‘If you don’t give the market the story to talk about, they’ll define your brand’s story for you.’
— David Brier, brand identity expert and author
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Through Creative ID, we’ve been helping businesses to improve their marketing for 22 years. The most important foundation for your business success story is a strong, aspirational, and relatable brand. Having a story to tell your audience who you are, that your customers can trust and relate to is key to powering up marketing in every instance. Whenever we work with a business, the first thing we establish is your brand identity.
What is your brand?
‘Your brand is the single most important investment you can make in your business.’
— Steve Forbes, Editor in Chief, Forbes Magazine
First things first, it is important to establish what your brand is, and what it is not.
Your brand is not your logo.
It is not your colour scheme.
It is not your tagline, your design, or your font.
All of these things are integral to communicating your brand but they are indicators. In order for them to work, you need to understand the beliefs and messages behind them, so you can ensure they are working for you in the right way.
A brand is what you are, what you aspire to be, and, critically, the perception of what you are by your audience – your prospects and customers. This must be created, communicated, and maintained through every part of how your business presents itself to the world.
‘A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories, and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.’
— Seth Godin, marketing and leadership expert, author, and speaker
Are you, for instance, an online hotel booking engine? Or are you an exclusive travel club for luxury hotel lovers like Mr & Mrs Smith? Created by James and Tamara Lohan, Mr & Mrs Smith projects luxury, quality, trust, and exclusivity when it invites customers to ‘join the club’ and uses a signature as a logo to indicate a personal assurance the brand’s carefully selected and celebrity vetted properties will fulfil their needs.
Is your business selling mass manufactured perfumes? Or are you sharing your personal passion for hand-created scents which are an extension of yourself and your life? Just as British perfumer Jo Malone is with the Jo Loves brand that she dresses in simple white labels bearing JO in big letters, the name of the scent, and a small red dot used as a signature of authenticity.
Is it your life’s goal to sell yoghurts? Or, like Chobani founder Hamdi Ulukaya, is it to give something positive to every person and community you touch and help create a better, more sustainable world for everyone? This is what Chobani tells us when it chooses not to talk about its products but instead about its employees, the communities it works in, and its environmental projects.
Brand recognition and reputation
‘Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.’
— Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO
Each of these brand examples is different but distinctive. Each has a strong understanding of what they are, what makes them unique, and who their audience is. All have a brand that is clearly communicated throughout their messaging in order to create a platform on which their marketing can stand. At Creative ID, this is what we do for every one of our clients.
‘When I approached the Creative ID team to design a logo for my newly launched restaurant Vaasu by Atul Kochhar, I was confident they would do a great job as they have already designed various projects for me over the past 20 years. The team went the extra mile to fully understand what the logo should convey about the restaurant and also took into account the look and feel of the interiors so they could design a logo that was in harmony with the overall concept.’
— Atul Kocchar, Michelin Star Chef
At Creative ID we work with inspirational food, hospitality, and lifestyle brands to build successful businesses operating with integrity. Our aim is to create a positive impact, both on our client’s businesses and the wider world, by using our expertise in the fields of diversity, inclusion, and, of course, building successful, inspirational brands which understand their market.
The first question we ask any client is: What are those core values, qualities, and messages which need to be communicated? What is your story?
This is a thorough process that looks at the business and the world it seeks to live in and can require uncomfortable self-examination, but it is vital before anything that happens next can be successful.
‘The most important thing to remember is you must know your audience.’
— Lewis Howes, former sportsman, entrepreneur, and author.
What is your target market?
As part of this we need to examine the target market for your brand. What are your values? What other messages does your audience hear each day and how do they respond to these? What do they have to say, or ask?
By creating a full understanding of both a brand and the people who make up its market, we help our clients power up every pound of their marketing spend and maximise their opportunities to succeed in their goals of every kind. The two are inextricably linked, and by working on them in tandem you increase your client’s understanding and boost your overall impact.
Your brand story
Once we have this, we can integrate that story, that brand identity, into every part of the businesses communication from business cards to social media to email signatures to advertising, even to how employees greet potential customers or partners as they walk through the door or speak on the phone. We reinforce the value of consistency and staying true to the business’ philosophies and message in order to build trust and awareness.
In short, at Creative ID, we understand the importance of using your brand to power up your marketing.
‘If your stories are all about your products and services, that’s not storytelling. It’s a brochure. Give yourself permission to make the story bigger.’
— Jay Baer, marketing expert, keynote speaker, and author
I hope this blog has been useful. If you would like to discuss any of the points raised in more detail or any other matters related to branding for your business or if you want to find out how we can help you power up your marketing with an inspirational brand, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Until next time,