Branding might sound like a thing that very big companies do because they have too much money and they’re looking for places to waste it. I’m here to tell you that branding is one of the most important things you’ll do in your business, no matter if you just started yesterday or you’ve been in business for several years. The funny thing about branding is that when we don’t define it by ourselves, don’t act like we think we should act – it doesn’t mean you’re not branded by other people. Think about your favorite coffee place in town – how would you describe it? Cozy? Small? Friendly? High-quality? Expensive? It doesn’t matter – if this coffee meant or didn’t mean to make you feel like that – you do feel something… Now you understand why you should be the one that controls the narrative?
What Branding Is Not
Put it in your mind – Branding isn’t a logo! Branding isn’t just colors!
Now that we clarified this issue we can get into details. Almost every business or organization has a logo. It seems trivial when you open a business to create one but if I would wake up one day, 100 years ago, and show you Nike’s swoosh logo – it would mean nothing to you. It has a meaning only because of the meaning Nike worked hard to pour into it during the last 50 years.
The idea of logo and colors is that they should represent your branding and not the opposite.
What is Branding?
As I see it, branding is the set of things that other people think about when they think about your business. As explained before, it might be defined and developed by you, but it also might be not under your control. Actually, it’s mostly some kind of combination between these two.
I would think about it like that – how would my best customer describe my business? How would my competitor describe me? How would my spouse describe me?
The most important thing about it is to understand if that’s the way you would want them to describe you.
How to Start?
The easiest way to think about it is the known method of “Why, How, What” which was developed by Simon Sinek. I recommend watching the short TED talks of him talking about it but to summarize, in order to start thinking about your business’s branding, you should think “Why do we do what we do?” (For example, “We believe people should have healthier life”), “How do we do what do?” (For example intensively, personally, within a community) and “What we do?” (For example, we do CrossFit and Yoga with group training).
Yes, it might be hard to do and think like that but like anything else in life there’re people that work at that – it’s always better to work with professionals.
Branding is the image of your business, people will be attracted to your business or run away from it because of that. There are so many things to think about when it comes to branding (like the advantage it might provide you compared to your competitors…) but we should start from the basics. Would you really allow the circumstances to define your life project?