Now You See It: The Power of Uniform Branding

Written by Barry Eichner, co-editor in chief of Lipgloss + Aftershave

Today, a business has milliseconds to capture a client’s attention. If a client cannot instantly identify a brand, then it is just a thumb swipe away from being overlooked and even forgotten.

What can be done to ensure that a spa is able to capture the client’s attention? For starters, aversion is one of the largest reasons that clients do not connect with a brand. Clients are human, and a majority of human beings are programmed to fear the unknown – especially when they are using the internet. The news is full of internet scam stories. So, when clients are on the web, their guard is up – their fight or flight mentality is in full effect. If they cannot quickly identify a business and find a sense of comfort in familiarity, they will quickly move on to safety.

So, when it comes to selling online, always focus on clients who know the brand versus those who do not. Clients are more likely to shop online with a brand that they know.

This is crucial because even if consumers know a business, they will not buy if they cannot identify the business from the materials being presented.

If branding is not 100 percent consistent, even a modicum of ambiguity will be created in clients’ minds and they will just swipe away.

Branding is the essence of a business. Branding is what allows clients to quickly, and easily, identify a business when they look at any aspect of the business.

BRAND IDENTIFICATION
Here is a quick, five question quiz to help illustrate the importance of branding.

  1. What color is a Coke can?
  2. What color is the Starbucks logo?
  3. What shape is the Nike logo?
  4. What animal is associated with Walt Disney?
  5. What is the shape of the Mercedes Benz logo?

The answers, of course, are: No. 1, red, No. 2, green, No. 3, swish, No. 4, mouse, and No. 5, three-point star. These are prime examples of how aspects of a brand become the identity of a company. Aspects of a brand give the consumer the ability to easily identify the brand in the marketplace. Consumers are more likely to buy from a brand that they can quickly identify. Brands that are more easily identified do not lose precious time in the consumers’ decision-making process.

WHAT IS BRANDING?
On a personal level, if people had to identify their personal brands, they might identify them by the characteristics of themselves that others easily see: hair color, eye color, height, weight, and even nails.
They could even go further and add in the type of tone they use when they speak, how they dress, and how they walk. These combined with physical characteristics create a person’s persona. That persona is what attracts, or repels, people.
This is exactly what it is like for the brand of a business. There are specific characteristics that need to be established. These characteristics should be kept consistent at all times for the business on anything public.

THE FIVE ESSENTIALS
Here are five essential items that a brand must have in order to establish an identity for a business. These will help clients quickly identify a business wherever they see it so that any marketing message it is offering can be quickly processed.

Style Guide
This is the master document for all aspects relating to the business branding guidelines; it is usually provided by a branding specialist.

Logo
This is the unique identifier for a business. Sometimes, it is a graphic design element alone or it is a design element that is combined with the business’s name.

Colors
Have a selection of branded colors. The style guide should outline these colors. It should also list out how the colors are to be combined and when they are to be used. The style guide should list the hex value or PMS color code. This is to ensure there is no ambiguity in which shade of a particular color is used.

Font
This is the style of type that the brand will use. The style guide will list the brand’s font. If a brand uses multiple fonts, the style guide will also list when the different fonts should be used.

Tone or Voice
This may or may not be part of the style guide. This is an ambiguous part of branding that the owner must work to establish. The tone, or voice, of a business is the type of language that is used in all messaging. Is the brand going to be funny, serious, intellectual, sarcastic, edgy, or a combination of several styles?

CONSISTENCY
After the brand is established, it is essential to work on a regular basis to ensure that consistency is maintained. Follow the style guide whenever any type of creative materials for marketing function are used.

WEBSITE
When creating a website, the style guide can be provided to the web developer, so they have an understanding of how to best present the brand on the website.

SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media channels should all be branded with uniformity. If a potential client clicks from the website to any social media channels, they should see consistent branding, regardless of the platform.

Facebook
Be sure that the branded logo and colors are present on a public area of the Facebook page. Many brands use their logo and branded color in their profile image.

Instagram
A profile image on Instagram is an ideal place to showcase a logo. Many brands curate their Instagram feed. Keep all photos in a similar tonality so that users can easily identify the brand.

E-MAIL MARKETING
Whenever sending out an e-mail marketing campaign, include a branded header image so that clients can quickly identify the business. Keep the template consistent so that clients can easily identify the business and can seamlessly review the campaign without having to work to identify the business.

PAID ADS                               
Regardless if doing print ads, digital ads, or sponsored content, any time the business is represented, ensure that the style guide is being used to ensure that things stay on brand. Ensure that logos, colors, fonts, and tone are the same as what is on the website and on social media. If using an image, it is ideal if the style of image can be similar to the images on the company’s Instagram feed.
In the current marketplace, many savvy consumers are reviewing a business’ website and social media before making a buying decision. Instill confidence in a potential client by keeping presentation consistent. The company should look and sound the same in the advertisement that caught their attention and on all other public facing platforms that a potential client can review.

IN-SPA BRANDING
Interior branding also reinforces the brand in the mind of the consumer. It is also elegant and a sophisticated touch that enhances the brand. Many spas overlook this crucial element.
Many spa owners neglect to place their brand inside their business. It is so important to have interior branding, especially in the age of social media. New clients who come to the spa may want to check in or tag the business on social media, but may have forgotten the correct spelling of the business. It helps to offer a reminder.
Being able to survive and thrive in the competitive day spa market can be challenging. Business owners need all the help they can get. Having a strong brand identity and maintaining consistent branding and brand messaging will pave a path to financial success. Strong branding allows clients to easily identify your business and it creates stronger brand loyalty. When clients know, and can identify, a brand quickly, they are more likely to engage in business.

Barry Eichner is the co-editor in chief of Lipgloss + Aftershave, a personal care and lifestyle review website offering fun and informative reviews. Eichner began his spa career in 2000, working as vice president for a chain of medical spas. He has been an industry consultant since 2011, specializing in digital media strategy and content creation. He writes for national spa trade publication and is a published editorial photographer and a speaker at various spa industry trade shows. Eichner is a graduate of Bloomsburg University. He loves art and photography, is an avid fitness enthusiast, loves to cook, and is a self-proclaimed coffee addict!

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