Creating a brand identity is not – on it’s own – going to help your business to be successful. You have to use it. If you buy a car and then leave it on the drive, then it’s not going to help you get the shopping home, collect your Gran from the hairdressers or be a taxi service for the kids. The same is true of your brand identity. You need to use it.
So when you get your brand, you should do a few things to make sure you’re using it the best you can.
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Numbers are the easiest thing to track. So start off by looking at all of your numbers and write them down somewhere so you can compare them in a few months.
- How much do you make each month?
- How many followers do you have on each platform?
- How much engagement do you get (likes/shares)
- What’s your list size?
- What’s your retention rate?
Any numbers you can track – write them down.
This will help you to see a snapshot of improvement in your business in a few months time when you review it. But don’t expect it to change if you don’t use it – so pay attention to the next tips!
Once you’ve written down all the info about where you are now, apply your brand to everything. Change all of the banners on your social media and create new graphics for your website. Get some new materials printed – this is not the time to keep using those business cards you had 10,000 of printed two years ago because you don’t want to waste them. Recycle them. Get that snazzy new brand identity in front of people so it can start making you look better and helping people see that. Don’t forget to change your email signature too.
That Brand Style Guide or Style Sheet you were provided with should be kept handy, not popped on a shelf. Refer to it until you don’t need to look at it anymore. Splash that shade of purple on everything, use those professional photographs, change your fonts to lucida, make sure – if you have one – that your team understands how to apply the brand identity too.
This is a great reason to talk to people. This is a moment where you can tell people about what you do, ask for feedback, and shout from the rooftops about the change that’s taken/ taking place or to start getting really excited about your new business if this is all new to you (congratulations!) Many of my clients report that receiving their brand identity fills them with excitement, a sense that it’s all real now and improved confidence and enthusiasm. Don’t let this go by without using it.
Here’s some places that you mustn’t forget to mention your new brand identity:
- if you have employees then get them involved, make sure everyone knows why there’s been a change and is aware of it. Make sure the people who need the style guide have the style guide. Make a big deal of it and help them to take ownership of it.
- email or mailout to your customers – you may want to do this before, on the launch date and again afterwards. Help them feel involved.
- email your list. More than once.
- on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat – whatever social networks you use, tell everyone!
- if designing your website wasn’t part of the branding process then update your website with your new logo and colours, don’t forget about any downloads or opt-ins too.
- write a blog post to tell everyone about it
- when you’re out networking – and take your new business cards with you
- If you’re changing your name you’ll need to tell people several times so that they remember. You might want to start off by using your old name alongside your new name so that people connect the two, and then over time drop the old name. You might decide to just switch over completely. Whatever you’re going to do, you’ll need to think about this and take the necessary steps. You might need to buy a new domain name and new email addresses and sort out your social media accounts. You may have to create new ones rather than keep your old ones, so this will require some thought.
The best thing to do is to create a plan for how you are going to use this moment. Having a Brand Identity created may be newsworthy, so it might be worth looking into PR opportunities. You might want to plan how you’re going to announce it over social. Perhaps you’re going to use the opportunity to run a competition or build your list. You may need to design a lead magnet. You might be using this as your chance to tap into a new audience. You may need to think creatively about how you can begin to target them. Perhaps you’re going to use this opportunity to start something new – maybe a Vlog or a Podcast, or to run a challenge.
Whilst working on your brand identity – the visual look and feel of your brand – you should have discussed important areas such as your values, vision and personality. Do not discount this information as just for your business image. It’s just as important for the non-visual aspects. Take some time to consider each touchpoint in your business and think about how you can interject your brand into it. For example, as a toyshop your values may be fun, quirky and magical. How can you make the experience of walking into your shop fun, quirky and magical? You don’t have to hit all three at each point. Perhaps you could think about the decor – could it be more creative to provide more fun due to the mural on the wall or the free wands you give out at the door with your website address on the handle? Maybe you make it more of an experience to walk through, creating different areas or telling a story as people move from one end of the shop to the other. You might hire someone to do magic tricks or tell stories or give free sweets with each purchase. Your brand is not just about how your business looks, it’s all about looking at what people associate with your business and seeing what you can tweak to help them to get more of a handle of it, fall in love with it and ultimately buy from it. Check out this post to help you with working out all of your touch points.
Congratulations on your new brand identity! Now go out and share it with the world, use it to convey everything that you are, track how you’re doing now compared to how you were doing before and think about different ways to get your message across.
Amy Purdie is the founder of Whiteacres (where you are now) she can help your business become irresistible to your ideal clients so that they can’t wait to work with you.
Amy has been enjoying designing logos, brand identities, illustration, print work and websites – since 2007 fuelled mainly by tea and chocolate.