When we first started, this conversation was all too common:
DB: Where are you in your branding process?
Entrepreneur: Oh, I’m all set. I have a logo.
DB: But branding is much more than just a logo.
Entrepreneur: … (deafening silence)
Aha – and here we see a major disconnect unfold with our potential client. Bummer… Clearly we’ve been “in it” for too long. You see, we didn’t realize that this new definition had not yet made it out of our brand centric circles.
The truth is that the definition of “branding” has changed pretty significantly over the past few years. Our mission is deeply rooted in education around branding so this is naturally the best place for us to start.
Before now, branding was basically synonymous to “having a logo.” Which makes sense since the etymology of the word comes from Germanic origins meaning “to burn.”
A “brand” was literally a logo burned into something so that people knew who owned it—like marking cattle with a hot iron.
Why a logo isn’t enough
In today’s world, just having a logo isn’t enough to stand out in the age of distraction. There is so much to look at and our attention spans are shorter than ever.
Everyone has an image associated with their business—it’s the first thing you learn to do when you start a company—and people are becoming programmed to ignore them.
That’s not to say they aren’t necessary, they most certainly are. It just isn’t where the buck stops anymore. Branding may start with a logo but that’s a symbol for people to recognize you when they already know who you are. A logo alone won’t sell your products.
The evolution of the term was inevitable but it has always been connected to the visual aspects of a company—the logo, the color, the font, the imagery, the layout etc.
It wasn’t until ecommerce, Gary Vee, and the rise of the personal brand that the term “branding” truly took on a new meaning.
The “Branding” in Dandelion Branding
We define branding as, “the cohesion between vision, voice, and values within a company.”
The key word here is, “cohesion.” You’re going to hear this a lot from us—brands need to be cohesive in order to be solid. People want to buy from, and keep buying from, solid brands.
There simply aren’t a lot of businesses focused on this, so we developed a completely new method to help budding brands with their marketing. It’s called the Taproot Strategy.
What is a Taproot Strategy?
A Taproot Strategy is the single strategy that your company needs to be successful.
That’s it. It’s one, very simple, idea that allows you to create some of the most comprehensive marketing initiatives—without being overwhelmed.
This is because everything you’re building is rooted in your company’s values and guidelines.
With this strategy not only are decisions easier to make, your content stays cohesive, consistent, and valuable to your ideal customer.
By the way, these are the pillars to building a successful brand. With this strategy, you’ll also start to see a boost in customer engagement, growth in customer loyalty, improved customer lifetime value, and a decrease in your average acquisition costs.
What if I’m Just Starting?
Branding isn’t just for established businesses.
This is a super common misconception that we’re on a mission to deconstruct.
Defining the values of your new business right away lets you start strong and get stronger as your brand identity blossoms. You’ll find it easier to know what content is necessary to create plus what content is most valuable for your ideal customer.
Instead of wasting time and money on ads sending traffic to a website that is confusing, your brand will be poised to build trust within your community from the get-go.
There is one caveat with this strategy. Do not, under any circumstances, let your perfectionism hold you back from launching the brand you’re building.
It’s better to go with good enough in the beginning and refine your voice and visuals than never to launch at all. Marketing best practices change all the time, so if you’re waiting to be perfect, you’ll miss the boat and have to start over again.
Brands evolve over time. You need to be ready for things like changes in the market, changes in algorithms, and the fall of popular platforms. The way to do that is to build your community around the centralized values that do not change. Your customers will thank you.
Do you have a brand or are you interested in building one? Let us know in the comments!