I know that sounds dramatic, but it’s true. I think it surprises people sometimes, exactly what perception and the client experience have to do with branding.
Well-meaning business owners seeking to brand or rebrand will surf the web looking for logo ideas and are often thinking purely about aesthetics. Look + feel. Vibe. And they call that their “brand.”
And I understand that. It’s like having a face to go with the name, so to speak.
So for many, the term “brand” is ambiguous and misunderstood, and therefore mistakenly used synonymously with “visual identity”… And that’s where it all starts and ends.
But it’s also where the frustration begins… That visual identity ends up being all over the map, isn’t consistent, never “feels right,” definitely doesn’t bring in better (or the right type of) clients, doesn’t generate more revenue, and within a year or two, that well-meaning business owner is already looking for a change and is browsing the interwebs again.
And the cycle repeats.
But let me tell you this: You can have the most PERFECT logo for your industry that screams “GO DO BUSINESS WITH THEM!” – But if you are not perceived in a favorable way, if people aren’t experiencing you in a favorable way, you have nothing.
Because at the end of the day, the way clients and perspective clients view you will determine if they take the step to do business with you. A flashy logo or a brilliant brand aesthetic alone doesn’t give you that foundation or strategy to shape perception in a way that resonates with your audience and makes them want to buy what you offer.
High-converting, high-strategy branding takes a very holistic approach. We look at where you are now, you want to be, what impact you want to have, what testimonials you want to receive from those who work with you… We get clear on your vision and your goals and we nail down whom it is you serve… And then we reverse-engineer the whole shebang to make sure EVERYTHING works towards your goals and in favor of the experience you want your clients to have.
Ultimately the aesthetics part of the branding process (that highly desired logo and fonts and color palette!) comes at the very end. Because until you know where you’re headed and how you’re going to get there (the brand foundation and strategy), until you know how you want your clients to experience you and what perception you want them to have, you cannot put a strategic look and feel together. It’s like taking a road trip having NO IDEA where you want to go. That might be fun for a while (to some… lol. To us type A people that sounds like a nightmare! ha!) But to some, that might be fun and exciting for a while, but the time will come when the joy is lost and the aimlessness is troubling.
So think about your business, and think about your brand… Your brand being the client experience – their entire journey with you – as well as people’s perception of your company. Have you ever thought about what perception you want people to have?
Here’s the thing: People are going to have a perception, a gut feeling, about you no matter what. Strategic branding gets on the front end of that and helps shape perception in a favorable way. Not just a favorable way for you (but yes, of course that too!), but also in a favorable way that serves the people you’re trying to reach. When they know that you’re the solution to _____________ (fill in the blank with whatever problem they have and whatever service you provide), when they know that YOU offer the solution and they can trust you because _______________ (insert your own glowing testimonials and wins), this helps to both serve them + shape their perception in a positive way. We don’t want to ever leave that to random chance!
And what about their experience with you? From start to finish – from that first interaction on your website, to their first point of contact with you…. all the way to the end of your service / working together. What is their journey and experience like? Is your process SO solid and strategic that you can articulate what your client will experience at every step? Have you ever even thought about it?
Look, these are the things that make a brand successful over the long-haul. If you want to elevate your service above what the competition is doing, pay attention to this and get intentional. A good way to start your journey into intentionality is to read this simple post about things to consider before designing (or purchasing) a new logo.
The client experience and their perception of your brand is make it or break it stuff. You can think you offer the greatest service in the world, but if people are not EXPERIENCING your business in a favorable way (literally, at EVERY touchpoint, at EVERY interaction with you), and if there’s a disconnect between your values and visuals and messaging so as to cause people to have misconceptions of you, then at the end of the day you are losing business and missing opportunities to serve in very meaningful, tangible ways.
Are you ready to elevate your brand so that your clients and potential clients have the right perception of you? Are you ready to get clear on your process so that you can offer an experience that is unparalleled by your competitors so that you STAND OUT like no one else? This is all covered in my signature branding framework and I’d be honored to talk about working together. Take a peek at my story or connect with me if you’d like to chat about how I can come alongside your business and help you move to the next level. ~Lyndsey