Personal or business branding awareness is an essential piece to communicating effectively to others – that includes your customer, client and employees. If your message is off or misunderstood, it can take a lot of time, money and repositioning to reconnect with your target audience.

At our RPCN speaker’s forum, Amanda Atlman of A3 Design shares her three elements of branding:

Brand Awareness. You have to know your market, what they are looking for so that you can be found. Your customers or clients want to know how their lives improve by working with you.

If you are selling services, it can be more difficult message to convey. You cannot point to a widget and show them how it works.

Repetition is important through different medias, especially where you customer or client likes to play. Do the research on where they congregate and be an active participant in those arenas.

Make a plan on how you are going to communicate after doing your strategic market research and follow it.

Visual Communication. Once you know the market, what they are looking for, you can create your identity message. Logos, taglines, iconic symbols, fonts and color schemes are just a few of the elements of your identity. Your identity message complexity depends on how many products and services are in your portfolio.

Bad logo design

It is tempting to short circuit this step simply because there are a number of places to get a logo inexpensively. Here are some questions to ask before making too quick a decision.

  • Do other cultures find my logo design offensive?
  • Does my logo mean something in other languages?
  • Does my artwork represent multiple images? (click here if you do not see a second image)

Company Culture. You may think you know the answers. My hunch is that A3 Design’s approach could shatter about what your perception is vs. what the marketplace or your employees think of you or your company. That could be a big pill to swallow and sometimes that is what you need.

Once you know the facts, you can create a plan to overcome your obstacles – image, target audience, or change in direction.

It is important to note that doing this kind of work ourselves or with internal resources is often flawed. It is easy to excuse why you do something or overlook something because of our own filters. What you overlook or discount may be something important and the key to your turnaround or business growth.

An independent set of eyes is what you need, someone who will not sugar coat your feedback and otherwise, you may only make incremental progress or continue to swirl in your decline.

To get you started, Amanda left us with some homework. Answer these questions on a piece of paper. Put it aside. Come back to it when you are feeling different emotions – angry, sad, tired or happy. The answers might surprise you.

  1. What is your promise to client, family, friend, or co-worker?
  2. What do you promise to yourself?
  3. If you could sum up your company personality in three words, what would they be?
  4. Where do you see yourself in five years?
  5. Identify three goals for your new communication.

These three elements may seem simple. They are not. Executing them well is difficult. If in doubt, call Amanda.