When being invited into any kind of relationship, people want to know what they’re getting themselves involved with. Using a new brand for the first time is a similar concept to someone saying “Marry me?” on a first date.

How do you know if you want to get into a relationship, when you’ve only just met?

A brand, or visual identity (as it’s often referred to), is a great way to introduce yourself to new customers. It’s a way of communicating before speaking.

So what does a brand consist of?

According to Wikipedia, it is the combination of fonts, colours and graphic elements such as a brand mark or logo.

This identity gives you some clues into what the company is about, just as you can presume what a person does by the clothes that they wear. If they are wearing scrubs, for example, they’re either a medical professional or someone pretending to be one.

Think hard about what you want your brand to say. Are your colours relaxing? Is your style delicate and friendly (Acupuncturist) or bold and slightly aggressive (Personal Trainer)? Are you modern in appearance (Apple) or traditional (Hovis)?

Your brand also includes actions as well as your appearance… 

You should put as much thought into how you answer the phone, as into your letterheads. Is your office clean and tidy, are your employees friendly? Is your key goal to be reliable, yet it takes you forever to reply to emails?

Everything you do, say, wear and think, reflects your brand, and how your customers will feel about you.

When I say “Volvo”, you might think “safety”. When I say “Land Rover”, you might think “adventure”. Those thoughts are due to their branding, and it’s how they will be remembered. What do people think about you when they hear your company name?

That is your brand. And that is why defining and building your brand is important.