12 February 2015

Building a brand

One of the things I'm working on is building a brand for my work. Since I'm moving to a more formalized business structure, I'll have a business name and logo and all that jazz, and it's important to have a brand personality that will not only appeal to the target market, but will help keep my business at the front of their minds when they are looking for what I offer.

A brand personality is, quite simply, the personality conveyed by your organization, which is made up of a set of consistent traits that are carried throughout the business and its operations. It is the way the clients relate to your organization. For example, a law office's brand personality is likely to be more professional and sophisticated than a construction company. These two organizations are appealing to people in different ways, and the brand personalities reflect the persona they want the customers to see and connect with.

So there are a few things I'm doing to develop my brand.

Market analysis

I wrote a couple of weeks ago about marketing and industry analyses. One of the uses for this is developing a brand for your organization. Once you know your target market and the industry better, you can use the information to understand what kind of business will appeal to them. For example, a law office marketing to construction workers will have a different brand personality than a law office marketing to white-collar business executives. The type of person or business you want to appeal to helps guide the personality and platform you create for the brand.

Industry analysis

In addition, the type of industry in which you work helps guide your brand personality. When you think of an industry, it is likely that certain images or traits come to mind. Collectively, construction companies are more "casual" than law offices. If your business works in the construction field, it is likely that your brand personality will reflect the more casual nature of it. That is not to say that certain industries call for brands to be unprofessional. Your brand can be both casual and professional.

Products and Services Offered

In addition, what you are offering to clients says a lot about how your business's brand will be portrayed. Products and services that are more sophisticated require a more sophisticated brand personality from the organization. Conversely, products that are more casual require a more casual brand personality. In returning to our previous example of a construction company: an organization that offers consultation services will likely have a different brand personality than a company that does the actual construction work.

There is more that goes into a brand personality (aesthetics, word choice, company culture, etc.), but these are a few of the things I'm focusing on right now as I (we*) prepare for the expansion of what I do from freelance to actual factual business.

What is your business's brand personality? How did you determine what it would be? Is it effective? Why or why not?

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