Ontario County Business Branding Best Practices and Trends
Branding is how you make your products stand out in the market, form an emotional connection with your customers, and become memorable. It’s something you should, ideally, prioritize because without a brand, potential customers and clients are likely to see your business as not well put-together and plain unprofessional.
Here, the Ontario County Chamber of Commerce gives you a quick overview of branding, and then covers some important branding trends:
What is Branding?
Branding is the act of defining how your company is perceived by customers. Your brand is how you do business, your core values, and what makes you different from the competition. For example, BMW and Tesla both make cars, but each brand has different characteristics, specialties, and focus. This identity is conveyed to their audience through visual and other means.
How Does Branding Influence Consumer Experience?
Branding, when done right, improves your customers’ experience in multiple ways, reports Meltwater. First, it makes your business come across as a living, breathing entity and gives customers a point of reference to identify with your brand. Second, it allows customers to make sense of your offerings and understand what you do. Last, it gives your company (and employees) a sense of identity and values to live up to, which influences every interaction you have with customers.
How Does Your Brand Reach Their Target Market?
Branding happens in multiple ways. It’s usually communicated to your customers through visual design (like logos and slogans), websites, brochures, brochures, and more. It can be communicated in less conventional ways also — like through auditory means (jingles and tunes). Finally, it can also come through in your policy for interacting with customers, suppliers, and other people your company comes into contact with. Trader Joe’s, for example, is a brand known for focusing on customer care above all else and has a cult-like following because of it.
Which Types of Branding Projects Can You DIY?
Branding can be complex. Some branding project examples are research, analytics, brand naming, packaging, asset design, copywriting, communications, and management. It’s possible to DIY a lot of things, at least up to a certain extent. It may be a good idea to do the basics yourself to save money, and hire pros if you want to make a big impression with something — say, the visual design.
There are tools you can use to create beautiful graphic elements yourself. For example, instead of hiring a graphic designer to create a logo, you can use an online logo maker to design an appealing and creative logo on your own. It’s as easy as choosing a style and icon and adding in the text you require. You’ll be able to view an assortment of logos and adjust their fonts and colors.
But for those aspects where you need to work with a professional, be clear about the market research you have done and the qualities you’d like in the contracted work. Let them guide your design specifics, but, if you have done the research, you want to ensure their work reflects what your target audience needs. You can communicate with your contractor in a variety of ways (i.e. phone, text, email) but sometimes an online PDF editor is a useful tool for this purpose because it allows you to comment directly on the document. If your graphic designer sends you a mockup, you can pull the file up in this editing tool to add highlighter, comments, and even virtual sticky notes. Then, you can send the file back. Not only will your notes be clear and focused on specific parts of the design, but you will also have a record of your requests if something goes wrong and there is a conflict between you and the designer.
As you’ve likely figured out, no two brands are alike, and some do a better job of appealing to customers than others. Branding has evolved rapidly over the years, as customer expectations and marketing conditions have changed. If you’d like your branding to be relevant, you should consider researching the newest trends and learning from them. You can use the findings to design your brand.
To make it easier for you, we’re covering some of the more noteworthy trends below:
1. Brand Activism
Customers now hold brands to a higher standard than before. Brands are expected to operate ethically, for example. In this context, brand activism refers to the practice of including relevant values in your branding – like social justice, transparency, and value-for-money. This allows customers with like-minded beliefs and values to find you and do business with you.
Minimalism is not just a lifestyle — it’s also a way to brand. Brands are focusing on a single point or theme, with minimum fuss or distraction. The goal is to capture the customer’s attention with the central subject, with no clutter or needless bells and whistles. It’s uncomplicated, simple, and respects the customer’s time.
Sustainability has been gaining traction for a while, and may well be the biggest trend of the foreseeable future. The natural balance, planet-wide, has been disturbed, and companies can’t ignore this fact. They’re focusing on becoming more environmentally friendly and cruelty-free — and communicating this stand through their brand.
What’s better than one brand? It’s two brands – or more – working together. Brands are partnering up with complementary brands, featuring each other in their marketing campaigns and offering package deals. This allows brands to gain extra outreach, and benefit from the partner brand’s reputation. Some successful examples are GoPro and Red Bull, BMW and Louis Vuitton, and Airbnb and Flipboard.
5. Visual Design
Visual design is receiving a facelift. The top trends to watch out for, according to It’s Nice That, are design in motion, 90’s design, nostalgia, intense colors, and “liquid” art. Being visual trends, you don’t necessarily have to include them in your branding, but doing so may make your company seem more hip and trendy.
Create Your Brand
Good branding allows you to maximize the gains from your marketing campaign. It makes an impression on customers, so they can better identify with and recall your brand later. It also allows you to stand out from the competition. All of this makes investing in branding a worthwhile use of your time.
Membership in the Ontario County Chamber of Commerce offers invaluable benefits to entrepreneurs in our community. Join us today!
This Hot Deal is promoted by Ontario County Chamber of Commerce.