The Importance of a Brand
With the recent launch of our brand refresh, it got me thinking about the importance of branding when it comes to martial arts business owners. So this week I am going to give some tips on branding and why it’s important for both you and your business.
You have probably heard of the term ‘brand’ or ‘branding’ thrown around here and there; more than likely from us here in marketing, but what does actually mean? Well, a ‘brand’ is basically a company or product’s identity and how people perceive it.
If I were to mention companies such as ‘Nike’ or ‘Pepsi’ for example, more than likely you would be able to say what their logo looked like and who is likely to buy their products. This is pretty much the basis of what branding aims to achieve; something we are familiar with and understand.
When it comes to your martial arts business, you should take into consideration how you would like people to feel about your business. The way you present things, the language you use and even the colours you choose can all invoke a certain feeling toward your brand.
Take that extra bit of time with anything you produce, be it marketing material, a Facebook post or even an email, and think not only about what you are saying, but how it is being said as well.
Messaging is one of the aspects about branding that you really need to pay that extra bit of attention to. This is after all how you communicate information about your business to people, whether is it text based or verbally.
What you say and how you say it help to inform people’s first impressions when they are introduced to your business, it also provides reassurance for those already familiar with it. Ensuring your imagery is supportive of any messaging you have can also be a contributing factor to people’s perception of your brand.
So again, take that little bit of extra time to have another read and think about what’s being said. If you have an image of two men fighting with a message promoting a family friendly environment; it’s probably not going to appeal to younger students or their parents. It may also give the impression that it is promoting something more violent than intended. I understand martial arts are primarily a contact sport, so people are already going to assume an element of fighting as it is, so you may want to consider something that will help them see that there is more to it than this.
Imagery is something that is quite similar to the messaging aspect of your branding and I would consider it to be just as, if not, more important. These images can shape a person’s initial impression of your martial arts business and is often something they see before even reading your messaging.
Again, the trick here is to take your time and have a think about what the image looks like it is saying to people. For example, a picture of young children in martial arts uniforms would promote a message of childrens classes, child friendly and fun activities to parents.
Consistency is a crucial part of any brand, from what types of images are suitable through to the tone of language to be used. And as silly as it may seem to stress about the small details, these are what help shape your businesses identity.
Having ‘brand guidelines’ in place is a way of ensuring that your ideas of how your business should be presented, can be followed by other people; they can also serve as a nice reminder for yourself too.
Brand guidelines help outline the types of images to be used, the tone used in any messaging, the colours that are allowed to be used and anything else that is specific to maintaining the standard you have set for your brand.
At the end of the day, if you don’t already use brand guidelines for your business, it is something you should certainly be thinking about implementing. These are not something you have to go all out with, but rather to help outline the standards you expect from yourself and others when it comes to your business.
If you would like any more information about the topics covered this week or help with some suggestions for your own branding, get in touch with the marketing team at NEST and will we be happy to help.