A major dimension of my strategic marketing work with clients is looking at positioning and branding, where we focus on how to strengthen business brand identity.

When I say brand identity, I mean how you present yourself to your target market. While one might consider a brand as the perception of a business in the eyes of the world, and branding as the marketing practice of designing a distinctive brand, brand identity is the collection of all the brand elements that the company creates to portray the right image and message to its ideal audience.

So think of brand identity as going beyond just your logo or company name or your mission statement. A brand identity should represent your professional values and your unique style and personality, and this needs to be consistently projected into all your marketing and communications.

As part of your marketing strategy, ensuring you have a clear, bold and consistent brand identity is critical for conveying the kind of authority, likeability and credibility you need to convert your audience into leads and clients.

So let’s dive into five key ways you can strengthen business brand identity, which all begin with a ‘C’, coincidentally (another C!)

#1 – CLARITY

First and foremost, you can strengthen business brand identity by developing a super clear sense of what your business is all about, what you stand for. Your beliefs and core values should be at the heart of your brand.

Brand identity goes way deeper than logo and web design; it harks back to the fundamental question of who you are (and we often haven’t examined this for years until we start a business!)

Honing in on your core professional identity can be far from straightforward if you’ve changed career or field over several years. But it’s worth spending some time to reflect on this. Once you can truly get why you’re called to do what you do, everything else in terms of design and setup can flow freely.

Your professional brand identity sets the whole tone of your business. When you can capture the style and personality you wish to project into the market place (and the world!), you’ll find your ideal audience will warm up quickly and keep coming back for more.

#2 – COMMUNITY

Building a community around a unique niche problem is a powerful strategy for attracting more ideal clients to work with you.

You can strengthen business brand identity by identifying the essence of your brand, that is the way you wish to be perceived in other people’s eyes.

What are the main goals or ideas of the business and the emotions you want to evoke in your target audience? What story can you tell to bring your brand into closer alignment with your clients’ problems and desire for change?

If you can relate your brand to your story, and how that reflects the journey your potential clients are on, it creates a much stronger sense of collective identity that can be almost tribal in nature.

Next think about brand style. Do you want your brand to represent you as professional or fun, masculine or feminine, trendy or traditional etc. This will influence your choice of colour scheme, typefaces, images, logos and unique voice relative to what you do and the type of products and services you offer.

#3 – CONSISTENCY

Brand recognition can be really important in some industries, whether you’re a small firm or “just” a solo professional, consistency is a must. You can strengthen business brand identity by golden-threading your brand values and image through all of your marketing platforms and materials.

Marketing is what pumps the lifeblood of your business around, so it’s vital your brand is consistently flowing through all of your collateral, whether offline or online – your website, business cards, presentation templates, downloadables and social media sites.

As the saying goes “show me a business that isn’t marketing, and I’ll show you a business that is dying”. In essence, there are three mutually reinforcing ways you can get your brand out there.

  1. ADVERTISING
  2. NETWORKING
  3. PUBLISHING

Make sure logos and styles are consistent across all platforms. A consistent layout for where you position logos or headers on PDFs, the size and type of images, how you use filters or effects etc all help unify the look-and-feel. This can pay off over time, because it makes your stuff more easily recognisable as yours to your audience.

#4 – COLLATERAL

When you start up as a professional service provider, perhaps initially at least as a sole trader, the first thing you probably did was to get yourself a wad of business cards. You jump on the great offers of companies like Vistaprint.

Everything you do, say & write is your marketing collateral and your unique brand message should be drawing in the ‘right’ people – your target audience – and building huge numbers of raving fans and customers who love what you stand for, what you do and what you sell.

You can strengthen business brand identity by creating branded content to promote and showcase your expertise. This material can be integrated into your digital platform and help you become distinctly valuable and slightly famous.

#5 – COPY (and voice)

Part of your brand identity is the language and tone you use when writing, speaking, making videos. How bold are you being? How clear is your point of view? Are you projecting the right attitude and confidence in the eyes of your target client?

You want your audience to think of you as someone who can help them without appearing arrogant or overbearing.

You can strengthen business brand identity by using stories. A story is a great way to add to what’s called the “brand narrative”. You demonstrate to your audience that you understand where they’re coming from (because you’ve been there) and where they want to get to (because you’ve got there).

#6 – CONGRUENCE

Your brand identity literally represents how people identify with you, from what you wear, the car you drive and how you behave (e.g. what your project on your social media photos and posts).

These days, it’s not just about what you write about, it’s your overall look & feel to an audience. No wonder social media is full of positive news!

Yet I’d argue that being authentic is a huge part of the integrity of your brand and really helps like-minded people resonate and engage with you.

You can strengthen business brand identity by creating greater congruence between how you present yourself across platforms and media and what you write or speak about. There’s no point writing like an academic on your blog and acting like an idiot on your videos – zero congruence!

OK, that’s quite a bit to think about… so focus on how these activities fit together and complement each other will strengthen business brand identity so you can attract the right clients and build an audience of loyal followers.

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My new course – the Brand Clarity Project – is currently in development so if you want help in this aspect of your business strategy – to get super clear on your professional identity, brand messaging and offer – make sure you grab this bonus when you sign up for the iSuccess Wait List. 

 

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