A few months back, my weighing scale started pushing towards the wrong side. The extra pounds I was rapidly gaining were due to my cravings for fried food. When matters went way out of control, I decided to invest in an air fryer.
Don’t judge me for not giving up on fried food, as that is something I cannot brace myself to do ever! (who doesn’t love those crispy french fries?)
Without doing any extensive research, I knew I must buy the air fryer by the most trusted electronics brand. I was rooting for something that gives the result as close to deep-fried while using the least amount of fat. I knew what brand I could trust blindly.
The question is: Why did I choose that particular brand? Why did I know that I only had to buy an appliance from that brand? Well, the question has a very straightforward answer.
I trusted the brand’s values, and I had a good experience with their previous appliances. Moreover, it had maintained a consistent brand image for decades. Their products never disappoint me; therefore, I know what to expect from them.
See the catch here? Rather than watching an ad by the brand, or getting convinced to buy from them, I chose them just because their branding made me trust them confidently.
According to the Lucidpress, brands that are consistent with their branding go on to earn 23% more revenue per year than the ones who do it inconsistently.
So, what basically is a ‘brand?’
Building a brand is the first and most vital aspect of marketing a business. A brand can be defined as the image of your company according to the customer’s viewpoint.
The process of branding begins with development, after which the brand is launched, and then staying consistent by adopting proven strategies. Marketing minus branding strategy is as futile as telling a story without a moral lesson.
To achieve desired outcomes, you need to understand how branding creates cohesion in marketing plans.
If you have just launched a startup, and are clueless about developing a branding strategy, you are in for some expert advice. Read on to know the basics of how to brand your business:
1. Compare your business with your competitors.
A competitive analysis should be the top task on your list of the branding process
Dedicate a considerable amount of time analyzing your competitors. Those with the same business model are your most significant source of learning when it comes to brand development.
If you keep tabs on the competitor’s game, not only will you know what you are lacking, but also what they are lacking. These two factors will help you to design a strong brand that strikes the right balance for your target clients.
You must have something unique which will attract the customers to your product or service instead of others, right? This difference is called the Unique Selling Point (USP) of your business.
Once you have a definitive USP, you can add the required uniqueness to your brand and abstain from anything that would cause any loss.
2. Identify your brand’s purpose and vision
To explain your brand to others, you must know about the purpose of your brand yourself. Now you must be thinking: am I being told to study my own brand? Yes, you are!
Lack of a clear-headed approach towards your brand will dramatically affect it. Why your brand came into existence? What pain point of the customer will it soothe? Ask these questions to yourself.
The answers that you come up with are the purpose and vision of your brand, respectively.
Based on this vision, build your brand’s personality and voice. A company selling toys has a whole different brand voice than a company that offers cleaning services.
You ever noticed how Jaguar’s brand voice is such a refined one? They always manage to attract the elegant class of customers that love their luxury cars through this refined brand voice.
3. Brand name basics
There is no rule, but one, ever made on how you should name your brand. That one rule is: it should not copy someone else’s name.
You can think of a name that directly tells what your company does, or smartly choose a name that encloses multiple aspects in a single word or phrase. You can break down the name of the product and join parts of them to come up with unique names.
According to Crowdspring, out of 100 best brands, 72 were named with made-up words or even acronyms.
4. Design a brand illustrating the logo
Whenever you hear McDonald’s, you visualize the ‘yellow M’ first, before any of its burgers. This is the power of a memorable logo.
Research says that the visual processing of human beings is much quicker than text processing. This psychological fact is used by the brands to ingrain themselves in the customer’s mind via visual identity.
Your company’s logo is going to represent you globally, so it should be well-designed and thoughtful. Remember, a professional logo design will instill a more substantial visual identity on the minds of customers. It will enable them to retain your brand into their memories for a long time.
The logo acts as a distinguishing icon, so the best bet would be to keep it simple, clear, not using more than two or three colors at most. Zuza reports that out of the top 100 brands, 95% use either a single color in their logo or two.
5. Come up with an attractive slogan that expresses your brand message.
According to BOP Design, 45% of the brand’s image is made by what it says and how it says it.
Ideally, your target clientele should get the vibes of value and benefit through your brand. As reported by Beneke et al. in their research in 2013, the perception of value, when established, plays a critical role in the buying process.
Take the opportunity to tell the customers who you are in a single tagline. Your creative juices will be required here, as coming up with a meaningful yet catchy tagline is not very easy. But, if you nail this, it will hugely impact your marketing and take it to another level.
Sharing your values with the customers via a highly communicative tagline is a sure-shot way to gain their trust. A slogan or tagline should trigger the consumer to believe why one should buy from you. Without sounding assertive, clingy, or complicated, it should solve consumers’ problems.
According to research by Pizam & Tasci, 2019, consumers wish to use the brand and its elements, including the tagline, to create meaningful experiences that suffice their life and culture.
6. Bring your team on the same page.
Now, this advice is something that will be the first step into creating an influential brand through sustained marketing. You must coordinate with all your team members and try to instill the same brand reflection. Every team member of yours should personify your brand.
7. Be consistent
You planned and launched your company as a brand. It might already be giving you the leads and sales. But to claim the top spot among your competitors, you must be consistent.
Consistency is the key to the prosperity of the brand. If you stay regular in posting valuable content for your audience, they will form a lasting bond with you.
After you have laid out your brand’s personality, it’s time to focus on the following tasks:
- Craft content to market your brand
Use the power of content marketing to maintain brand reputation. BOP Design states that almost 80% of consumers term the authenticity of content as the most influential factor in their decision to follow a brand.
- Use SEO best practices
SEO lets you remain on top of search engine rankings. It allows you to attract more traffic on your website. Hence get proper know-how of SEO to gain advantage from it.
- Help your content reach far and wide through social media
Social media plays a vital role in building a brand. Especially if you know what platform your ideal customers are using, you will be able to outshine your opponents very quickly.
- Narrate your brand story across all your platforms
Now, this is an opportunity you should never overlook. Telling how your brand started and the story behind its success is something many people would love to hear. If you can tell this story effectively, they will go on to become your loyal customers eventually.
Summing it up
If you notice that customers have begun preferring you over other competitors, then it is clear that your branding has been perfect. With a steady approach towards brand building, you will be able to go beyond the targets that you once thought were impossible to reach.
Andrea Bell is a blogger by choice. She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences and express herself through her blogs. You can find her on Twitter:@IM_AndreaBell