When we think of branding, we instantly think of branding for products, right?
Let me tell you a story about the importance of good brand design when launching a new service.
Back in the summer of 2011, my JV partner and I were designing a new mastermind group program. We each ran our own, separate businesses that had their own branding. Now we were working jointly to create a new mastermind group. The new group needed to have its own brand, its own personality, separate from either of our existing business names/brands.
Together we went through a series of steps to identify the brand name, graphics, and personality. I’d like to share those steps with you so that you have a checklist for branding your services. Whether you offer a group coaching program, a training class, a mastermind group, or a special package of services you’ve bundled together, this branding exercise will work for you:
First: Ask the big questions
When looking for a brand name and personality for your service, start with the most important questions:
- Who is this service for?
- What do they need?
- What problems are they trying to solve?
- What results do they want?
This will help you get a clear understanding of your target audience, and from that knowledge, you may find that the name of your service offering comes to the surface easily.
We said we wanted this mastermind group to be for small business owners who have been in business for three or more years and were ready to take their businesses to the next level. We imagined that they’d be enthusiastic about moving forward and making plans.
Second: Decide on the personality of the service
Is it serious? Is it playful? Is it creative? Is it comprehensive?
Come up with five adjectives that describe how you want people to perceive the brand of your service. Pull out your thesaurus to find words that fit the brand and image you’re trying to create. These adjectives become the foundational building blocks for your brand.
We wanted the feeling to be energetic, powerful and inspiring. The name “Leap Year” came easily once we defined our target audience and their needs. (It didn’t hurt that the Leap Year program would begin in 2012 — which was a leap year!)
When my partner created the logo, she melded those adjectives together and came up with the perfect logo:
Third: Be consistent in everything you do around your brand.
Branding isn’t just about logos. It’s about the colors and graphic elements you use, the words you choose, and even the music you select.
Naturally, use your brand in all your marketing and communication materials from brochures to websites to webinars. Also include it with anything associated with the delivery of your service offering once a client has purchased, including handouts, book cover designs, slide decks, etc.
When designing our landing page for our mastermind group, we wanted to include a short video invitation. To begin the video, we used animation, with the logo and colors, then added music to reinforce the brand personality. Here is a 14-second clip of our video introduction which includes this branded animation:
By putting all the branding elements together, you present a cohesive image to your clients, from the time you begin marketing to them to the time you’re delivering the service. Start small: put a brand name to your service packages, groups, and classes. From there, you can grow your brand with logos, colors, text…and maybe a little music, too!