Why do you think brands like Target, Nike, and Starbucks have such staying power? Why are their logos so recognizable? Is it their color schemes, fonts, or some enigmatic quality you can’t quite put your finger on?
Legendary brands like these don’t know something we don’t, but they don’t think small, either. Sure, their logos can be spotted from a mile down the freeway, but there’s more behind their branding strategies than just those superficial elements.
Read on to learn what branding really means, and how it has the power to build community, uplevel your business, and increase your sales like you wouldn’t believe.
CONSISTENCY IS THE FOUNDATION
Here’s the question I get asked the most in my Legacy Branding program:
“What if I want to change my branding down the road? I feel like my mind changes so often!”
Girl, I feel that. Every creative does. We grow and evolve so much in this life and in our business– it’s only natural to want to switch things up every now and then.
Here’s the reality, though. It takes 6-8 times for a consumer to see your Instagram or Facebook post before they decide to click on it.
If you’re constantly changing your fonts and color scheme, you’re not giving your audience time to build that foundation of 6-8 interactions. They need to be able to recognize your brand, or else they’re starting at 1 every single time.
Branding is more than just your logo; it encompasses the entire visual representation of your brand. That means that, just like your logo, the rest of your visual representation has to stay consistent.
Consumers purchase from brands they trust, have used before, or that have been recommended to them. Think about it: when was the last time you dropped eighty bucks on a random eye cream that you just happened to pick off the shelf? When was the last time you bought a book based on the back cover blurb on a random browse, instead of an Amazon purchase from your Goodreads account? When a craving comes on, do you think to make a beeline straight for the Oreos, or take a risk on a random new brand?
Consistent branding = recognizable branding. And that’s the whole point, isn’t it?
HOW TO PULL OFF A REBRAND
We get tired of our branding sometimes– I know this better than anybody lately, as I just underwent a massive rebrand of my own. That’s okay. Here’s the rule of thumb.
Only allow yourself to rebrand or revamp every 8-10 months. Honestly, once every few years is what you are going for truly but until you get it JUST right, that is a good average. Try to think about the future of your brand during a rebrand, too. Where do you want to take your business in five years? Rebrand with that in mind. This is about creating a scalable business and a brand with some longevity. A consistent brand image is where it starts.
When rebranding, you should also be sure to take your audience on that voyage with you. I can’t stress this enough. Involve your clients in your rebrand so they’re aware of it, and can still recognize you after it is all said and done.
Ask them which color they like better: this mauve shade or this peachy shade? Ask them how they love to consume your content. Get personal with them about the reasons behind your rebrand.
I promise you that if you do it overnight, you’ll lose trust, credibility, and brand recognition with your audience. Do you want to have to start over building your audience every 8-10 months?
Didn’t think so, babe!
YOUR BRAND IS MORE THAN JUST YOUR COLOR SCHEME
I get so tired of seeing ads for branding templates that ONLY dive into your logo, color scheme, and fonts. These things are essential, of course, but branding is so much more than that.
Branding is how you communicate to your audience. It is how you make your audience feel. It’s the way you show up, including everything from the language you use, to your demeanor. It’s the way you present information to your audience. It’s the emotion and messaging of your brand, it’s your imagery; it’s everything. Your color scheme and fonts are the cherries on top.
This deep approach to branding is the only way to create a brand that leaves a legacy.
Think of it like this. When you describe a hot new brand to your friend, you’re not talking about the color scheme. You’re not talking about that brand’s fonts. Sure, your brain is registering those elements on a subconscious recognition level, but a brand is so much more than that.
You’re likely saying things like this:
“This blogger gets so real with her followers, I feel like she’s my bestie and we’ve never even met!”
“Their posts are always so inspiring; it seems like she always knows just what I need to hear.”
“Oh, she posts the best tips for taking care of your houseplants, and she’s really responsive if you have personal questions!”
These are branding elements at work.
That blogger getting real? That’s part of her brand’s messaging to stay authentic and show her audience what’s behind the curtain of the perfectly curated blogger’s Instagram.
Those inspirational posts from a small biz you follow? That’s an intentional move to associate an aura of positivity and uplift with their brand.
And that plant shop owner/#plantmom you love to follow? Her whole platform is helping followers like you treat their plants better. It’s how she builds trust with you, and it’s why she’s the first person you think of when you want to buy a new plant for your living room.