Branding trends come and go. As we detailed in Should You Follow Branding Trends?, there are times when it’s beneficial to jump on a branding trend. But your overall brand strategy should be consistent and be guided by core, timeless principles that you follow. This helps ensure consistency. Effective branding is about building connection and trust with your audience and that’s best accomplished through consistent efforts.
Here Are Four Timeless Branding Principles
- Stand for something bigger than profit. It’s human nature to connect with people and organizations that we can identify with. Shared values are a powerful connector. Standing for something promotes shared values. Consumers now prefer to purchase from brands that stand for something. This gives brands an opportunity to dig even deeper, get clearer on their big mission and vision, and share it with their audience.
- Connect with your audience. The core essence of branding is connection. The faster you can connect with your audience, the more trust and loyalty you’ll build, and the faster you’ll build it. When you connect well, you’ll increase engagement. The internet isn’t slowing down anytime soon and a lot of your branding will happen online. But in reality, there’s a lot of noise online and to stand out and encourage continued communication with your audience, you need to connect. You don’t accomplish this solely through efforts like customer service. Everything from your visual assets to the tone and voice of your marketing messages either builds or weakens connection with your ideal customers and clients.
- Build a community. In the Brandview Framework we outlined the necessity to build and nurture a village. Your village is your community of audience members. It takes connection even beyond one-off efforts and turns it into a way for you to communicate consistently with your audience. But a well-built and maintained community nowadays also allows for members to communicate with each other. The platform you use for community-building may change over the years (for example independent forums vs Facebook), but the principle behind community building will always remain the same. The focus is to create a safe space that encourages engagement and connection between you and your audience and also amongst audience members.
- Follow a framework. Branding, like business in general, is not a free-for-all. There are many things in life you can approach with a ‘wing-it’ attitude, business branding is not one of those things. You need a clear, proven branding framework to follow. Our Brandview Framework covers the five essential branding elements:
Your brand vision steers the way for your brand and business. It’s the foundational roadmap for where you are as a company and where you want to be. The brand vision is summarized in a vision statement. But it’s more than just a statement. It’s one of the most important layers of your business foundation.
A distinct brand voice is laser-specific for your company. When done correctly, it makes your business recognizable and you stand apart from others.
This engages people. And not just any people, but the right people: potential customers become buyers. Employees feel a part of something greater. Partners engage and collaborate.
Brand values are the foundation of what matters most to a company, and why. Values are a direct demonstration of what’s most important to a company, what the company stands for, and where they will not compromise, even if challenged.
The face of your company is its visual identity. It’s the overall visual representation of who you are, what you do, and who you serve. The key is to present each of these as parts of a cohesive, uniform visual story. This means your visuals balance and complement each other, they are in line with your company ethos, and they recognizable. You need every element to stand out in your marketplace.
Think of your community as your brand village, a supportive, interactive group that you’re connected to. You make the choice as to who is part of your community, but typically, these include your customers, collaborators, employees, and sometimes investors.
It’s important to learn new approaches, but even more important is adherence to concepts that do not change. Concepts that help you build a strong, clear, and effective brand. That’s what we have shared with you today. Incorporate these timeless principles into branding and build trust, loyalty, and connection with your audience.