Utilizing your positioning, you can create your branding foundation, which includes messaging and a visual branding strategy. Developing brand assets, such as your logo, helps tie your business’s offerings together, but they offer limited meaning without developing messaging guidelines, so don’t skip any of these foundational steps.
Your messaging should focus on one thing: how your business solves your customers’ problems through your solutions (services). Not only does this make your messaging simple, but it focuses your messages on what your customers need to hear about your business. This means everything they read about your business will focus on how you can solve their problems. This is so important because customers don’t care about your business; they care about how you can help them and you help them by solving one of their problems through your services.
Once you know your positioning in the local market, it’s time to establish your messaging guidelines. First, narrow your audience into segments, as narrow as possible. Then, determine what those audience segments need. Some needs may overlap based on your business, but there will likely be differences.
Based on these needs, similar and different, determine the best practices for promoting your positioning to each audience segment and how you should communicate with your audience overall. This will depend on your audience, your positioning, and how your business wants to sound. If you need ideas, look up “tone of voice adjectives.” From there, use those adjectives to develop your content tone and style. Provide your team with the do’s and don’ts for your messaging guidelines accordingly. These guidelines will help all content sound on-brand, no matter which team member is creating them.
Remember: Avoid using industry jargon in your messaging. Your audience likely doesn’t understand or want to learn your industry’s jargon, so use simple, easy to understand language for all content.
Conveying brand personality is also important to position your business appropriately in your local area. Competition is often ruthless when it comes to local services businesses, or your offerings are simple. To set your brand apart from your competitors, conveying your brand personality and values in your messaging is key. These pieces will help your prospects and customers remember you.
Visual Branding Strategy
Your business’s visual branding helps your customers and prospects remember you, which is why it’s important that your visual branding is unique, simple, direct, and that it relates either to your services, market, or business values. This singular focus approach will indirectly convey the ease of working with your team to potential customers. This goes beyond the logo. Brand images should communicate the experience to the consumer, which helps set expectations for the type of fluid experience they can expect when working with you.
Your business’s visual branding includes a logo, color palette, fonts, and brand imagery. All of these pieces say something specific about your brand, represent your brand, and showcase the visual tone of your brand. While they are not more important than providing quality services, your customers will eventually see your logo as your brand, so it needs to accurately represent your business.
For the brand imagery, think about what kind of aesthetic or visual style you want your brand to portray. What filter showcases your brand in the best light? For example, the images a funeral home uses will be very different from the images a hair salon will use. A daycare may use cartoon-like images while a plumbing company probably wouldn’t.
When developing your visual branding, it’s important to set yourself apart from your competitors and have branding that uniquely fits your business in your industry in your local area. You want all visual pieces to be cohesive so they can properly tell your business’s story. This will help prospects and customers easily recognize you over a competitor, which is very important for repeat business.
Visual Branding Development
Once you know your visual branding strategy, it’s time to develop your assets. Common assets include logo, color palette, fonts, and types of images, but you may require additional assets based on your unique business needs. Remember to consider how each piece will look online and in print. If you plan on plastering your logo on the side of a truck, posting it on a large light-up sign in front of your building, or decorating your office accordingly, it’s best to include where your logo and other visual branding assets will be published, so you or your graphic designer knows what color schemes, formats, and sizes to use.
One of the most important things you can do in your visual branding development is to show your customers what you do through images. Whether you share photos and videos of your team on the job, before and afters of a job (if the customers allow it), or stock photos related to your job, it’s important to be real and professional. It’s best for many local services businesses to utilize all three types of images for variety.
Showcasing your brand and services through your visual branding will help prospects not only identify your brand but also what you do. This way, they get a sense of what you do before they read about your business.
Collect your messaging guidelines and visual branding assets in one place that is accessible to your entire team. All team members across all departments should use these guidelines and assets so all messages to your customers and prospects are cohesive.
Once you have your messaging guidelines set, determine what pieces of collateral need to be updated, including website pages, brochures, business listings, social media page details, and more. Then create a plan to update a page or a piece at least monthly, if not weekly, until all pieces are updated.
Our team works as a fluid extension of each of our member’s businesses by developing strategies and executing projects in whatever capacity is best for their unique needs.