In the marketing world, buzzwords abound. From “brand identities” to “influencer marketing” to “click through rates,” it’s difficult — and sometimes impossible — to know what’s actually important to focus on in your business, at least at the beginning. One of the biggest buzzwords we see? Visual branding. Visual branding is important, don’t get us wrong — but it’s not effective without a highly strategic approach.
Our teams at Marketing Career Hub and Social Xccess are digital marketing experts first and foremost, but often get inquiries and emails from clients saying they need a new logo or to refresh their branding… all without really knowing what it means. While we love beautiful branding and think it can completely transform a business from the ground up, it doesn’t matter without a solid strategy. If you’re feeling unsure of how to make sure your branding is as effective as possible, here’s what to focus on before your visual brand:
1. A detailed brand positioning statement
First and foremost, ensure that you know how your brand is going to be positioned in your niche and marketplace. The right brand positioning statement tells the story and mission of your brand quickly and powerfully, and is almost like a shortened elevator pitch for your business. If you’re unsure of how to write a brand positioning that effectively and compellingly tells your story, just make sure you answer these questions:
- What is your business’s name?
- In one sentence, why does your business exist?
- How does your business help solve a problem?
- Why is your business the best at what it does?
2. A defined target market + goals
Next up, make sure you know who, exactly, your visual brand and your business need to appeal to by defining your target market and marketing goals. While you likely have a solid grasp on who your target market is to an extent, there is a ton of free research available at your fingertips to dive deeper into it. Check your business social media analytics, dig into your lead capture forms, and find out where your website visitors are coming from. If your current audience isn’t exactly the demographic you’d like to target, you can be aware of that and adjust accordingly with your visual brand and further marketing goals.
3. An understanding of your customer’s journey
One of the most important things for a business to understand is what their customers go through when touching any piece of marketing material or undergoing the purchase process. From the site design of your website to the email funnels your customer gets pre-purchase, make sure you have a visceral understanding of what your customers see, read, and hear from you. By having a deep understanding of that customer journey, you can tailor your visual brand to further elevate it.
4. A brand voice
While your brand voice will (and should) continue to evolve and grow as your business does, it’s important to begin developing one early on, before you start to develop a visual identity. And, once you develop that brand voice, use it in every email you send, in each piece of branded collateral you send out, and in any and all communication coming from your business. From the way your brand speaks in marketing resources and messaging to the vibe you want it to present to an audience, taking the time to develop a brand voice can make your visual branding so much more impactful.
No matter what kind of business you run, there’s no question that developing a visual brand identity is exciting and fun to do. However, we’re all about leading with strategy first here — and we know you are, too. Looking for more marketing advice? Check out our resource library on Marketing Career Hub.