When it Comes to Branding Your Business, Don’t Do It Yourself
All too often small to medium businesses (and sometimes large businesses too) take a DIY approach when it comes to creating their brand and marketing. What they don’t realise is the power of the subconscious mind. Over 87% of purchase decisions are made on appearance. By not taking this into account businesses lose potential new customers. If they had invested in their brand from the beginning, they could gain greater trust from day one. It can give the mistaken impression that the business owner doesn’t really care about their business. It’s a bit like turning up to a black-tie awards event in dirty clothes.
The subconscious mind is incredibly powerful. Our visual sense is one of our strongest senses. And while people do research before buying a new product or service, often they use the research to rationalise their initial emotional response.
How Do Messages Get From Your Subconscious to Your Conscious Mind?
Your subconscious mind absorbs what it sees and forms basic opinions about whether it is positive or negative. It is only when these thoughts enter into your conscious mind that it becomes structured into a sentence (or an action). This all happens in under 3 seconds, and the sentence that is formed in the conscious mind is the one that was in your subconscious mind three seconds earlier.
To give you an example – imagine it’s a hot day, you’re walking somewhere when out of the corner of your eye you see a van drive by with the logo of a drink on the side. You suddenly realise that you are thirsty and find yourself heading to the fridge in the nearest shop or taking out your phone to arrange to meet someone for a drink later (pre-Covid anyway!). The sight of the logo flashing past nudged your subconscious to remind you that you enjoy that specific drink especially on hot days like this one.
So How Can You Attract Customers’ Attention Amongst All the Noise?
A study carried out by the American Association of Advertising found that the modern world bombards individuals with over 3,000 marketing messages in an average day. Yet we only have the capacity to consume approximately 100 of those messages.
In my world I hear people saying things like…
- I need to name my business, any ideas?
- I need to get a website, can you help?
- I need a logo, is that something you do?
The answer is yes to all three. However, while all of these are needed they do not exist on a standalone basis, they must work together. Consistency of your visual communications is key to becoming seen, known and trusted by your market. It is crucial for building engagement with your potential customers, and for getting noticed by new clients. You want your business’s brand to be the one that stands out from the other 2,999 marketing messages they see each day! How do you get that consistency? Getting that consistency goes back to why you started the business in the first place, what are your values, why does it matter?
How to Discover Your Brand and be Consistent
Ask yourself what journey do you want to take your customer on? Plot that journey, and decide how you are going to engage your audience along the way. Compare this with your brand values, is everything marrying up as it should? What are the traits of your audience, who are they, what do they want from you and why? Answering these questions will help develop your brand. The next step is to translate these qualities and values into a visual format through the clever use of colours, fonts, imagery and messaging. Keeping consistency when you use your brand will build trust with existing and potential clients. This is where you have the beginnings of a brand.
You don’t need a separate website, logo, or business name…you need a brand which encompasses all three. Your brand is the seed from which the other shoots of your business will grow. Once you understand your brand then you can develop your website, and other marketing materials to help you to sell your products or services.