brand doesn’t stop there. Every time someone speaks to you on the phone, meets with you, receives an email from you, or uses your products and services, this also gets added to their subconscious dossier on your brand. That’s why it’s so important to work with a branding agency who can ensure that only good things go in!
So, when thinking about your brand, don’t just consider its visual representation. You need to think about how your whole company presents itself to the outside world. From how you answer the phone to how your website is designed, it all adds up to how a person feels about you – in short, your brand. As a leading brand agency in Cheltenham, our job at SOZO is to make sure that impression is what you want it to be.
Isn’t branding just for big business?
Absolutely not. While SOZO’s branding agency experts work with firms of every size, we would argue that branding is equally important for small companies. Large firms have marketing budgets to match, which they can use to manipulate how people feel about their company. SMEs, on the other hand, have far less to spend on influencing their public persona – so it’s vital that every pound they spend with a branding agency gives ROI.
Branding for SMEs
When a multi-million pound TV campaign isn’t an option, SMEs must rely on a far more personal interaction with their customers to determine their brand. That’s where the input of a good branding agency can be invaluable. As a specialist branding agency, SOZO works with our SME clients to develop a brand strategy that targets the right audience at the perfect time, and evolves alongside their operation into the future.
So how do I change our brand?
The first step to changing your brand is to decide who you are and how you want people to feel about you. This is harder than it sounds, and SOZO’s expert branding designers start off by helping our clients to unlock their brand story. You need to get to the core of who you are as a company and what exactly you do. Take a good, hard look in the mirror and decide what is your real point of difference from your competitors.
Once you’ve determined your core brand values, you then need to instil these into all of your staff. Everyone must believe in your brand and convey a consistent message to the outside world. Next, you need to visually represent this message with a strong, clear and consistent brand identity – for example, your logo, stationery, website and brochures – and ensure that all internal staff adhere to this with a strict set of brand guidelines.
Finally, when thinking about branding, remember that a potential customer knows absolutely nothing about you when they first land on your website or pick up the phone. From that point onwards, every single interaction with you, your marketing and your services, ultimately determines your brand in their eyes.