Why is it important to develop your own, unique branded image? Well- why is it important for costumers to remember you? Why is it important for them to remember what you are selling? Why do we want to make money? The answer to each is just as obvious.
Think about some of the big names out there- Disney. McDonald’s. Facebook. Nintendo. Pepsi (Coke is actually bigger). And the list goes on; nearly every 5 year old in America, and many in places like China could tell you exactly what these names refer to in a second. These companies have established superior brands.
Seriously, McDonald’s is nothing but a yellow ‘M’, and everyone knows who it is.
Believe it or not, did you know McDonald’s is so enormous, Coca-Cola would be able to cease production in every single related area outside of their ‘fountain pop’ contract with ‘M‘, stop selling anything but the syrup McDonald’s uses to make their soda, and still thrive as a gigantic industry? Of course they are never going to do that, but I thought it was an interesting fact.
As a college marketing major, I haven’t only put a large amount of effort into my course-work, but also spent an enormous amount of time doing my own research and investigating. After a while, I started to noticed what type of person tends to gravitate toward individual social medias more then others, what type of person is quick to ‘hop on the bandwagon’, and what interests the average American, as opposed to the rest of the world.
When I first began blogging back in the day, dog behavior and psychology was the idea. Why- because, frankly, dogs are my passion. Having spent about 15 years studying and observing animal behavior, reading and writing countless articles, and raising innumerable animals myself, I can accurately tell you exactly what 99% of dogs- from any background and in any situation- are thinking and feeling based on a second or two of observation.
How in the world do I do this? Simply put, dogs communicate based mostly upon an instinctual set of body language cues; every emotion they are capable of is conveyed visually to other members of the species (and to us, if you care to watch). Humans do this too, but in a more intricate way that we tend to diminish or hide more often than not.
How does this relate to branding?
Think of it in terms of first impressions; people automatically and instinctively develop opinions about one another in the first few seconds of meeting based upon what they see. Before a single word is uttered, impressions are made based on your stature, build, the clothes you wear, how they are colored,your age and ethnicity, etc.
#1 Brand vs. Logo; Know The Difference
A brand can be describes as the customer’s view of a company, their ‘feelings’, how that company is seen by costumers. A brand is more of an emotional sum of every aspect that company portrays within their persona.
A logo is the graphic or trademark that identifies said company, for example- ‘M‘ for McDonald’s.
#2 Remember Your Costumers
The first step to developing your own unique brand is to isolate your followers. Who is going to benefit most from your products or services? What kind of person is going to appeal to what you have to offer? The idea here runs parallel with market segmentation; segmenting a population based upon things like gender, age, income, family size, behavior, etc.
#3 Developing Your Image
As I was saying, keep your ideal costumer in mind. Is this person a man, or a woman? Do they prefer bright colors, warm coloring? What are their hobbies and interests? Throughout this page, I will post graphics I am testing out for my own branding.
Pinterest is so wonderful because it orients itself around visual advertising! So, of course, this is my ‘experimental launching platform’. Because Pinterest is composed primarily of adult females, I try to create pins adult females in my niche would enjoy. On Pinterest anyway.
#4 Keep It The Same; Create an Outstanding Logo
I have nothing but great respect for other bloggers and entrepreneurs out there. That being said, I have also noticed only a select few of them, even the successful ones, have established good strong logo development. A logo is only part of your brand, but it is the first thing people see, what they associate with you. Your logo, in the end and after all has been said and done, is the simplest yet most important piece of brand development.
Your image (logo) needs to be the same everywhere it is promoted, or at least close enough it might as well be the same to establish good brand recognition. Do you guys remember Apple back in the 80’s? I think those guys must have altered their logo more times than I can count, but they were small changes, like Coke, Windows, and Google- they have all made many small changes over the years.
This is easy on social media; most of them have an area where you can insert your own image. Create your business cards (I will talk about those next) with your logo and brand in mind. You want every single source of material related to your company/firm/blog that anyone sees to contain imagery that will cause that viewer to automatically think of you, and do it without any text involved (unless if your logo is a written word).
You guys use Pinterest to promote your brand, right? Of course you do! Ok, so let’s talk about Bloglovin.
There are two great reasons to use Bloglovin. The first is obvious- Bloglovin is a kind of promotional platform thousands of bloggers use to promote themselves and each other on social media.
The second, and not so obvious reason: There is a very small chance your Pinterest account has 330 thousand followers, probably not even close to a tenth of that, right? Well, they do. What I mean to say is- a whole lot of people have seen their logo, and recognize it well; their brand all but dominates the social media world (not just Pinterest). They have great Brand Recognition. Even if you think you do, compared to them, you don’t.
The Nifty thing about Bloglovin- if you registered your site with them (all free), you can pin material from them just as you would from your own website. The only difference; a tiny bit of ‘meta information’ is altered; just enough so your pins carry the ‘Bloglovin’ logo, not your own.
It is obvious why this would be good for them, but why is it good for you? Because hundreds of thousands of Pinterest users might see that logo, and recognize it immediately (where the vast majority of them would have no idea who you are). They see this logo and your persona already goes way up because of it. People are more likely to click on, read, and re-pin from a source they know and respect.
Trust me, I have traveled both roads, and this one is definitely worth giving a shot.
Hey- I forgot one!
Maybe I use Pinterest a tad much, but I just love all this knowledge! It’s Like a free mini-book every time! But guess what? There are a select few pinners I look out for because they are experienced and produce Amazing content! To name 2, Wonderlass and TNC, have pinning down to a science. I can instantly pick out their pins on any feed without more than half a second’s thought, and that is how it should be! They:
- Use bright, contrasting/complimenting colors to stand out.
- Use the same type of formatting for all of their pins; they have a specific image strategy.
- Maximize their keyword usage.
- Use high res, attractive images that relate to their content (behind all that color).
Remember that scene in American Psycho, when ‘Patrick Bateman’ (Christian Bale) has a mini psychotic break because his colleague’s business cards are just slightly more impressive than his (emphasis on slightly)? The funny thing is- all of them are plain white and unremarkable, no logo at all.
Think of it this way- for the few of you, those elite bloggers, the ones who analyzed exactly what works best in which situation- you are already a seasoned Pinterest pro! Guess what- if you know how to make a great pin, you can also make a great business card.
Unlike Pinterest, however- which the majority of business professionals you may likely be dealing with have never used, you don’t want your business card full of beautiful images or covered with one; they distract from the information the card is meant to present. Your logo is it; the rest should be clean and white (besides the text). At the same time, keep in mind your target audience when you create it.
You can not only design your card, but order 500 of them for $10.0 plus the cost of shipping from Vista Print. I know, hard to believe, right? I felt the exact same way, until I ordered 500 of them. Ironic, despite the fact they were so cheap, the quality was actually a tad better then the cards many of my business professors carry with them.
#6 Market Your Image
Include your logo on all of your Pinterest Pins; just taking a quick glance at my account and I bet you can guess what my logo is. Include your logo in all of your Facebook/Twitter posts. Especially on Twitter; faces soon begin to blend together, one seems just the same as the next, but do you know how few people use their logo in their posts?
#7 Sustain Your Image & Brand
Have you ever heard the phrase ‘the customer is always right’? This is what it refers to.
It never feels good, but sometimes you just need to take a hit to keep your overall impression clean, even if it is not your fault. If you refuse to replace a broken product, refuse to reimburse a buyer for damages, etc.- they will in many cases become furious. Then they are going to tell all of their friends about the terrible experience they had with you. You just not only lost that costumer, but a whole group of potential costumers- who knows how far the process will go. You may not think so, but ‘Word of mouth’ is by far the biggest marketing technique; dwarfing each and every other strategy out there today.
I know it doesn’t feel good, but if you pay to replace that damage, or offer a refund (you get the point) that customer is going to be satisfied. Not only will they be very confident in your services (since they have nothing to loose if there is an issue), they are going to tell their friends, and so on. I can’t stress this enough- good costumer service can make all the difference.
In ‘blogging terms’ that means humble yourself. If you’ve got some ignorant newbie Telling You how to run the show, just smile and type out that joyous reply!
How is your Pinterest account looking these days? Why not let me help you?