But first, what exactly is branding?
Lucky Bug Lure Company Brand Board
In order to understand the value of something, first you need to know what it is.
There are plenty of places to get a quick logo or a nice colour palette for your business. But branding runs much deeper than this.
At Steady Studio, we define your brand as how others perceive you. Branding, therefore, is the process of aligning what you want others to think about your business with what they ACTUALLY think about your business.
If you don’t take control of how your brand is perceived, you risk allowing others to define your brand for you. Investing in a well-defined and inspiring brand identity means actively shaping the narrative. In turn, a strong brand helps you cut through the noise of a busy marketplace to position your business in the best possible light.
It’s our core service and lives at the heart of everything we do.
The intangible benefits of branding
Before delving into the concrete outcomes you can expect from investing in a brand identity, it’s essential to explore the intangible benefits of branding — the invaluable things that are hard to assign a dollar value to but play a pivotal role in your success. We affectionately refer to these as the ‘5 C’s.’ Let’s take a closer look.
The Steady Process will help you develop and strengthen your knowledge of “self” — AKA your business. What follows is greater clarity surrounding what makes your business uniquely valuable and desirable. This includes your mission, vision, and values, which can and should be used to guide business decision making.
When you feel confident in what you’re doing — including who you serve and why/how you serve them — it’s much easier to build a strong network of clients or customers, strategic referral partners, vendors, and industry peers. If relationships are currency, then confidence is the key to the vault.
When you have a consistent look and feel across all channels, the outcome is a memorable brand that your audience can trust. Inconsistent visuals can cause confusion about whether or not your company is reputable or if it’s even the same company. A properly realized brand identity provides a cohesive and professional look.
A compelling brand creates a genuine sense of connection with your target audience. When your ideal clients feel connected to your brand, they’re more likely to take action — e.g. signing up for your offer, making a purchase, or recommending your services. Branding helps you build trust and demonstrate value to your audience.
Credibility is crucial for businesses, especially in crowded markets. When your audience trusts you, they’re more likely to choose your business over competitors and refer others. Though credibility isn’t just about looks, good branding can help maintain it. Your brand IS your reputation, in turn preserving trust and maintaining strong connections.
Teaching our clients how to fish
Lucky Bug Lure Company Brand Story
There are so many external factors that can impact the effectiveness of branding. That’s why we don’t make any guarantees or bold claims like, “for every dollar spent with Steady Studio, you’ll make five dollars on the other side.”
Instead, the intended outcomes are intimately connected to your goals for the process. Being specific with your goals will help you know if you’ve achieved them. In other words, we have to answer the following question: What is the problem we are trying to solve?
It’s like the adage: Give a person a fish, they eat for a day. Teach them to fish, and they eat for a lifetime.
Going through our process will educate you about your own brand so you have a better sense of whether you’re “on brand” or not. As a result, you’ll make fewer misguided mistakes that disrupt trust and credibility and ultimately hurt your reputation.
The tangible benefits of a compelling brand
Imagine your brand, authentically aligned with your mission and vision, clearly communicating what you do and why it matters. Imagine being seen and deeply understood by the right kind of clients. What impact would that have on your business?
We’ve helped hundreds of clients unlock the potential of their brand by following the Steady Process to predictably stellar results.
After working with us, our clients experience the following:
- Near immediate increase in engagement and sales thanks to elevated graphic design and emotionally resonant storytelling
- Increased brand credibility and loyalty, which leads to repeat business from satisfied clients AKA brand advocates (increase in average lifetime value of these clients)
- Uptick in warm referrals from strategic partners and industry peers
- Increased personal confidence in their brand
- Enhanced ability to clearly communicate their unique value proposition or elevator pitch
- Decrease in mistakes because they better understand who they are as a business (and who they are not, thereby “staying in their lane”)
One client described our process as “a gateway to scaling and growing.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
Note: Several different KPIs can measure success, but they are only helpful if you have been recording the metrics for some time before implementing a new or updated brand. This includes sales of course, but also foot traffic, web traffic, search volume, social impressions, new followers, organic/unpaid mentions in local media, and so on. Being specific about your goals at the outset of will help you understand which KPIs make sense to track in order to measure ROI.
Bringing it all together
To the question, “How will I know it’s working?”, here is our answer:
You’ll know it’s working when sales start to trend upward, your foot traffic increases, more people start following you on social media, and more people comment to let you know how much they love your branding! You’ll also feel an increased sense of clarity and confidence that ripples out into all other areas of your business.
So yes, investing in a compelling brand identity holds immense value for your business. While tangible outcomes are often the focal point of discussion, the intangible benefits of branding are arguably more important to understanding the lifetime return on investment. While there are no guarantees, our branding process aims to empower clients by equipping them with the tools to create a lasting impact.