Have you ever considered why so many consumers are Apple fanatics? They refuse to use anything other than the company’s phones, computers and tablets. There are lines winding around blocks when a new release drops — even though other products might work better and cost less.
This phenomenon happens because Apple has worked to create an experience. In other words, you’re getting involved in something bigger than technology when you buy from it. There’s a sense of community and pride associated with your purchase.
You’re buying into a brand rather than a product. That difference makes more people go with Apple devices over other options every time — and it’s one that can and does work in any industry. A brand helps you become the standout choice among your competitors.
Here’s a guide to help you navigate everything you need to know about branding for solar companies.
What Is Branding?
A brand is something that makes one company stand apart from others. It’s using a set of features like a name, tagline and logo to build a unique identity. Customer experience is a part of those features, too.
The process of branding involves researching and developing such points. That information is a result of your business’s and audience’s core wants and needs. You use your findings to create a set of features to begin associating your brand with products or services.
An Example of Branding
Let’s use Nike as an example. You likely know the iconic “swoosh” imagery that adorns every product. The company is known for everything from clothes to shoes that are great for exercising and lounging — and they’re all backed by athletes, of course. You probably know Nike’s slogan, “just do it,” by heart, too.
Nike has crafted an image for itself you and others can quickly identify. It has changed its branding to become more modern — but it’s crucial to note that Nike has never strayed completely from its original vision. That’s because branding revolves around your company’s values in addition to how you want to be perceived.
How Branding Works for Any Business
How does branding for solar companies work? You have a lot of options as a solar power installer. A series of advertisements about how solar energy can save 25,000 lives could quickly become identifiable with your company. That, paired with sustainability-inspired taglines and logos, is branding in a nutshell.
Why Branding Has Power
There are many ways in which branding can add value to your company. It might help to explore how it can help you before you create your identity. This way, you can accomplish your goals as a business.
1. Generates New Customers
There’s no denying that people love buying from certain brands. In fact, you might know a few people who only purchase name-brand products. This phenomenon occurs for a few reasons:
- They associate quality with the name.
- They’ve built a relationship with the business over many years.
- They feel a sense of status or belonging after making a purchase.
- They’re choosing a side in a “branding war,” like Coca-Cola vs. PepsiCo.
- They want to be perceived in a specific light.
Branding is a part of people’s lives in both subtle and obvious ways. If you can craft an effective brand for your business, you can get lifelong customers. It’s one of the best ways to draw attention to what you’re doing.
2. Increases Company Recognition
An identifiable logo or slogan works wonders for recognition. You could probably identify a list of brands by seeing their logos and hearing their slogans. If you want to become a well-known figure among solar companies, you can use branding to achieve that goal.
3. Creates Marketplace Trust
There’s nothing more important for consumers than getting trustworthy products and services. They’re only going to put their money toward companies they know will do what they promise to do. Branding lets audiences know that you’re a reputable business that deserves their support.
How do you shop? You’re probably not going to purchase solar panels from a company with no online reviews and a poorly designed website. Instead, you’ll put your money toward a brand that has a professional and cohesive appearance.
Important Branding Terms
You might come across a lot of buzzwords when crafting your brand. It’s essential to be able to define those terms so you can use them to your advantage. Here’s a list of definitions to help you.
- Brand identity: This concept is comprised of your company’s personality and values. It’s how your customers view your business and its products or services.
- Brand awareness: How many people know your brand? A popular or trending company is one that has brand awareness.
- Brand management: Creating a cohesive brand takes work. You need to choose logos, slogans, colors, images and more to build your brand. This process requires consistent upkeep.
- Brand trust: This refers to how much your audience trusts you. Do you offer great customer service? Are projects completed with timeliness and professionalism? Is your review page positive?
- Brand extension: A successful brand will leverage its influence to make more money. Extending your brand means you’re looking to create new products and services outside of your general wheelhouse.
Keep these terms in mind as you navigate branding for your business.
How to Create a Brand
There’s a lot to consider when building branding for solar companies. You’re going to create an image that reflects your business’s ideologies, and that’s no easy feat. Be ready for a little trial and error as you navigate making a brand.
These are the steps you should consider while pursuing this process. You might have to make exceptions in certain areas — but in general, you can expect to follow these tips.
1. Conduct Target Audience Research
Finding your target audience is crucial for many reasons. It’s the best way to ensure you’re consistently advertising solar panels to people who intend to buy them. You might want to drive traffic to your website as your primary goal, but it’s far more lucrative (1) to use a targeted approach.
Conduct as much research into your demographics as possible. You probably want to find sustainably minded people who own homes in your service area, as they’ll be the most inclined to get solar panels installed. This information will help you create a brand that resonates.
2. Think About a Mission Statement
What’s the purpose of your company? It might be that you want to help others fight climate change by providing alternatives to fossil fuels. Figuring out the answer to this question will allow you to create an effective mission statement (2) for your brand.
In a nutshell, you want to emphasize why people should care about your company. Everything from your logos to your slogan will follow. Feel free to spend a lot of time crafting your statement, because it’s important.
3. Identify Benefits and Values
Like your mission statement, you’ll need to dig deeper into your business’s benefits and values. What do you and your colleagues stand for as a whole? You want to think of things that help you uniquely stand out from your competitors.
Take a few moments to brainstorm how your company’s products and services make a difference in people’s lives. There are various benefits of solar panels (3) that positively impact the environment, so you shouldn’t hesitate to jot those down. However, you can also think about what your company does specifically.
4. Craft a Visual Story
Your brand’s visual story is how your company looks to your audience. These are your colors, images, typography and everything else that visually communicates your message. By this point, you should have an understanding of what you want to say.
It might be worthwhile to hire a professional graphic designer to help you through this process. You also need a style guide. These rules will ensure every employee keeps things consistent (4) as they use the agreed-upon visuals.
5. Determine Your Voice
Determining tone is another fundamental part of the branding process. Thinking of your brand as a person can help. If you were talking to your company, how would you want it to sound? This exercise will allow you to find which voice is best for your business.
It’s vital to have a consistent tone. You don’t want everything you post to have different voices. Don’t be afraid to experiment with various approaches, either. A lighthearted social media presence is going to draw in more people. Adopting the right tactic for your company will ensure consumers take you seriously.
Implementing and Distributing Your Brand
You’ve successfully created your ideal brand. Now it’s time to integrate every part of your branding into your business. After all, you won’t be able to get the word out if you don’t implement your hard work.
These are aspects of your company in which you should invest your branding.
1. Social Media
Every social media profile should reflect your brand. Pick icons and headers that correspond with your style guide. Using images that include your logo is a great idea. If you’re posting pictures of things like installations, you can try branding those images with text.
You should also provide links to your accounts on your website so people can find you.
2. Packaging and Transportation
Figure 2 Starbucks puts their labels on all their cups so that everyone knows what their products are.
Your primary purpose as a company is to help consumers find and use green power alternatives. That happens by selling and installing solar panels. Therefore, you need to put your logo and information on those products. Arriving at a client’s home in a truck outfitted with your branding is an example.
This part is the main event. Your website needs to be branded from top to bottom. Feature your colors, iconography and more wherever you can. Customers should be able to immediately recognize your website. That’s the only way to create brand recognition.
4. Marketing Campaigns
Anything done in terms of advertising should feature a part of your branding. This effort ensures you’re cohesive across the board. Be sure to always take those points into consideration when you explore a new marketing campaign.
There’s a chance you’ll find advertising easier now that you have a style guide to follow.
5. Employees and Customer Service
The public-facing members of your company should keep your brand in mind. What’s the point of your brand if your employees don’t communicate it? Make sure workers include branding in their emails. This point is crucial for customer service or sales personnel who sell solar panels to customers.
Be sure that your entire team has a good idea of what your branding includes.
Other Points to Remember
Don’t be afraid to adjust and change your brand over time. The point of branding is to create something bigger than a product or service that your customers can enjoy. As long as your values stay the same, you can always play around with visual aspects over the years.
If you’re struggling to find inspiration for your brand, you might want to take notes from the world’s most valuable brands (5). Looking into how these businesses run their branding might help. You can also circle back to step one in creating a brand and focus on your target audience to see what resonates with them.
The best thing to keep in mind is originality. You don’t want to imitate anyone else. If it takes you longer to craft something unique, that’s OK. It’s always more important to build a brand strategy that’s all your own.
Branding for Solar Companies Is a Crucial Part of Doing Business
Creating branding for your solar company will profoundly impact your business. You’re not the only solar panel installer in the world. As a result, you need to set yourself apart from the rest. Branding helps you do just that while attracting customers, increasing recognition and building trust.
Building and incorporating a branding strategy into your business practices will help your customers be a part of something greater. They’ll be buying into a set of ideals and an overall community — not just a few solar panels.