The other day someone at the market packed up a bottle of ketchup and said to her friend, “This one’s good. Have you tried it?” Wow, I felt great, though it was a bit of eavesdropping, I must confess. That was branding at work.
What’s branding and what is all this chatter about it? Last night over a coffee my friend told me he did some branding on his product. Upon inquiry I got to know he changed his logo. I had to call for one more coffee. I really needed to explain to him that branding is not about changing the logo or about your product and what is does. Logo design is a part of brand identity. One of the most misunderstood marketing concepts about branding is you ask a number of people and you will get various replies. Some say it’s a name, a company or entity, it’s a logo, a consistent look and feel, it’s a culture, its differentiators, and so on. The fact is that a brand is none of the above – and all of them. Branding is misunderstood and that’s why many good products have never climbed the success ladder. Branding is about defining who you are and how people see you. It is an amalgamation of your product, service, people and the culture. It is about your mission and vision and what you want to offer to the people who comprise your target. Branding includes research that defines brand position, brand essence, brand character, differentiators and SWOT statements, value proposition and more. Branding is intensive. Branding is the backbone of your entire empire. The outcome of a well done branding exercise can be very rewarding; preparing a company to compete and grow in their industry. A well-done branding initiative also provides essential resources for the marketing, advertising, and communications team thus stimulating the most wanted treasure in the market- customer loyalty.
Jeff Bezos says: “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.” Your brand is your reputation! And a reputation is not built overnight. It is consistent effort and a definitely outlined process that cultivates into customer loyalty that is long-lasting. The outcome is increase in sales, more projects, word-of-mouth referrals and advocacy of your product and services. Brand Building is an assembly of Brand Strategy, Brand Identity and Brand Marketing. A Brand Strategy is the blueprint of how you want the world to see your brand. It is the foundation of your brand’s success and the most overlooked aspect of a branding exercise. A brand identity is a composite of your logo, colour, font, design, content tone and advertising, print and packaging. Brand marketing is about a strong communication exercise that will define the purpose and value of your brand. Today, Brand Image is highly amplified through User Experience (i.e. your website, SEO & Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Email Marketing, Paid Advertising (PPC). If you are wondering where to start then let us take you through a small guide: BUILD A BRAND THAT PEOPLE WILL LOVE
1. Discover the purpose behind your brand.
To define your brand purpose ask yourself:
- Why do you exist?
- What differentiates you?
- What problem do you solve?
- Why should people care?
The above answers will establish the foundation of your branding, through a tagline, slogans, voice, messaging, stories and visuals. Research shows that a good lot of consumers buy based on brand value and that is reason enough to dig deep to find the truth of your brand. Adopt the golden circle rule to establish your brand purpose.
The 3 Parts to the Golden Circle:
- What – the products or services you offer to your customers
- How – the things that differentiate you from the competition
- Why – the reason you are passionate and why you exist
2. Research competitor brands within your industry.
Never imitate competition, and be aware of their shortcomings and strengths. This exercise will help you differentiate from them and convince your customer to purchase from you over them.
3. Determine your brand’s target audience.
The foundation for building your brand is to determine the target audience through detailed research on behaviours and lifestyle of your consumers. When brand building, it is important to keep in mind who exactly you are talking to. That will define your mission statement and message to meet their needs. Narrowing down your target will help shape a crystal clear message to the intended recipient. Your Brand Buyer Persona Brand creation depends on understanding the personality and habits of the buyer. Here are a few of the things to document when describing your ideal customer:
- Education Level
To get even more definition for your brand’s buyer persona, dive into these details:
- Pain points
- Brand affinities
The above exercise will benefit your brand building and marketing efforts. Also, it will support your overall digital brand building strategies.
4. Found a brand mission statement
What is your company is most obsessive about? You need to define what value your business provides even before you define your target audience. Your mission statement states your purpose of existence. Everything from your logo to your tagline, voice, message, and personality should reflect that mission. When people ask you what you do: answer them with your brand mission statement. You can use the evidence gathered from The Golden Circle exercise to create a strong and impactful brand mission statement.
5. Outline the vital qualities & benefits your brand offers.
Your products, services, and benefits belong solely to you. Creating a brand that is memorable means you dig deep to figure out what you offer, and no one else is offering to make your brand unique. Give your target a reason to choose you over any other. Offer a value that improves your consumer’s life. You might want to offer:
- More authentic and transparent customer service
- A better way to support productivity
- Reducing costs with a more affordable option
- Saving time on daily tasks
6. Form your unique brand voice.
Your brand voice depends on your company’s mission, audience, and industry. It’s how you communicate with your customers, and how they respond to you. Your brand voice could be:
The tone you chose should resonate with your target audience. The correct brand voice will only get you closer to your target audience. This is particularly important when publishing blog articles or social media posts. Maintaining a consistent voice will help your brand image become recognized on multiple channels in the same way.
7. Let your brand personality shine.
Customers are looking for an experience tailored to their needs, backed by genuine personal interaction. Make your brand personality stand out in every aspect of your brand-building process and be consistent. Keep it simply like:
- A conversational voice in communication (using “I”, and “you”)
- Sharing behind-the-scenes content
- Telling stories about real experiences
- Describing your products/services in a quirky manner
8. Build a relevant brand story and messaging.
A crucial aspect of brand building is telling customers crisply who you are. Use the chosen brand voice and be consistent. Your brand story should cover:
- Who you are
- What you offer
- Why people should care
A brand story should be understood immediately while striking an emotional chord. It should be simple, clear and honest.
9. Create a brand logo & tagline.
The most important piece of the brand building process is to create a brand logo and tagline for your company. Your logo will appear everywhere your business goes. It will be the most important defining element and the visual communication of your brand promise. A strong brand style guide will include the following things:
- Logo size and placement
- Colour palette
- Typography and fonts
- Photography/image style
- Web elements
10. Integrate your brand into every aspect of your business.
Your brand should be visible and reflected in everything that your customer can see, read, and hear. Ensure that your brand looks the same everywhere and at all points of interaction with your consumer, be it inside or outside your office through environmental or personal interactions.
11. Stay true to your brand building.
Consistency will get you where you desire to be; unless you decide to change your brand into something that is more effective based on measured consumer response. What is brand building worth, if it is not consistent? Don’t constantly change your branding. The inconsistency will confuse your customers, and make long-term brand building more difficult. In fact, it will make our brand forgettable. And that is not where you are planning to head. Aim to be etched in the heart of your consumer. Branding By 8, is a specialized branding based in Dubai. We can help transform your brand by developing a proper brand strategy and by identifying market tactics that connects meaningfully with your target audience.