When it comes to growing your social impact business, I’m sure branding or brand consulting isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. In fact, the first two things that usually come to mind are marketing and sales. But, your brand is just as important when it comes to attracting, nurturing, and converting your ideal clients and customers to happy buyers and referrers.
In fact, you’ll have a hard time marketing your brand without a strong brand foundation and strategy in today’s market. Your brand identity has to come first and stay front and center so your next best customers build and continue the relationship with your business.
People buy from people – so if you aren’t tying your marketing efforts into your overall vision, values, and vibe of your brand culture, they’ll have a hard time resonating with your message and marketing. Brand relationships and reputation builds brand equity so that when you do market your offers, they sell! When it comes to change-creating brands, a strong brand equity is even more important.
But, how do you know if your brand is strong enough to withstand the biggest threats to your business, continue connecting to the people it needs to, and prime people to buy when you do make the offer?
In this article, I’m covering the 7 brand consulting services you can use today to skyrocket your business.
Brand Audits For Your Purpose-Driven Business
In order to make your business work – or continue working – you need to know what’s not working. That’s where brand audits come in. These are sometimes called reviews or assessments.
Brand consultants perform these audits to identify the SWOTS – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats – that could keep your social entrepreneurship initiative or social enterprise from growing or surviving.
In these assessments, your brand consultant will review your voice, tone, visuals, messaging, websites, and marketing assets to help you see where the disconnect is in your brand’s presence.
This helps you see why you may not be getting the results you want, plus gives you a roadmap for addressing the issues uncovered in the assessment.
Many businesses will attempt to jump right into a rebrand or a new marketing project first, thinking they are saving time and money in the long run. But, often, they are missing crucial steps and ignoring critical brand issues by skipping this step.
By hiring the right brand consultants, you can identify and act on the things that are keeping your brand from being recognized as the change-making must-have solution for your target market with a detailed plan.
Brand Strategy For Mission-focused Teams
Before every successful brand is developed, there’s a strategy. Otherwise, you’re just putting together pretty things. Your brand strategy should always start and end with the consumer in mind.
When it comes to your brand, you want to intentionally present an image that truly reflects your mission and values, while also being well positioned to attract your best-fit clients and customers within your target market.
For that reason, branding, both in the initial development and ongoing activations of the brand, must be highly strategic. Strategies that consider the target market identities, competitor landscape, differentiation of the brand itself, social and cultural climate, and every interaction between the brand and the world are those that will help brands stand at the forefront and win over the hearts of their ideal audience members.
Your brand’s positioning in your industry and marketplace is also an important part of your brand strategy. Without a strong position, you’ll likely just blend in with every competitor who hasn’t done the work to position themselves either.
With the right strategy and the right positioning, your brand will stand out as a no-brainer solution with must-have offers.
It can be tricky knowing where to start when it comes to your brand strategy. But, working with a dedicated team that will assess where you are, think big about where you’re heading with your vision, and help you develop the strategy to get you there will make it a success.
Brand Identity For Impact Makers
There is a lot of confusion and conflicting advice when it comes to what branding and brand identity means. Your brand identity should go beyond your logos, colors, and fonts. (Read this article for branding 101.)
The belief people have about you and your business is your brand. It’s all about perception – In the eyes of your target market. It’s the immediate words, thoughts, emotions, and connections that immediately come to mind as someone encounters your business. Belief is critical, especially for impact makers.
Your brand identity is composed of its unique character – how you describe your values, vision, purpose, promise, voice, tone, and experience – plus, the messaging and visual representations of that unique character.
That means your core brand essence, or identity, is composed of the way you describe your brand and the way it looks.
Think about your own identity as a person – it is built on the beliefs, convictions, quirks, values, and image. Your brand is the same. It has its own identifiable character.
So, when you are heading into a rebrand, brand refresh, or new branding project, make sure you’re working with a team or consultant who understands all the nuances behind your brand’s identity and how to bring it to life for your target audience.
Your Social Impact Business + Brand Voice
What if you could get people to be super sad when they accidentally delete your email because they want to know all about the change you’re creating in the world?
With a clearly defined voice that attracts your kind of people, you can have it.
Having a clearly identifiable voice lets others connect to your brand and become loyal fans. It will also allow your loyal fans to recognize you.
Your voice will remain constant. Your tone may change, depending on the situation.
Times will call for a more calm, informative, or moving tone. Not all tones are appropriate for all situations. For example, you probably wouldn’t’ want to be sassy and sarcastic to someone requesting a refund, right?
But, your tone is more flexible than your voice.
That’s because your brand voice relates to what you have to say, while your tone is how you say it.
It’s important that your brand voice is clear, consistent, and recognizable across your platforms and marketing campaigns, not matter who is writing for you.
Brand Story For Businesses That Have A Message That Moves
Word of mouth is the most powerful way to build a business. You want people talking about you and your brand. You want people bringing you up on Zoom calls, talking about the latest thing you put out. You want people telling everyone they know they should follow and get to know you.
When you want to go from someone people know about to someone people know well and will buy from, you’ll make that happen through stories. Figuring out how to be a good storyteller is something you have to master – or bring a consultant in to do it for you.
Stories make you memorable. When you share your story with your audience, you make it easy for them to talk about you.
Your content can take you far and wide… but your powerful, ownable, repeatable core stories will take people deep with you. And when people go deep with you, relationships are cultivated, nurtured, and they thrive. You want your relationship with your audience to thrive.
This typically starts with a strong brand origin story. Case studies, behind the scenes stories, and supporting brand stories are also great to have in your content creation toolkit.
When you have a social impact business or social entrepreneurship model, you have stories that are capable of moving the masses and you should be sharing them.
Brand Assets That Get Your Social Business Noticed
When it comes to spreading your message far and wide, brand assets can be a valuable tool for your social impact business. So, if you have an existing brand or are reworking your branding, you may want to talk to your consultants about creating some assets that will make it easy to share your brand with others.
Some brand assets that are useful for aligning your activities to your brand and spreading the word include:
- Branded business cards
- One-page sell sheets highlighting your offers and their benefits
- Branded letterhead or customized Google doc templates
- Custom-branded mailer kits, with envelopes, stationary, stickers, and more
- Business merchandise with your existing or new branding on it
- Custom client gifts and communications supplies
Brand assets allow you to stay professional, recognizable, and relevant to existing and future consumers, so it’s a worthy investment. Especially if you have a high-touch premium brand experience.
Re-branding Your Social Impact Business
Branding isn’t a nice-to-have. It’s a must-have. Every entity has to intentionally focus on branding. Branding isn’t just going to help a business – it will affect every single outcome.
Some of the signs of poorly defined branding or an outgrown brand are:
- Staying stuck in place, without growth in client/customer lists, revenue, or recognition
- Having an audience full of people who are not your ideal consumers and losing out on sales because of it
- Losing projects or purchases to competitors because they have a better, clearer brand
- Confusion over what your brand does or the problem it solves, even from people that have known about you for a while
- Mismanaged, unfocused, and overwhelmed team members who cannot do their jobs effectively without the proper foundational elements and focus
If you’re seeing these signs, it’s likely time for a rebrand. You may also need a rebrand if your business has outgrown its previous purpose and has a much bigger vision to step into than what your current brand can support.
Intentionally focusing on branding will allow your business or organization to:
- Position yourself in the marketplace with a competitive advantage and differentiation
- Shorten the customer journey path, leading to quicker decisions
- Increase revenue and profits, with more purchases, higher customer lifetime value, and the ability to charge higher rates
- Build an enjoyable and effective brand culture, which leads to lower turnover, more effective output, and team members becoming brand advocates
- Gain brand advocates – referrers, promoters, and word-of-mouth generation to grow brand awareness and increase lead generation
- Build a brand foundation that will allow the organization to have a better chance at sustainability and growth
When you think about all the benefits of building a brand this way, rebranding becomes a no-brainer. Every organization reaches a point when they can no longer grow their brand without the proper foundation. Those who are able to not only sustain, but grow their businesses and missions are the ones who put focus on the right things at the right times. Branding has to be one of the priorities.
If after reading this article, you are interested in hearing about how my firm can help you develop your brand identity, foundation, and/or assets, email me at [email protected] or book a call here. We’d love to hear about the exciting things your team is bringing to life and how we can help you reach your goals.