Culture is often forgotten about when it comes to branding. Most businesses focus solely on logos, colors and fonts. But, your corporate culture is just as important as the other components of your brand. The feel of your business is just as influential as the look of it!
First, decide who you are.
Are you a fun, energetic shop or a sophisticated, upscale boutique? A professional firm or a creative agency? And what is your environment like â€“ a slower, relaxed atmosphere, or a fast-paced, get-er-done type setting? It's important for you to determine your identity. Why? Because birds of a feather flock! If you want to attract fun, energetic customers, it will help to be that yourself. When people identify with a brand, they become extremely loyal to it â€“ think skate shops, urban retail stores, health food markets, etc.
Then, build around it.
Once you've chosen the "personality" of your business, align every other decision with it â€“ product features, service offerings, music, dÃ©cor, staffing, protocol & guidelines. What might work in one environment may be completely unacceptable in another. An environment that attracts one customer may completely disappoint another. So, build to suit your target market. If you have a spa, massage or yoga studio, soft lighting, relaxing music and complimentary green tea stations may be the perfect environment for your customers. A fit, healthy, vibrant staff that mirrors your ideal client would be advantageous. In addition, offering the types of products and services that best demonstrate your brand and culture is also a good strategy. Create offerings, specials, sales, etc. that are unique to you â€“ offerings that would greatly appeal to your prospects. When they mesh, loyalty results. You see, culture not only matters, it's very effective at attracting qualified traffic that become repeat customers!
Finally, promote what you've built.
Once you've decided who you are and aligned everything else with it, then let the marketplace know! No business can survive without marketing, and how you market your brand is just as critical as defining it. Your marketing tools should match your culture! If your culture is fun and energetic, the copywriting and graphics on your website should be, too â€“ and so should your social media profiles and your advertising. And, of course, your corporate branding signs should reflect your culture, as well! You want to choose colors and graphics that express the look and feel of your business. The style, materials, cut and shape of your signage should all reflect your brand and culture. If it's whimsical, then a custom cut sign made of PVC plastic would be a great fit. If it's professional and corporate, acrylic with beveled edges would be better. How you market matters!
The goal is to be strategic in everything you do â€“ from defining your brand and intentionally expressing it to promoting it with your marketing and custom signage. It all works together. And the better you are at making them cohesive, the more your perfect customers will identify with you!
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