Strong branding has to say the right things about your business and it ultimately needs to ‘resonate’ with your ideal clients. You want to know your audience, build your story and then create your visual identity from there.
Jumping straight into the aesthetics without considering the strategy will leave you with a brand that’s just a pretty face but has no real substance or personality.
More than just a beautiful logo or considered colour palette, a brand is the feeling or experience a customer will have with your business.
We know that people don’t buy our services or products. They buy the feeling you can give them.
When I feel the need to go and get my coffee from the cart down the road, I know it’s not logical when I can make an identical one on my machine at home… But the desire I have at that moment is for the feeling that buying a takeaway coffee can give me.
For $6.50 in the form of an almond flat white, I buy a sense of achievement and the adrenaline rush of “I’m about to get it done”. I have connected a takeaway coffee in my hands to productivity and feeling like I have my life sorted.
For others, it may be the sense of comfort and joy in a hot steaming cup of deliciousness.
Whatever the emotional connection, understanding and articulating the feeling you want your customers to experience is what helps in making a resonant brand.
Take for example “Hannah” who is a wedding and lifestyle photographer based in Queenstown, New Zealand. Now there are a lot of high-end, creative, editorial-style photographers out there.
But the difference between just any wedding photographer and Hannah?
It’s taking all the parts that make her different, make her stand out, and looking for the nuances that make her unique.
So not only does she specialise in high-end weddings that are elevated and creative, but she does it in a way that is soft and romantic. Her editing style is more muted instead of high-contrast. While editorial, it has a film-like quality. This feels almost vintage and nostalgic. Hannah wants people to feel transported into another world and made to feel like a movie star in their own love story.
Resonance is what gives you the edge in your branding. Taking these brand keywords her values, and the emotions she wants to evoke in her couples — it all leads to the resonance that will help build out her visual brand identity and one that will actually connect her with ideal clients.
So how do you build a resonant brand? One that will help create a strong emotional connection with your target audience, make you stand out from the crowd, and build long-term loyalty and trust?
Building a resonant brand requires knowing what makes you unique, a deep understanding of your target audience, and consistent messaging across all touchpoints. Let me break it down below.
Four keys to brand resonance:
- Know what makes you unique
A resonant brand is built around your point of difference. Take a good look at your strengths, your values, and vision for your business. What sets your work or your business apart? What is unique about you that you can bring into your brand whether that is through a service or a product? What are you inspired by? What do you want to be known for? What do you do better than anyone you know? What problems do I solve?
If you’re struggling to work it out for yourself, be brave and ask some close friends or family what they think your ‘superpower’ is. There is something about the way that you do something, whether that is through how you see things, your specific style, the values you prioritise, the things that come naturally to you etc. that helps to set you apart.
- Define your brand values
Grab a piece of paper and a pen (and even a thesaurus). Go wild with writing all the words that come to mind when describing your business and how you want it to look and feel. You’re working to capture the essence of your brand. Don’t overthink it at that first stage because you can always go and edit it later. Come up with at least ten words then circle the top three that are the most important. Choose the words that both resonate with you and that also sum up what your clients value about what you do. To get even more clarity on your values, why not also consider words that are absolutely not what your brand should be, look or feel?
Your brand values should come through consistently across everything you do. Being clear about who you are and who you are not from the way your brand looks visually to how it communicates its messaging.
- Understand your customer
Ideal customer, dream customer, target audience — it doesn’t matter what you want to call it, but you do need to know them inside and out. To create a brand that will clearly resonate with a specific customer, you need to understand them and their specific needs. One of the most important questions you need to ask is: What do my ideal clients need to see from me?
Brand strategy is tapping into your customer’s emotions. What motivates them? What fears and struggles do they have? What problems do I solve for them? You don’t want to speak to everybody and anybody. You want to connect with your clients on an emotional level by understanding them and speaking into those needs so they feel heard.
- Develop a brand voice and tone
Brand resonance is further developed in your messaging. What you say and how you say it matters. Invest in an incredible copywriter to help you discover your brand voice and tone and make it consistent across all your communication channels, from your website copy to your social media posts. Again, think about how you want your clients to feel and what makes you unique as a brand and this should come through in your tone of voice when writing.
Again, consistency is key when building a resonant brand. Ensure that your messaging, tone and visual identity are consistent across all your communication channels and touchpoints.
Every brand has its unique story; by telling yours, you can create a brand that resonates with your audience, builds loyalty, and stands out in a crowded market.
A huge thank you to Sophie from Tamiko Studio for sharing her knowledge and insights around brand resonance. You can check out more from Sophie at: https://www.tamikostudio.com/ | https://www.instagram.com/tamiko.studio/