By Monika Labbé

Successful brands have branding at the heart of their business, it permeates from the inside out. It’s prevalent not just in their look but in their verbiage as well. It’s in everything they say and do.

So how do you define yourself or your business? Is this the same as business identity? When you have a strategically defined brand and customers can connect with it on an emotional level, it means they have the same values and beliefs of your brand. This then gives you an ideal platform from which to extend your offerings because at this point your clients feel loyal to you.

First you need to pinpoint your space in the market, and research the emotional needs and concerns of your clients. Think of your brand as a person. When your building your brand consider your own character, will it be the same or different from you as person? It’s vital to create trust with your brand, and you do that by not breaking promises and delivering more than expected. Let your clients know exactly what to expect from your product or service so there are no surprises.

Most important your brand is different from any other so copying from the look and feel of other similar chains is counterproductive. What you need to be is different, not the same. Clients want someone original and they crave authenticity. Do a competitive analysis and find out what other companies are offering, then decide how your brand is different. Finding that special something that sets you apart is essential. Clients today have so many choices that you need to stand out in order to be recognized.

Just putting your logo on everything will no longer work as the marketplace is rapidly changing. Clients want to engage with your brand at every level, they want it to be a personal experience. Give it to them. The clients of today are highly intelligent so respect that intelligence by generating some intrigue about your brand, allow them to find out more about you on their own. This is how relationships are built after all. Clients today will share their great and not so great experiences with their friends, family and even strangers so creating loyalty is more important now than ever before.

When choosing a design theme you will need to make sure you match the tone and language of your brand and its mission. Your look needs to be synchronized across all the mediums, website, product, brochures, etc. A great logo helps you to embed yourself in the clients mind. Hiring a professional is a must as your logo should be distinctive and well designed.

Research and choose colors that will represent your brand, remember to keep it simple. You want the brand you create to be easily recognizable and come to mind quickly.

Try offering more rather than offering discounts. Promotions are opportunities to further enforce your brand. Consider nostalgia to build your brand, people feel connected to things that remind them of childhood and carefree times.

It’s a good idea to copyright any visual branding or distinctive tag lines. Remember the personal connection you have with your clients is what will ultimately make your company successful.

Having been a professional photographer for over 13 years, I feel very blessed to have been published in numerous books, magazines, and websites. For me, seeing how my photos touch others, whether they bring a smile, a chuckle, or a tear, is what I consider truly priceless. I welcome the opportunity to bring that to you and your family. For more information regarding photography services, please contact me through my website,or email me directly. ~ Monika Labbé, Visual Storyteller