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Developing Your Brand

Thursday 27 March, 2008
Your brand is so much more than your logo or visual identity. It's the essence of who you are as a business.

Your brand is intrinsically linked to your reputation and can convey your vision and values to a wide audience. A strong brand will inspire trust and security among your clients and enhance your reputation within the broader community.

It is more important for you to develop a brand that is reflective of the business you represent and that appeals to your target audience, than to develop a brand that is instantly recognisable. Once you have achieved this, you can set about achieving brand recognition and market dominance if you want (and are prepared to pay for it).

Firms that have been operating within the confines of a particular brand for a number of years may decide to undertake a complete re-branding campaign, or you may decide to re-evaluate your purpose and ensure that your brand reflects your renewed vision.

Your motivations for doing this may be to more accurately reflect your vision and values, reflect the changing nature of your business or the services you offer, appeal to a new target audience, or to update your image.  Whatever your motivations for re-branding, the process itself will remain the same.

Re-defining your brand involves evaluating the value and culture of your business and products/services you offer your clients.

The re-development of your brand should start with a brand review. This involves:

  1. Articulating the values associated with your brand, and
  2. Translating those to a corporate identity

This may involve:

  • The development of your logo
  • Visual identity, and
  • Style guide

And this will in turn translate into the design of:

  • Your business cards
  • Stationery
  • Website
  • Publications
  • Marketing material, or
  • Brochures

When you consider your brand management, or strategies for generating brand awareness, you should think about what will make you stand apart from your competitors and what will appeal to your target market. 

You can start by:

  • Ensuring that all your marketing materials are consistently branded
  • Reviewing your website, and
  • Developing marketing and promotional material to suit your needs

Visual representation of your brand

When you have defined and developed your brand, it's time to consider your associated visual identity. You've done the hard work of re-evaluating your brand, values, vision, mission, culture and service/products and now you need to consider how to present your brand visually.

This process often starts by developing key messages and taglines that represent your brand and your values or your services. You should then meet with a graphic design agency and articulate to them your desire to re-brand (visually). Whatever your motivation for re-branding, the process will remain the same.

  1. Brief the designers on the process so far. They will evaluate your information and develop design concepts for a visual identity that is a reflection of your key messages. The identity will include an enhanced logo, a supporting tag line, colour palette and typography.
  2. Once you've finalised your visual identity, the graphic design agency will usually develop a style guide for your business. This will detail the correct use of every image, tagline and logo associated with the identity of your business. 
  3. You can then determine how best to convey your messages to your potential clients using the visual library the graphic designs agency supplies.

A good place to begin implementing your new visual identity is on your website.  Your website is a vital tool in promoting your products and services to specific target audiences of potential clients, current clients, media and the broader business community. 

A website that is well branded and contains relevant information, is regularly updated, easy to navigate and locate through search engines and will position your business well in competitive markets.

Author Credits

Rebecca Laskary, Director, Profile Public Relations. Rebecca is a communications specialist whose career has developed rapidly through a number of positions in the corporate, non-for-profit and public sectors, in Australia and overseas. For further information please Email: contact@profilepublicrelations.com.au or visit the Web site: www.ProfilePublicRelations.com.au
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