Updated: Nov 9, 2018
Brand Identity. What the hell is it, and why is it so important?
Okay, so you have decided to take the leap and start your own business. You have your email & social media accounts set up. You have your logo design. Job done right?
If only it were that easy! In the competitive world of business, it is SO important to set yourself apart from the crowd. No matter what market you are in, you will be up against a huge number of competitors. Some new, some very well established.
Ensuring that you have a strong brand identity is one of the best ways to boost your business! A great way to think about it, is that you are not only starting a business - you are starting a brand. Your brand is what is going to set you apart from the small hobby business and outdated businesses that may not understand the importance of social media marketing.
It is what people are going to invest in. Therefore, your brand should be apparent in everything you do, both online and in person.
From the obvious things like logo design, business cards, flyers & letterheads. To things you may never think of, like email signatures, social media banners, social media posts - even your tone of voice in everything you write - hugely impacts how your business is portrayed!
So, that brings me on to the #1 thing that you should consider when creating your brand...
Many people (including myself at the beginning) fall into the trap of not being specific enough with their target market. Someone once told me
'If you try to appeal to everyone, you will appeal to no one'
It sounds dramatic but it is very true. It is very obvious when a brand does not have a clear target market in mind. Social media posts may seem disjointed & their branding may not reflect some of the products that they are trying to sell. All of these signs can be a huge turn off to potential customers and can seriously cheapen your business!
So, as soon as you start your business (if not before) get very clear on who it is you are targeting. How old are they, what do they do for a living, what do they do for fun, what do they spend their money on, what type of content are they seeking out online? This will provide you with a clear picture of your ideal customer, and will allow you to tailor your branding and social media content to them!
For instance, my target market are 25-45 year old's (mostly women) with creative independent businesses looking for bright, modern and fun branding. I am probably not going to be the first choice for a 60 year old gentleman who owns his own construction company.... and that's okay!
Here are two great examples of how two business in the same realm - knitting and crochet - are targeting two drastically different markets with amazing success! @nattythread creates amazing, colourful crochet designs. Her Instagram is amazingly bright and fun, and has a very clear target market in mind. Young creative women who are looking for something quirky and unique. Her super colourful feed instantly draws you in and showcases her gorgeous creations perfectly. She is nailing it! @hank_knitwear is on the total opposite end of the spectrum aesthetically. This is a luxury baby knitwear brand and their Instagram makes this abundantly clear. Their target market are more likely older mothers with money to spend who are looking for timeless, quality clothing for their children. The muted colours, and gorgeous imagery give the brand an exclusive feel which will appeal to their target market perfectly.
Do you think that either of these businesses would be doing half as well if they were to swap brand identities?
In fact, it may have the total opposite effect. If you are posting content which does not align with your target market, you may risk alienating potential customers which is obviously not what you want!
They know who their audience is and all of their amazing content is specifically targeted to them. It can seem scary cutting out a huge portion of the market - especially if you are a broad ranging business - but I promise you will notice positive results if you do!
So that is a quick overview of how to create a brand identity by considering your target market! This is a huge topic so I may do another blog post in the future delving deeper into it.
My next post will be tips on how to create consistent social media content to reflect your brand image effectively - so look out for that soon!