So you have a website and a well run business, but sales are flat and in desperate need of a boost. There are many options, many paths a business owner may choose to travel. New ad spending, a direct mail piece, attending a trade show, hire a new salesperson and on and on. An often overlooked option is branding design. Sure, you may have a website and you may even have hired a talented designer for your logo, but if that's where you stopped, a branding re-design may be just what you need to pump up your sales efforts and give your business the boost it needs.
How to kick your sales effort in the...brand.
Branding design comes in many forms, including the aforementioned logo design, website look and feel, and other visual aspects. But real branding design incorporates written messaging as well as visual messaging. The visual is what captures the attention of the prospective client, but it is the messaging that will convert the prospect into a paying customer. A proper branding design must combine the written word and the associated imaging into a coherent, and poignant message.
A branding design project begins with identifying the base value proposition of the company. The questions may seem basic, but the answers are the cornerstone of a solid business marketing strategy, nonetheless.
- Why is your company special?
- What sets you apart from your competition?
- Why should I do business with you?
- Who is your ideal customer?
- What problem does your product or service solve?
- Why do your customers need you?
How about a little homework assignment: Get your team into a conference room and pose these questions one at a time, noting the discussion and responses. You may be surprised how many different ideas each team member has. You can expect to hear a half dozen or more things that set you apart from your competition. You can expect to hear a wide variety of ideal customer demographics. These variations are healthy to hear, but also signify a problem. If every person in your company has a different idea as to what the answers to these basic questions are, you have a branding design problem. If those in your own company have different answers, how can your customers possibly know what your core message is?
By identifying the core attributes, we can move into a design phase. What are the words that speak to our core attributes? We go from the high level tag line right down to the minutia of body copy. From large to granular, the messaging must be consistent and be aligned with the core attributes at the same time.
With messaging crafted, a branding design can then have images and visual affect layered on. Would a top tier financial accounting firm look good with a red logo and site color palette? Probably not. Not only is it too strong of a color, it is also not a color any accountant wants to be associated with! Likewise, the logo should connote ideas and feelings consistent with the overall massage.
Aligning the written messaging with the look and feel is the end goal of a branding design. The way to achieve the goal is to begin with some introspective questioning about the nature and core attributes of your business. With the right design, your brand will take on a new gravity and help your company succeed.