Many of our clients here at e9designs are small organizations — entrepreneurs, bloggers, churches, ministries, and other non-profit organizations.
They start realizing their need for a website, so they come to us for help.
They view their website as a sort of online business card or brochure. But they feel overwhelmed by the task of actually using their website to brand their business or organization.
Like most people, they think of a brand as a famous logo, such as McDonalds or Nike or Fox News. They feel that a gorgeous website, stunning colors, or flashy technology will help brand them to their customers. (They also get discouraged because it seems impossible to compete with “the big boys.”)
So I’ve been thinking about this. Is it even possible for a tiny blog, website, or non-profit organization to effectively brand itself in the minds of its customers?
My husband and I say, “Yes!” But first, we all need to start realizing what a brand really is.
Your brand is not your logo.
A logo is certainly an important thing. You want to have a consistent look and feel across all your publications, from your website to your business card to your letterhead to your Powerpoint presentations.
But your logo is simply a tool you use to communicate your brand.
This is why Kraig spends so much time on the phone with our clients before he starts to design a logo. He asks them questions such as:
- What is your company’s purpose?
- What are your goals?
- Where do you see your company in 5 or 10 years?
- Can you describe your ideal client?
- What needs do your clients have?
- How do your products and services meet those needs?
- Who is your competition? How are they meeting client needs better than you? How is your company doing a better job?
- What feeling or message do you wish your logo would communicate to your clients?
Your brand portrays why you exist.
Branding can only start when you have a firm grasp of
- Why you exist
- What problems your clients face
- Why your solution is the best for your clients
Once you know these things, then you need to constantly remind yourself of them.
- Before you write a blog post, picture your client in your mind. Write to that specific person.
- Before you design a business card, imagine the person you’re going to hand it to. What needs is he or she facing today?
- Before you make a new product, determine the frustrations and anxieties the customer is having. Only include solutions in your product — nothing else.
- Before you answer the phone, remember how you feel when you call a company. How would you want to be treated?
- Before you respond to a customer complaint, ask yourself if you honestly delivered on your promises? If not, be prepared to make it right.
As you allow your vision, mission, and purpose to permeate everything you do, your brand will begin to emerge. Naturally.
As you get a firm grasp on who you are and whom you serve, your graphic and website designer will be better able to help you communicate your brand through your logo and website design.
And your image will be unforgettable.