The Elements of Branding
You are your business. Your business represents you, your passions and values. Just as all the individual parts of you make a whole person – your complete personal identity – the various elements of branding make up the whole brand identity. Actually, when it comes down to the details, your personal identity is not so different from your brand identity.
What’s in a Name?
Your name is yours and it is the first point of reference for people to know who you are as an individual. As is your business name. The name should say something about who you are, what you do and what you represent, either with or without a slogan or tagline.
Your Face – Logo
When you meet someone for the first time, you look at their face. The logo of your business, just like your face, is what people notice when they come in contact with you – when they interact with you. It is the most visually recognizable part of your brand and needs to mesh well with your name and what it represents; including your values, personality and behaviour.
Your Characteristics – Personality
Just as your unique characteristics are a part of your personal identity, your business personality is a big part of your brand identity. The font type you use in your logo and text; the colours; imagery and even tone of voice all play a part in expressing who you are, be it fun and quirky or formal and classy.
Your strengths and weaknesses in your business are a part of this personality too. Being aware of these will help you know where to focus and where to grow, just as we do individually as people.
Your interests and responsibilities are also meaningful traits. In this month’s WomELLE issue, career & life coach, author and speaker – Trina Ramsey – beautifully explains the benefits of reflecting on the different roles in your life and using them to enhance your work and goals.
Your Style – Image
How you present yourself expresses your identity and in business it does the same, communicating to your customers or clients who you are and what you represent. This includes the clothing you wear; its style and colour and any accessories as well as your hair and make-up. This month’s issue of WomELLE has some great insights into the benefits of Image Consultants for Branding and tips on Business Dress Code.
Your Voice – Communication
Your voice is how you communicate with words. In your business, you speak to your audience on social media and in advertising campaigns. The language and tone you use expresses the personality of your brand; for example, casual or formal.
You also communicate as a leader to your employees, who are an extension of your voice, so they know your vision and values and are able to embody the brand’s beliefs and attitude. You can read some fascinating thoughts on Branding Leadership in February’s issue of WomELLE.
Your Actions – Behavior
Your actions define you and as you grow and learn, your behaviour changes. And in business, branding is an ongoing process; a development of growth through your external behaviour. This behaviour is expressed through online content, promotion and advertising. It defines and maintains what the brand represents to develop trust and credibility.
Your Mind - Values and Mission
Your personal values are reflected in the intentions of your business. Your mission is a declaration of these values and how what you do benefits others. It is an expression of your aims, goals and vision. It is about what you are contributing to the market, the people and perhaps to the world; why you are creating your business and what it means to you and others.
Your Heart – Connection
Your heart represents how you emotionally connect with people and form relationships. Building your brand involves building a relationship with your customers, clients and consumers. You create an emotional connection through your Brand’s story in a way that expresses your values and mission and captivates your audience, showing them what you do or have and how it will positively affect their lives.
A Complete Identity
Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be. By looking at it as if it is an extension of you, a complex organism, you can create effective and authentic branding. If you are aware and put effort into all the elements that make up the whole identity, people will remember who you are.