Your business and your employees are communicating with your customers and potential customers in many more ways than ever before. Not all of it is under your control, but through a unified branding strategy, you can take control of more channels and control the image of your brand or business. If you leave it to chance, then you have little or no control over what your target market sees about your business.
What Exactly Is Your Brand?
Your brand is the perceived image of your business, your products, services, or the executives and professionals within your company.
• The design of your letterhead
• The company logo that you use across all forms of publishing
• The voice that you use on your website
• Language that you use in your sales pitches.
• Iconography and fonts that you use
• Anything else that will be seen, heard, or read by your clients and potential clients.
Most companies have different departments and different professionals working on different marketing and communication channels. This can cause discrepancies between the voice that you use and the branding that you incorporate. Ideally, before you embark on any strategy, you should consider your branding and ensure that it is incorporated into that strategy. Utilise your branded logo, ensure that content is produced using the branded voice, and ensure that all of your executives and employees are aware of the brand that you are promoting.
What Should Be Included In Unified Branding?
The short answer to this question is “everything”. From your YouTube channel to your Facebook and your own blog, you should incorporate your brand. Even in-person meetings, the design of your office and workspace, and the language that your telesales team use should all be a part of your unified branding strategy.
• On-Site Optimisation – Optimise your pages so that they are set up to convert, include your logo and other brand design elements. As well as the colours and layout, also consider the font, all of your on-page elements such as iconography, and the narrative voice that you use in blog posts and other content.
• Search – The meta tags for your page, including title and description, should be branded too. As well as including your company name, make sure that you convey the brand message in order that people being to recognise your brand identifiers.
• Social – Even if you aren’t using social media channels, there is a good chance that your customers, your potential clients, and even your employees are doing. Claim your profiles and encourage your employees to remember corporate branding while posting, but don’t put them off because your employees can become your biggest brand ambassadors on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
• Infographics, Graphics, Video, Audio – All of your website and online elements should be using this unified brand image. Infographics, video, and any other content that you produce should include your logo and other branding elements, should link to your website, and should always paint your brand in a positive light.
• Print – Your online presence isn’t everything, although it is more important than ever before. Paper print publications and documents, like brochures and letter-headed paper all, needs to include these same visual branding elements and incorporate your branding voice and narrative style. Potential customers will begin to recognise your voice and your style, and they will remember your brand when they next need what you offer.
Branding Is More Than Logo Design
Logo design is a vital facet of your brand, but branding incorporates many more elements. Even the gifs, the banner ads, and the employee headshots that you use should all be created with your corporate brand in mind.
Use Employees As Brand Advocates
Your employees can become your biggest brand advocates. Encourage them to use social media, but provide some loose guidelines to ensure that they are embarking on positive branding.
Don’t Be Too Rigid With Employees And Customers
Don’t be too rigid when providing style guidelines and branding guides for employees, or when asking customers to leave reviews and spread the word. Organic marketing is highly effective, and if all of your customers are saying the exact same thing, it will come across as being forced and fake.
Social Media Matters… But Isn’t Everything
Social media is important in the current business world. Your customers and many of your employees are almost certainly on some of the biggest social media websites, and you need to be on there too. Create a branded profile, link to this as well as your own sites, and use these sites to help monitor your brand presence too.
Even Your Iconography Is Part Of Your Brand
The iconography on your site is arguably just as important as the web page template design and the logo that you add in the header. Don’t overlook these, and try to avoid using standard buttons and icons that are found all over the Internet, but don’t use complex or illegible navigation icons. Not only will these prevent people from easily navigating around your site, but your potential customers will view your business as being equally complex and difficult.
Brand Reputation Monitoring
In order to determine whether your branding efforts are on track, are performing well, or there are areas where you can make improvements, you need to effectively monitor your brand. Set up alerts on Google, conduct regular searches on social media websites, and check your own content regularly. This will help identify what is working, where your brand is appearing, and it can give you an indication of opportunities for marketing and promotion that you might have otherwise missed.
Guest Post: Create Summit is an experienced graphic and digital designer. Create a powerful and effective, unified brand with high quality and attractive logo, print, and web design, and other design services.