You may be wondering: does my small business really need a full brand exercise? 
The short answer is yes. 

With any new business, the main objective is growth, and perhaps the best way to grow at first is through brand awareness. A solid and consistent brand will help more people know who you are, what you do and – most importantly – why they should work with you.

Brand affinity is often felt subconsciously. In other words, we all get a specific vibe from a brand's look and feel, even if we're not sure how to describe it. The decision to align ourselves with a particular brand is often an intangible feeling – a gut instinct. Make sure your prospects are getting the right vibe when they interact with you. To achieve this, your brand must be built intentionally and with purpose.
Brand consistency is important for building trust
Imagine the difference between:
1. A social media feed that uses different photo styles, colours and fonts, without a clear focus.
2. A feed with a consistent photography style, curated colours, hand-picked fonts and a custom-designed logo.
The first option doesn't feel polished or considered. Striving for the second option will create a consistent, and comfortable feeling for your audience. They'll start to get to know you. You'll start to build trust. And humans tend to purchase from brands that have earned their trust.

Tips for consistent branding
1. Start by identifying your top five values. Once you know them, write them on a sticky note – those will guide your design, writing style and every customer interaction.
2. Create a brand strategy. Include your brand vision, mission, purpose, objectives and be sure to write a value proposition. Review and update your strategy annually. 
3. Establish a target customer. Always write as if you are speaking to them. Go a step further and give them a name and a bit of a backstory.
4. Come up with a unique name for your business. Be sure to do industry research so you'll stand out from the competition. 
5. Work with a designer to create a logo family. You'll need different logo lockups for different uses – stacked, horizontal and icon/avatar – in different formats for screen or print.
6. Always use the same font(s). Don't use more than two fonts in your materials, it will start to look busy.
7. Find a colour palette that suits your brand values. Colour psychology can be very useful for finding the right colours.
8. Most importantly, once you have found your preferred style, stick with it!

Building a solid brand foundation will help you speak to your audience in a consistent way so you can build trust and stand out from the competition. When they're ready to purchase, you want to be their first choice.

The bottom line is, a consistent, authentic and empathetic approach to branding will earn more clients than a style that's all over the place. There are many things to consider, and it can be overwhelming. If you need help, we have an approachable step-by-step process for building brands. 

We can help you build your brand with confidence so you can focus on building your business and working with your clients. Reach out to book a no-obligation (free) consultation.

Learn more about what makes strong and unique brands so important by viewing this SlideShare by Marty Neumeier, author of Brand Gap.
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