The Ultimate Guide to Branding
Building an authentic brand will set you apart from competitors. Your brand goes far beyond a unique name and logo; it is ultimately how you would like consumers to perceive your business. As Jeff Bezos said, “Branding is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” Therefore, it is up to you to develop and upkeep a brand image that positively distinguishes your business from another.
Benefits of Branding
There are various benefits of having a well-developed brand. Strong branding can be the primary determining factor for a customer to choose your product over a competitor’s. Ongoing efforts to maintain a positive brand image will assist your business in many ways including:
- Formation of a brand identity: Creates a personality for your brand. Consumers will be able to associate your product/service with something more than just a name or logo.
- Improve brand awareness: Consumers will become more familiar with your name, logo, product and service.
- Improve brand recognition: Consumers will be able to recognise your brand based on cues such as the logo, a jingle or the experience itself.
- Builds credibility: As well as building awareness, a consistent brand image over time will consolidate the brand’s place in the market, thereby building credibility among consumers and competitors.
- Generates new customers: A good brand image resonates with its target market. Those that relate with the brand will tend to gravitate towards it and trial its offerings.
As an individual, your personality, your appearance and how you communicate, are the aspects forming your unique identity. This can be likened to businesses, for which the integration of similar components forms a brand’s identity. It is the way in which these components are managed, which will either positively or negatively shape your organisation’s image.
Steps to Build a Strong Brand:
- Define your target market:
To build brand recognition and brand awareness, your product or service must resonate with the consumer. Your branding strategy should be targeted toward your business’ target market. To develop your target market, divide a market into segments and focus your marketing efforts on the segment whose needs most closely match your offerings.
- Create a mission statement:
Once you have defined your target segment, develop a mission statement explaining the purpose of your business with this group in mind. This will clarify the goals and vision underpinning the key values of your business, thereby giving structure and direction to your business’ brand.
- Identify your business’ unique value proposition
Your brand must have a set of values or offerings that set it apart from competitors. These differentiating factors must be identified, since they make your brand unique from others. By highlighting these factors, consumers are made aware of the benefits they will receive when purchasing your offerings. Consequently, you will be able to build trust and loyalty within your consumers.
- Develop distinctive visuals
Your brand’s logo will be the face of your business. Ensure your logo is reflective of your brand’s values by mindful use of colours, typography and iconography. This is especially important since consumers will tend to associate the logo with the brand’s overall identity. These visuals must be consistent through all channels of your brand, such as websites, advertising, packaging and social media, since it will construct a more memorable and well-developed brand image.
- Find your brand voice
Remember I said the way in which individuals communicate has an impact on their unique identity? The same goes for brands. How brands communicate their message to their consumers is a major aspect of brand image. The voice of the brand should connect with the target market in mind since they will not pay attention otherwise. Different voices will appeal to different groups. Build this voice through your social media, e-mail updates and website, so consumers feel as though you are directly communicating with them.
- Integrate your brand throughout your business:
Now that the foundation of your brand is built, it is finally time to apply it in your operations. Through all functions of business, you must ensure your brand image is consistently incorporated. This in turn will consolidate and reinforce your brand’s identity in the mind of the consumer. Again, ensure coherency between your website, social media, packaging and advertising to build a well-developed brand that consumers cannot ignore.
Building a brand goes far beyond a fancy name and logo. It also relates to the human characteristics that brands characterise in the mind of the consumer. To build a strong brand, extensive research of your target market must be completed before learning how to communicate to them. For more information, please contact us here.