When I talk to people about their brand, a lot of people automatically think I’m talking about their logo. But a logo is just one part of a company’s brand. A brand is so much more. And if you can get your brand right – make it encapsulate who you are and what you do, as well as speak to your audience – you’re far more likely to have marketing success.
A brand proposition sounds like a fancy thing that big businesses have. Perhaps if you’re a sole trader you think it doesn’t apply to you. But actually, whether you’re a very small business or a global chain, your brand is everything. Without it, it will make it much harder for you to sell your products or services.
What is a brand?
Your brand is everything you stand for, who you are, what you’re about and why people should buy from you. It must have a solid, consistent approach in terms of look, feel and tone. Just having a colour palette that you always stick to, for starters, will make you look professional. Then if you always use similar words and talk in a set tone of voice, and everything you do always has a uniform style, it makes it easier for people to understand you, and, more importantly, trust you. A logo just helps to tie everything together.
Where to start
The best place to start is to think, honestly, about what you do and who you are. Why did you start the business and what do you really care about? What is the real value you offer to customers, and why should they be interested? Write down some notes and then turn them into 4 summed up sentences.
Firstly, think about who you’re selling to. Let’s pretend I’m selling women’s shoes.
To… women who like stylish, well-made shoes at an affordable price
Then describe who you are to your target audience.
Lindsay’s Shoes is…a seller of unique shoes through high street boutique stores
Then tell them what you do, but really dig down into the value it offers to customers
That… provides shoes that not only look good, but feel good too – both on the feet and on the purse
Then tell them why you do it, but make sure it still offers value to your customers
Because… you shouldn’t just have one comfy pair of shoes, everyone should have shoes for every occasion that look and feel amazing
I’ve just thrown this together in a few minutes, but hopefully it gives you a sense of what is needed. This approach works, and there’s a reason it works: it sums up everything about you and will give you a clear focus. There are just 4 simple things you need to do here and you’ll move your marketing forward by leaps and bounds.
- Really focus in on who you’re targeting
- Sum up exactly who you are in one simple sentence
- Focus on the value that you give to your clients – so not what you do, but what you do for them
- Explain why you’re doing this, but again keeping the value it offers to customers at the heart of the sentence
All of these points make up your brand. Before you do anything else, think about your who, what and why. Then think about your logo, website and everything else, and make sure it ties in with your brand proposition. It’s the foundation that everything should be pinned to and will give you a strong holistic approach.
If your brand proposition is truly going to work, you have to apply it across everything you do. For example, your website must be truly targeted at your key audience, stating what you do and showcasing the value you offer on every page. It doesn’t have to detail the brand proposition word for word, but the principles that you stand for need to be there.
Then make sure the same is applied to your blogs, your social media, your PR, your direct mail campaigns, your email newsletters – absolutely everything. Having the same sorts of messages, the same style, the same look, feel and tone will put you far above any competition that doesn’t do this. You’ll look bigger, better, brighter and far more professional. And it all boils down to 4 simple sentences.
A brand proposition isn’t difficult. It does take some thinking about and you need to give it the proper time to consider it. Then you also need to use the ideas across all of your marketing. But none of that costs extra money, it’s just about tweaking how you approach things.
I often meet people who think marketing costs a lot of money to get right. But actually, doing mass advertising without a consistent approach can be a total waste of money. Creating a strong brand that speaks to your audience can only help you. This is the true secret to marketing.
If you’d like any help creating a brand proposition, please get in touch with us. And if you’ve read all the way to the end of this blog, let us know and we’ll give you 50% off our costs to do this task. Making it even more worthwhile!