When I first entered into the world of marketing, branding felt like a mystery to me. It scared me. I “got” the concept of marketing and was an SEO wizard, but the idea of building a brand was intimidating.
The funny part of this stage in my life was that I was branding companies and products without realizing it. I was creating a brand simply by focusing on what made me, my company, and my product and service offering different.
Branding for Normal Folk
If you see the word brand and feel overwhelmed – don’t! A brand is simply a mental association that gets a user to think about a specific company, product, or service. It can be comprised of words, images, or emotions. It is a reaction that connects thoughts with things.
What makes a particular brand standout from the pack is that fact that it is different. This difference helps build awareness. Brand awareness to be exact.
Different by Design
I’ve had people come to me in the past and ask for assistance with branding as part of our website design process. When I ask about their product, service, or company they go a little quiet. This is because most people want to talk about fonts, colors, and images.
When I ask what makes them different from their competition, we enter into dead silence. I mean you could hear crickets chirp it gets so quiet.
Building the brand is the easy part. The difficult part is figuring out what makes you unique – if there is anything that is in fact unique.
On my recent trip to Mexico I read a book called Brand Simple. I loved this book because it was simple. It didn’t present some convoluted way to create a brand. It presents an idea that uncomplicated branding is good and you create a brand from the simple premise of what makes you unique.
I completely agree with this idea and I love the fact that you don’t have to be a conglomerate to have decent branding.
You just need to be different. Once you know what makes you different, you need to be consistent about articulating this differentiation to the world. I like to be different, I like simple, and I’m all about consistency.
The Core of Good Web Design is Good Branding
If you’re contemplating a website redesign or you’re launching a brand new website, stop for a moment and think about what makes you and your offering different. Document what is unique about you and your company before you start thinking about logos, colors, fonts, and content.
At the core of good web design is a message that is focused around the brand. If your web developer knows a lot about your brand, the firm can create a great website that is designed around showcasing this brand to the world.