As you build your business, one of the questions you’ve probably been asked (or asked yourself) is "What is my brand?" Branding is “the promotion of a product or service by identifying it with a particular brand.” Another way to look at it is, “Your brand is the promise of an experience.” It’s who you are, what you do, and why it matters.
If you wrote down a few words or phrases that you think identify your business and its values, what would they include? Fitness? Ensuring kids are having fun? Building a high-level competitive team? Whatever your answers are, it is important to highlight those themes on your website and marketing materials to build your brand.
Here are five tips on how you can create and portray your brand.
When you are choosing what photography you want to appear on your website or promotional materials, make sure it aligns with your values. While it is important to showcase your facility, or even highlight a celebrity athlete coming to the gym, is that telling your whole brand story? Chances are, the story of your business goes much deeper than that, and you should ensure the photography associated with your business is an accurate visual representation of your core values. For example: if “fun” is one of your business identifiers, show big smiling faces everywhere that you can.
The psychology of colors can have a powerful impact on people’s behavior and decision-making. People make subconscious judgments about a person, environment, or product within a few seconds or minutes, and color plays into this initial impression. When you look at your website, are the current colors and logo representing what you want your brand to make others feel? For example, red is an active color and evokes “getting things done”, yellow is warm, friendly, and cheerful, and black is associated with strength, confidence, and stability.
Whatever personality you would like your brand to showcase, make sure you keep it consistent across all your channels. Commit to your strategy! That means, if you decide to run a commercial or an ad on Facebook, it should maintain the same personality you are displaying on your website by using the same imagery, colors, and logo. This consistency allows your audience and customers to quickly identify your brand’s marketing materials from all the other promotions and communications they receive.
4. Craft a cohesive message
Crafting your message is the backbone of your brand’s personality. Your message should be more than just what, when, and how often. How does your mission statement sound? Do you sound convincing? Regardless of what your message is, make sure that it’s represented in the likeness of your band, and always be genuine and avoid using gimmicks.
5. Know your audience
If you are running a business, you should know who your potential customers and target audience are. Remember this when you are running ads, marketing your business, and posting to social media. Your message, colors, and photography should all be geared toward what that audience will identify with. If you can get your audience to identify with your brand, they are more likely to become or stay a customer of the business.
With today’s accessibility of information across so many platforms, it’s more important than ever to ensure that you put your best foot forward and make it clear what your business stands for. Building your brand can help you develop a deeper understanding of your business's personality and, in some cases, it can help you discover what your business goals and values are. Portraying this brand across your communications and marketing materials will help you engage new and existing customers for your business. Remember: establishing and portraying your brand is a creative process, so you should always be having fun!