By Drue Lawler, FASID
Director of Coaching at Gail Doby Coaching & Consulting
Photo Credit: DesiLu
Some people talk about branding in the abstract, but it is very real and is more than just an effective logo – although a simple logo that is memorable and well thought out to reach those to whom you are appealing is an important part of your branding.
Successful branding should be a message that comes through clearly in all areas of your business. It’s important enough that you need to spend the time necessary to make sure everything connected to your business reflects your brand. Continuously projecting that brand image is not always easy, but it is definitely worth it.
If you have identified your brand, then review everything that is connected to your business to be sure it is cohesive. That means all the messaging that comes out of your office – whether it be on social media, the stationery you use, your business cards and of course your website. So remember that what represents your brand needs to be versatile enough to be used in a variety of formats – whether printed or digital.
But it goes further that what you present in print and online. Everything that comes out of your office should reflect your brand. That includes what is in your office – the design of the space itself, the furniture you have selected, the colors, the people you bring on to your team and more. Be aware that everything conveys a message, even if it may not be obvious, it is subconsciously settling in a client’s memory.
If you are known for creating interiors with soft, restful themes and colors, then you would not want to fill your office with bright vibrant colors – they may look wonderful but it’s not the “brand” you have created for your company. So consider the message you want to send when you select the furniture, colors and accessories for your office. It also extends to the dress code you establish in your firm – remember that everyone working in your firm represents your firm’s brand, and you need to be sure to include that when adding members to your team.
If you feel your branding needs a bit of an overhaul or even just some refinement, why not get your team together and brainstorm what is the brand you are after and what can be done to make the firm’s brand more definitive in every bit of exposure your firm has. That exposure includes the contact with the people on your team – so don’t forget to include personal contact which reflects your brand. And to translate your brand clearly to your team and as you add new members of your team, develop a set of rules and guidelines for branding to which everyone in the firm can refer.
To quote Steve Jobs: “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” So be sure that your brand is not only well defined visually, but also that it is reflected in the outstanding personal service your firm provides.