This is an expert guest post. Rob is the managing director of Frogspark & Lift Digital specialising in building brands particularly within the fitness/health industry. Whilst building his businesses Rob and his team have worked with some of the most widely known fitness influencers to create their website, brand and identity to allow them to grow their own businesses.
What is a brand?
A brand is basically what represents you, hence it’s vital that it is well defined and maintained. It is a set of guidelines you implement, that when followed, you can attach to anything you do, say or create. This allows your following to easily and quickly establish that it is related to you, even if they had never seen it before. Every single company has a brand, some go into greater depth than others but all are equally as important. Apple, for example, like to stick with minimalistic designs and content with big images surrounded by plenty of white space and a very simple phrase, as this reflects their product designs. This is what they have found what works for them and it has proven to be massively successful with their following.
What does a brand consist of?
Most people will only see a logo and colours as a brand when in reality there is so much more to it than visual elements. Yes, your logo, slogan, colour palettes, font choices and images all contribute to your brand but your ideologies, morals, ethics and ideas complete it. Everything you do from your service offering, to your work ethics, even events you take part in, everything about you and your business needs to be on brand. No matter how much you put into it initially, every little helps; just as small things will help grow your brand, they can also damage your brand if it isn’t followed.
Why do you need a brand?
A brand not only gives you a means of recognition for anything you do, but if you develop one properly and stick to it like glue you will see a massive return. Your potential to influence those around you will reach new heights and ultimately it will make everyone believe you are an expert in your sector. Being recognised as an expert will, for starters, allow you to be seen as an influencer amongst the other leading brands as well as provide numerous other opportunities for you and your brand. People are always more likely to interact with and buy from a brand that they recognise.
Some of those opportunities could include sponsorship or endorsement from your favourite companies, if your brand aligns with theirs. Receiving payments in exchange for advertising or products in exchange for reviews are all extremely tempting and welcome to anybody, but just as those big brands are picky about who they endorse, you should be too. Just because they think your brand matches theirs, you might see otherwise, so don’t be afraid to turn down sponsorship if you feel it will damage your brand.
What makes a good brand?
A good brand is built around two types of people: your target audience and you. You need to be comfortable with it, afterall it as much part of you as you are of it. If you aren’t happy with it, it won’t work very well, end of. Similarly if the people you’re targeting don’t resonate with your brand it is a recipe for disaster.
One of the biggest things to consider with branding is consistency. As long as you are consistent through everything, down to even the smallest details, you’re on the right track. Any images you use should be on brand, they should all convey the same kind of feeling and tone to your audience, even keeping the temperature of the images at a similar level will help massively. Consistency is key.
Tone of Voice
Tone of voice is also incredibly important. If it isn’t used correctly it will damage your brand, people will find it difficult to determine what they can expect from you in the future. One of the most important areas where it is crucial to consider tone of voice, is whenever you’re posting on social media. Here, it has to align with all of your other content and it has to engage your audience, encouraging them to interact with you and your business.
Logos & Imagery
Of course there are other things that go a long way to making a good brand. For example having a great logo that’s easily recognisable on everything associated with you, such as your website or social media profiles, instantly helps tie everything together quickly and easily. Similarly, using the same colour palette throughout your branding will do the same job, just as using the same fonts will.
Websites & Blogs
Investing into your brand is always a good idea, even just giving your website or blog a makeover can help huge amounts. Your site might just need updating or maybe you just need a new site all together (Frogspark can help with all of that!), but if it means your brand will grow, spending that bit more time or money will be beneficial in the long run.
If you can’t afford the time to help grow your brand and develop your website, contact Frogspark to see how we can help you. After all, we did build this very website to help Zanna grow her brand!
How do you decide on a brand?
Maintaining a brand is the hard part. It’s actually setting up, establishing and deciding on a brand that is really difficult. It requires a lot of decision making, decisions that are going to be in place what can be potentially a very long time. This might seem daunting and like an impossible task, but if you can commit to it and stick to it it will grow naturally by itself.
First things first you will need to decide on what it is you stand for, set out clearly what it is that your brand does, who it is aimed at and then how you will do it. From there it all starts to fall in place. For example if your brand is dedicated to bringing the latest yoga crazes to people, then you will have to find a target audience for that. Let’s say, for the sake of this example, your audience is primarily women aged between 18 and 28 and they all have a keen interest in yoga and healthy lifestyles. Now already we have got a purpose, and the audience, now we need a platform: regular videos could work well posted onto your own website.
This is where we start to get creative with your brand. Starting with colours, consider all of the things we have just decided. What colour palette will work best for the audience and purpose? Typically bright pastel colours will attract and appeal to this audience so let’s stick with that. From here you take it one decision at a time and experiment with different combinations, you will eventually settle on a look that suits your needs that you’re comfortable with, and when combined with your products and services… You have a brand!
The next stage is to maintain it, implement it on everything associated with you, start shouting about it. If you realise something isn’t working as well as it could, that’s not a problem. It is your brand, you can change it. Good luck!