Throughout my career, I've helped many clients either navigate a rebrand, or build a brand from scratch. But a brand is much bigger than just a logo and a website; behind every great brand is a great message.
Through helping my clients navigate their branding challenges, I've learned that many of them do not realize that the first step of the process lies in crafting the right message and tone to present to the outside world. After all, if people don't like what you have to say, what good is it to have an awesome logo?
There is, however, still a significant amount of confusion about the value of messaging when it comes to branding. Here are my top 3 things to consider when it comes to branding:
Brand Messaging vs. Internal Messaging
In a recent experience with a client, I discovered that although they boasted about doing a lot of "branding" work, they were confused about how to craft their brand messaging and voice. As we cleared the confusion, I found that they were so focused on coming up with buzzwords for what type of employee culture they were trying to build and seemed to mistake that for branding.
While it's great to have internal messaging to provide to your employees, external messaging to clients is a whole different beast. This client had no problem sending me a list of adjectives, but had trouble filling out a 5 question survey I sent to them to help define the personality traits of the brand itself. Many people don't realize that how you communicate internally is not and should not be the same as how you communicate externally to customers and clients.
Start With Brand Messaging First
Small business owners also often fail to see the benefit of defining the messaging and finding the right brand voice before working on the visual aspects of their brand, such as logos or websites. This allows the graphic designers to take the lead on brand direction, rather than having a high-level strategy already in place to help guide them through the design process.
Coming into the design process armed with this information can save you time and money with a graphic designer because you already have a clear vision about the direction in which you want to move. You can then ensure that the visual components of your brand fit into your message, and not the other way around.
Bring In Professionals When You Need It
The brand messaging is the foundation that everything else sits upon, making it easier for everyone to stay on the same page and ensure cohesion between creative teams and internal departments. This is especially true for any business that has both a marketing team and a sales team--they have to be sending customers the same message.
I strongly recommend that any business--big or small--bring in outside consultants and experts to help them gain more clarity about who their brand is and what they stand for when they are either building a brand or rebranding. The creative process during the early stages cannot be underestimated and many small business owners write it off as something that is unnecessary, but that couldn't be further from the truth.
If you need access to an experienced professional to help your business set your brand messaging, contact HYC today for your free consultation.