Earlier this month, I had the honor of giving a presentation at the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) Chicago’s THRIVE Conference at the Drake Hotel. I shared my take on intentional branding—what it is and what it can do for business owners. Below is just a quick redux of my presentation, if you’d like to hear more about my position on intentional branding, don’t hesitate to drop me a line.
1. INTENTION IS EVERYTHING
Intentional branding includes all of the branding decisions that go into developing a company’s look and feel to best identify with its target market. A brand is so much more than a logo, it’s lighting, paper weight, font choice, photo style, color selection, the way you talk to your audience and the feeling your brand evokes.
2. TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR BRAND
Intentional branding means taking control of the message your audience is receiving. If the message is clear—not confusing—you are doing your job correctly. Unsure if your brand is intentional? Ask yourself the following questions:
• Why did you choose your company name?
• What is the purpose of your company?
• What’s your mission statement?
• Who do you serve?
• What is important to them?
• What message are you sending?
3. KEEP IT REAL
Taking an honest look at your brand and the message it’s telling your audience is an important part of intentional branding—something more companies could stand to do.
Identify brand issues by examining common misconceptions and challenges, your image and any alterations or shifts within the market where you operate.
4. GET TO THE CORE
If you’re going to build a house, you have to start with the foundation. Similarly, when it comes to brands, you must first identify your needs and problems. Brands are born from necessity—and from having a clear understanding of what needs to be communicated. By identifying the problems, you can adjust your brand to solve them. From changing your messaging to segmenting your brand to sprucing up the packaging, intentional marketing means making informed decisions.
5. BRANDING ISN’T BRAIN SURGERY
It is thoughtful, intentional messages strategically sent to the right people at the right time through the right medium. At BatesMeron, we pride ourselves on being brand specialists who know how to create and support a unique combination of identity elements. We first listen to the problems at hand, then pinpoint creative ways to use branding and marketing to fix them.
6. LOVE YOUR BRAND. IT WILL LOVE YOU BACK.
When you take the time and effort to develop a strong identity for your company, you create a controlled situation that allows your brand to work for you. Having an intentional brand can open doors, provide recognition, build equity, motivate interest, attract new opportunities, tell a story and support your sales team.
Investing in your brand means investing in your company: the stronger your brand’s structure, the more support your marketing receives and the bigger ROI your company sees.
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