I stand by this statement and always try to live by it when meeting and interacting with people. It is hard sometimes not to judge by looks alone. Which is why, in this digital age there is a lot of judgment happening. Ones that lead to body shaming and negative comments that drive young girls to engage in unhealthy behaviours in order to change their body type to conform to the “norms”. With the mass use of photo editing and filters, the norms are just not achievable and I dread the time when my daughter gets to this stage. I try to teach her to be happy with herself and not to listen to others but I know from my own experience that this is harder said than done.
Unfortunately in business… It’s a nice sentiment, but it’s not the reality. Your business is being judged by its cover – it’s being judged as soon as a person sees it, and based on that first visual alone they are immediately deciding what to expect from you – who you are, what quality to expect, how good you are, how cheap or expensive you are. So you need to make sure you are in control of what people see. Your business cover is not just your logo, it is your whole brand. Your logo is just the tip of the iceberg (see below graphic).
But what is a brand? Simply put, it is the overall impression people form of your company and is influenced by both the visual and non-visual elements of your company. It is your promise to your customer and it tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates you from your competitors'. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.
Below shows the benefits of branding and tips on how to create a strong brand:
Brand recognition helps raise awareness of your products and services and helps customers know it on a personal level. When customers trust your brand, they will likely purchase from you. Through brand consistency, customers will know what to expect from a brand's products or services.
Below are some more benefits of a strong brand:
Your brand strategy is how, what, where, when and to whom you plan on communicating and delivering on your brand messages. However learning what your audience wants from a business in your industry is vital to creating a brand people will love. Different people want different things and the way you brand your business attracts different people. So make sure you brand to the audience you want.
Knowing your strategy allows you define your brand. The answers to the below questions helps you have a clear knowledge of your business and where you want to be:
Create a "voice" Use language that matches the personality of your brand. If your brand identity is high-end, use professional language; if your brand is laid-back, be more conversational. This voice should be applied to all written communication and incorporated in the visual imagery of all materials, online and off.
Know your brand message What are the key messages you want to communicate about your brand?
Develop a tagline Write a memorable, meaningful and concise statement that captures the essence of your brand.
You brand promise is the value or experience your customers can expect to receive every single time they interact with your company.
Be true to your brand Customers won't return to you, or refer you to someone else, if you don't deliver on your brand promise. The more you can deliver on that promise, the stronger the brand value in the mind of your customers.
Logo - It's the most recognisable part of your brand. To create a strong brand your logo should be on everything from your website to your business cards to your online ads.
Colour palette - Creating a colour palette is a way to enhance your identity. It provides you with variety so you can create unique designs for your business while remaining faithful to the brand identity.
Templates - Creating templates for adverts, emails and flyers will give your business a more unified, credible, and professional look and feel.
Consistency - Create a cohesive look for your business. Visually representing your business in everything you do will create consistency and help create a familiarity with your consumers and will build trust.