Every business tells (or should tell) a unique story, and while you may know your own brand inside out and back to front, are you also portraying this to your customers and prospective clients?
Branding your business is all about telling your tale to the rest of the world, and exuding a very specific personality, voice and overall feeling that is recognisable and belongs uniquely to you. Some businesses are subdued, some are sassy. Some are formal, some, as casual as stepping into a friend’s bedroom.
Branding is so much more than just your logo, slogan or website. It is the core of your business as a whole, and should be reflected in all aspects, from all of your exterior touchpoints, to your internal workings and physical facade as well.
You may be wondering why it’s so important to tell a brand story to begin with? Why can’t your business be just that – a business? As Forbes describes it “when someone is engaged and interested in your brand’s story, they feel connected in a powerful way. This feeling of connection then turns them into customers.” It’s all about creating an emotional connection.
According to Business Victoria, brand position describes:
- What the core concept of the brand is
- How this is different from your competitors
- Who your target market segment is
In other words, it’s crucial to define exactly who you are and what sets you apart from your competitors. Each seemingly small detail of your business can have a big impact on how you are perceived, and it’s these small differences that will separate you from the competition. How do you want to be seen? Do you have a particular style? How does your price bracket compare? How do you want clients to feel during their interactions with you? Is it formal or casual? Luxury or down to earth? Do you place a large emphasis on social media interaction, or pride yourself on privacy? These are all questions that should be carefully considered as part of your business strategy.
If you’re not quite sure where to start, consider the values your brand is built on. Does your business pride itself on:
- Immediate results?
- Fast service?
In addition to those obvious components of your brand like your business name, premises, pricing and marketing materials, there are those finer details that you may not have considered, that still play a vital role in your overall brand. These can include:
- Customer service style – how are clients greeted when they walk through the door, or send an email? What kind of language is being used?
- Staff uniforms – do these encompass the businesses core values and/or style?
- Music – an important detail that can set the tone or mood of your spa or clinic
- Lighting – often overlooked, this can make a huge difference to the feel of your reception and treatment rooms
- Furnishings – do these match up with your signature style, or make statements about who you are?
- Products – do your retail ranges, both aesthetically and ingredients-wise, align with your business values, and your customers’ wants and needs?
- Fragrance – that’s right, even your signature scent can say a lot about you
- Small touches – do you have any rituals you perform before, during or after your treatments? Ie. Signature style of massage, pressure points, hand or feet cleanse, Tibetan chimes, or essential oils.
These finer points can be a little tricky, but there are plenty of activities to help you drill down your brand to a fine art. Here are a few of our favourites to get the ball rolling:
A marketing classic – The Brand Identity Prism. Consider the following:
1) Physique – How your brand looks aesthetically
2) Personality – What it would be like if it were a person
3) Culture – The kind of experience a client should feel
4) Relationship – How you want clients to view their relationship with you
5) Reflection – Why clients visit you
6) Self image – What you as a business owner want your clients to think of you
Determine your overall ‘voice’. Is it more:
- Quiet vs loud?
- Safe vs provocative?
- Chilled vs sparky?
- Introverted vs. extroverted
And a fun one just to get you thinking – what would your business be if it were a: