The Target red circle logo. The Nike swoosh. These are recognizable brands.
But “branding” is so much more than that.
Try this: close your eyes and picture Nordstrom.
Got a picture?
They don’t have a logo thing, so much as a company like Nike. But you still get a picture, right? Maybe it includes their white lettering on a silver bag (which is sort of like a logo), but it also might include wide, clean aisles, big, beautiful displays, or someone playing a grand piano.
It might even include some interaction with Nordstrom’s “famous customer service.” Reportedly, Nordstrom staff have done such things as to warm up a customer’s car for them when they neared the end of a shopping trip on a cold day! That’s way beyond, “the customer is always right.”
Now let’s picture another store: Marshalls (or TJ Maxx, since they’re part of the same company).
What do you picture?
They’re known for “great finds at great prices.” It’s not that their customer service is bad. You might not have even pictured their customer service at all. More likely, you pictured packed racks, digging for the right item, only a few shoes in your size–but possibly a really awesome pair at a great price!
Unlike Nordstrom, Marshalls is known for low pricing–and the “hunt” for an item at that price, is part of their brand.
These are big, national brands.
But even with a much smaller organization, a few employees (or just you!), have a brand.
Your brand is what you are known for. Ideally, it lines up with what you want to be known for.
WHY BOTHER WITH BRANDING
Try this: close your eyes and think of three words you want people to think of when they think of your business.
Write them down.
Go ahead, we’ll wait.
Why is branding important for your business?
Because what you just wrote down might not automatically be what customers, and potential customers, think of when they think of your organization–but you want it to be!
Maybe you want to be seen as clean, timely, and professional. But your team gets a little lax about answering the phone promptly, responding to emails, or dressing professionally.
Or maybe you want to be seen as cool, relevant, and laid-back. But your website is difficult to navigate, you have virtually no social media presence, and your office is a mess.
What you think of as “laid-back,” your potential customers may see as disorderly.
If you do your branding right, they will see you as you want to be seen, and think of you every time they need your goods or services.
TOP TIPS FOR BRANDING YOUR BUSINESS
Try this: take that list of three words you want to be known for. Think about it again. Now see if you can come up with a simple, precise statement of your core values. Something that can guide all of your decisions.
To take the Nordstrom example, they famously empower their employees by having a very short employee handbook and simply stating: “Use good judgment in all situations.”
While that might not sound like a traditional “core values” statement, it really is. In creating a window display, selling clothing, or doing a customer’s makeup, it provides a point of reference for each team member at all times. It might sound a little over-simplified, but it works.
Here are some tips for branding your business:
- Determine your core mission or values. Make it simple, a point of reference, and totally relevant to what you do.
- Create your business name, logo, text, etc, ensuring they all line up with your vision. On this step, it helps to get professional assistance.
- Apply your vision to everything involving your business: your office, your staff attire, your quote at the bottom of your email. Truly everything should communicate a clear, unified branding message with the same look and feel.
LOOK GREAT IN CUSTOM T-SHIRTS
Whatever your vision, you can get a custom t-shirt that fits–pun intended!
Embroidered polos so everyone matches and looks professional?
Fun, funny t-shirts that are so cool your customers will want one?
An instantly recognizable bright color with a clear logo?
Whatever you are going for, we can help you get there.
With our in-house design services, you don’t even have to know exactly what you want. We will talk it out with you and help you line up your custom t-shirt look with your vision for your brand.
We have the creative, professional branding skills to get you looking great quickly–from just 12 shirts in an order to infinite.
Check out what we offer at T-Shirt Labs with custom t-shirt printing, embroidery, and screen printing, and get your brand out there–visible, relevant, and growing fast!