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Creating the Best Brand for your Stakeholders

how branding effects your business

CREATING THE BEST BRAND FOR YOUR STAKEHOLDERS

Your brand is the keystone of your business. Branding affects how people perceive your products and services, how much customers are willing to spend on your products, and how likely potential clients and investors are to get involved with your business. But how, exactly, does your brand impact all these different groups?

Let’s break it down by your stakeholders. Stakeholders are individuals who are impacted by your business. Internal stakeholders are your managers, investors, team members, and other individuals who already subscribe to your business. External stakeholders are customers, potential clients, suppliers, the media, etc. The right branding will positively impact both groups, so let’s delve into how they’re each affected by your brand.

Internal stakeholders already believe in your business – that’s why they’re involved! Internal stakeholders recognize the value of your product or service, and they might even identify with your brand. However, that doesn’t mean these stakeholders are followers for life, so your branding must continue to inspire their allegiance to your business.

Brands that hold onto their internal stakeholders often foster stronger businesses, because their employees believe in the products they sell, and their investors are more likely to stick with the business if it undergoes challenges or setbacks. All of this generates happier stakeholders and greater revenue. So how do you brand internally? The best way is to create an emotional connection between your employees and your brand by making them key players in your brand vision. Involving your employees and investors in the history, tradition, or social impact of your business makes them more likely to commit for the long run, and bringing your brand alive can sell the brand inside. 

External stakeholders, by contrast, still need convincing. Most marketing efforts are directed towards these individuals, which include customers and investors who aren’t quite sold on your company. These individuals needs to believe that your product or service is superior to the competition’s. 

This is where branding comes into play. Consumers are more attracted to brands that 1) appeal to their demographic, 2) demonstrate a clear benefit to their lives and wellbeings, and 3) tell an interesting story.

So how do you tell a story with your brand? And how do you target the right audience? CAST Design is here to help. We’re experts in branding and visual storytelling, and we know how to create brands that draw customers in and keep employees happy. Our branding services take businesses to the next level, and we want to help yours too. Contact us at Cast Design Team for a free assessment and we’ll get you started on the next step to branding your business.

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Clarifying Your Brand Message

clarifying your brand messaging

CLARIFYING YOUR BRAND MESSAGE

Branding in the most basic sense is your promise to your customer. What level of quality should they expect from you? What makes you stand apart from the swarm of competition? Why is your product or service needed and important? Effective branding should pull people in and is vital to the success of your business. It will establish your company’s image to your customer both verbally and visually. 

Products and services come and go, but brands are what stick in peoples’ minds and what they will be loyal to. People gravitate toward name brand items because they recognize them. They know they can depend on and trust them. In order to clarify your brand’s message and promise, it’s important to keep a few things in mind.

Define Your Brand 

Communicating your brand’s mission, voice, and values will help clarify to your clients what your brand is and is not. By having a Brand Mission you can specifically define the purpose and role of your business in the world and how it will benefit the customer. By having a Brand Voice, you will establish a tone that your audience will be comfortable with and recognize. Your Brand Values will help you connect deeper with your audience and let them know why they can rely on you over other brands.

Do Your Research

Knowing what your audience wants and needs is essential in business. Anticipate what really matters to prospective and current clients. Use your Brand Values to connect to your target audience by finding common ground, because people tend to buy from companies who share similar values. Ask for feedback and pay attention to the words they use to describe your brand. Is your message and brand coming across the way you intend it? There’s often a difference between how your want to be portrayed and how you are actually portrayed. Be cognizant of this. 

Be Consistent

If you’re not true to the foundation of who and what your brand is, you lose all credibility. Staying consistent with your core beliefs and statement will help your customers know what to expect each and every time they interact with your brand. Establish trust with your audience and they will want to return and recommend you to others.

Are you unsure how to clarify your brand messaging? Or maybe you’re still trying to figure out what your brand is. Either way, CAST Design is here to help. We specialize in branding and visual storytelling, creating company identities that stand out against the crowd. Contact us at Cast Design Team for a free assessment and we will get you started on the next step to branding your business.

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Setting Your Business Apart From the Crowd

setting your business apart from the crowd using branding

SETTING YOUR BUSINESS APART FROM THE CROWD

Your business is a lot like your child. Your child makes you feel immensely proud, and your child motivates you to help them be the best versions of themselves. 

Your passion and expertise as a business owner will certainly aid your business in the long run, but business owners often become so hyper-focused on their goals that they neglect to properly brand their company. As your business moves forward, consider the following questions:

Why should someone work with you vs. your competitor?

It’s an obvious question, and something you’ve already considered when it comes to creating your product or service. But has your brand answered that question for your clients?

Businesses often offer products that are very similar to each other. The difference is how they brand themselves. 

Consider bubblegum companies, like Trident versus Orbit. Ostensibly, they offer the same product, right? Both offer chewing gum with a refreshing taste, and if you’re someone who doesn’t chew gum, then they probably look like the exact same product in the grocery store checkout line.

But say you’re in the market for the right bubble gum. This is where branding takes you to the next step. Trident’s branding and visual design is clean and focused, like a doctor’s office or a bright seaside day. This probably appeals more to older Millennials and Gen X’ers. Orbit, by contrast, has a younger, more modern design. Their marketing appeals more directly to teens and young adults, and its visual design is more sparkly and ostentatious. 

This type of branding creates a visual story for the audience. Even if we don’t consciously register how these companies are appealing to us, we may be more inclined to buy one over the other, even on a spark-of-the-moment decision. Two products can tell vastly different stories, and your product needs to do the same in regards to your company’s competition and ideal audience.

What do you want to be known for? 

The other branding strategy to keep in mind is the impact your company has on your consumer. Obviously, every business wants to be known for a useful or beneficial product. But businesses also have personalities. Humans have an innate need to categorize everything and see human-like qualities in things that aren’t human, and a business is no different.

Consider the tech companies Apple and Microsoft. What are they known for? Apple is regarded as sleek and cutting edge. They’ve branded themselves with a consistent, minimalistic design, and their products are regarded as higher-status devices with high ergonomic value. Microsoft, by contrast, is known for a user interface that is more customizable and better adaptable to different types of software. Where Apple is user friendly, Microsoft tends to be more flexible technology, giving them the ability to brand themselves as personalizable.

Each company’s brand emphasizes certain values and key traits. While one is not objectively better than the other, each company plays its strengths to its key demographics. Moreover, these traits are recognizable by everyone, regardless of their demographic background or which company they actually use. These brands have highlighted key personality traits, and their image is virtually inseparable from these traits.

So, why should someone choose your business? What is your business known for? If you’re unsure, CAST Design is here to help. We specialize in branding and visual storytelling, creating company identities that stand out against the crowd. Contact us at Cast Design Team for a free assessment and we will get you started on the next step to branding your business.

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Why Branding Matters

why branding is important

WHY BRANDING MATTERS

A business and a brand go hand in hand. Your brand is how you control your company’s image and its message to consumers. That’s why businesses that don’t work on their branding still have a brand – it’s just not a very good one.

From standing out among the competition to retaining your clients, let’s go over all the benefits to having a brand.

Good brands catch the consumer’s attention

A good brand has a great visual design, a clear message, and tells a story about the company itself. Why? Because that’s what grabs your attention! These elements of a brand are what attract consumers to your company, as people are drawn to stories and ideas they can relate to. Targeting the right demographic and convincing people to invest in your product or service are the key payouts of a good brand, as well as the satisfaction in running a business that represents you!

Brand loyalty

In addition to attracting new customers, brands help retain those customers by inspiring brand loyalty. Think about it: people who have an iPhone usually stick with iPhones, and the same goes for Samsung and Google phones. This is because consumers identify with their brand! People are drawn to the stories these companies tell and find those stories reflected in their phones’ respective interface and design. Brands aren’t just about finding new customers, they’re about retaining them.

People pay more for good branding

Smart companies know this: consumers want to purchase products that they identify with and that reflect their personal values and beliefs. That’s why companies with strong brands are able to charge more for their products. Whether you incorporate being socially and environmentally conscious into your story, or whether you emphasize a commitment to style and originality, your brand attracts the people who are looking for you – and willing to pay big bucks for it!

Branding implies quality

Last, a strong brand implies a strong product. Companies with strong brands inspire trust in the product. Since the company has taken the time to deliver something professional and personalized, consumers are more likely to think they have also make the product of higher quality than competitors have. As a result, your brand garners more interest, retains more customers, and allows you to charge a higher price for a product well made!

 

From branding to visual design and storytelling, We specialize in creating company identities that stand out against the crowd. Contact us at Cast Design Team for a free assessment and we will get you started on the next step to branding your business. 

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5 key elements of a great logo design

“Logos and branding are so important. In a big part of the world, people cannot read French or English–but are great in remembering signs.” ― Karl Lagerfeld

What if we were to say “Facebook” or “McDonalds”, or even “SEARS?” I am willing to bet that you immediately thought of the logos of each of these well-known companies. A great logo design will instantly call the brand to mind. Elements of a great logo design help make it credible, simple, distinct, versatile, appropriate, targeted, memorable and timeless.

This is why you shouldn’t just slap some clip art together and call it a day. This is the literal symbol of your company we’re talking about – it’s the first impression you leave on potential clients, before they even talk to you.

This symbol is so important to your business that the design process must aim to make the logo immediately recognizable and easily remembered, which means it must be SIMPLE.

5 key elements of a great logo design:

1. An Effective Brand Logo Is Credible

Your logo needs to look professional and clear in order to make people confident enough to want to do business with you. This pretty much excludes any sort of clip art or logos built with an online logo generator.

2. An Effective Brand Logo Is Simple

DO streamline the design. DON’T overcomplicate things.

Simplicity and straightforwardness communicate confidence and power, which is what you want.

Keep the fonts used simple and easy to read, yet avoid the most commonly used fonts, such as Comic Sans. You don’t want your design to appear amateurish.

One font is ideal, and avoid more than two font styles.

3. An Effective Brand Logo is Distinct

DO set yourself apart. DON’T look just like everything else out there.

You want your logo to be unique, recognizable, and set apart from competitors’ logos. Take a look at your competitors’ brand logos before you decide on your own.

4. An Effective Brand Logo Is Versatile

DO consider various applications. DON’T design for just one size or medium.

In the digital world, it’s essential that your brand logo performs equally well in a variety of sizes across multiple devices. In addition to being your logo, it may also have to function as a favicon, profile image, or icon for your social profiles. Make sure the font is still legible when scaled down, especially with script fonts.

 

5. An Effective Brand Logo is Targeted

DO design for your intended audience. DON’T forget the customer.

A great brand is a reflection of what your company is, what your company aspires to be, and how people perceive your company—and your brand should also be based on what your target market wants and needs you to be.

 

Get Your Project Off the Ground

A professional logo that matches and extends your company’s image can really be useful, and periodically, you should review the logo design and your overall corporate image so nothing ever looks dated.

It’s pretty obvious if you are just launching your construction business that you will need to create a great logo. But there are other times when a logo design may be needed, such as when you decide it’s time to up your marketing game or when scaling up your business.

You’ll also want to refresh/redesign your logo periodically when there are major changes to your business. These changes might include such things as a merger or major revision of your primary market focus or adding a significant new service to your offerings.

Get ready to start that productive conversation with the designer that’s going to artfully and scientifically craft the most effective new logo design that communicates who your business is and what it does.

You’ll want to choose a logo designer who is experienced and successful. One who has positive testimonials from previous clients. One who communicates professionalism and acts in a timely manner. One like CMK Marketing.

We have helped dozens of agencies elevate their business with new logos that effectively communicate the company or organization’s mission. The value of your designer understanding this mission and exactly where the company is going cannot be understated. We seek to fully understand your company, your goals, and your vision – before even touching pencil to paper (yes, we sketch ideas out first – call us old school, but this process gets the creative juices flowing!).

Ready to get started? Here is a partial list of questions we will be going over with you:

Who is your audience? (Be specific) This will help you determine the best design style from the start
What is the tonality of your business? (i.e., fun, serious)
Emotional Message (i.e., my audience should feel compassion)
Logical Message (i.e., my audience should think I need this)
Color or Shapes
Positioning (i.e., how are you positioning your brand in the market?)
Vision
Mission
Values
Competition

Schedule a free consult

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Why Branding your Business is Important to get to the Next Level

How can I become a great brand?

How can I make this brand sustainable?

What will bring value to my brand?

Just what is my story, and how do I tell it?

And, my favorite question and the most important by far:

What the hell is branding?

Branding is more than a logo. It’s more than a website. It’s more than a business card. It’s more than the colors and typefaces you choose to represent your company. Your brand is your voice in the marketplace, and it is your proposition for disruption. It is your opportunity to create something with lasting impact. It is how you tell your story, and it is absolutely key to your success and your survival.

Most entrepreneurs go to market not with a brand, but with an idea—an idea that can be so close to you that it can be challenging to present and explain to others. You think everyone should understand it, as you do, but that is not the case. This is the exact reason as to why you need to develop an effective brand messaging.

One of the most frequent comments I hear is, “People just don’t understand us, our value and what we do, but we know we are absolutely the best.” That statement is a problem. Your brand is your story, and if you can’t tell it, then nobody will get it.

If you ever catch yourself making that sort of statement, take a step back. Because it is total BS.

This is business and if you cannot communicate the value of what you bring to the market, well then, you have a problem, sir.

Branding is about knowing what you stand for and how you communicate the values and character of your product or service. As a business owner, this is not so much a design choice as it is a leadership decision. Your job as chief is to know exactly, concisely and in context what you stand for. You are the lone author of your story, your mission and your reason for being. If you are having trouble communication your story, give us a call so we can give you a free brand assessment. Fill out the form below now!