Building a company is easy. But building a brand? A little tricky.
Building a brand does not include just the top-down approach, trademarks and centralization. Branding and brand strategies have evolved.
So what is included in building a brand?
Brand-building now focuses more on creating movements, ideas and forming communities that people will want to join.
Knowing how to personalize a brand and make it relatable to the target audience is a great way for climbing the Wall of Success.
Let’s take the example of Airbnb. Their rebranding turned them into a topic for global discussion on Twitter. The phrase Belong Anywhere seems like a call to people all around the world, asking to join them in their novel globalization efforts. The way they changed the game affected other people and their companies. Many CEOs rushed towards corporate brand development services and tried to reclaim the throne.
Thus, it is obvious that in order to create a brand, you need to be able to generate an approach that will allow others to join you. The more number of people support and join your brand, the more successful you’ll be.
Ultimately, we all know that customer is the King.
We’ll tell you exactly how you can build a brand strategy that flies in the face of failure.
THE IMPORTANCE OF BRAND BUILDING
Brand building is looked upon as a confusing task. Most business owners don’t even give a second thought to it and so many of them don’t know what a “brand” exactly stands for.
You might be wondering, “So, what is branding?”.
In simple words, a brand is a relationship between a company and its audience. It is defined by the perception the audience has about the company and the experience they have.
WHAT IS A BRAND STRATEGY?
There is a common misconception that having a brand strategy in place means having a cool logo, name, and tagline for your company. But in a real sense, branding is much more than just that.
Your brand strategy is all about what your company stands for, the promises you make, and the personality you convey. A proper brand strategy is a plan that includes specific long-term goals that help evolve your company into a successful brand.
Although a brand strategy includes a logo, name, tagline, and a color pallet, these are just the creative elements that help convey your brand to the audience.
A brand strategy consists of various elements like the following:
- The images you showcase
- The way your employees interact with your customers
- The messages you deliver on your website and other platforms
- Your customer’s opinion of you compared to your competitor
Your next question could be…
HOW TO DEVELOP A BRAND STRATEGY?
The truth is that building a brand strategy is not an easy process. It doesn’t happen overnight. Brand building is an ongoing process that involves continuous inputs and assessments.
But what we can tell you is that a proper brand strategy can help you increase your sales and referrals.
Are you wondering where to start?
The leading marketing and branding companies in India suggest to start by figuring out which category your business falls under.
|Your customers and prospects know what your company delivers and what it stands for.||Your prospects do not have a consistent view of your product/company.||You do not have a defined brand strategy.|
|It is easier for you to sell your products/services as your prospects support what you say.||You think that you can do a better job at sales if you have a brand strategy in place.||Your prospects have no idea about your product or why it’s better than your competitor’s.|
|You dictate the prices and the consumers are willing to pay it as they know why you are better than the others.||You are neither hurting your business nor helping it.||Basically, your competitors are doing much better than you. It is easier for them to acquire your prospects.|
STEPS FOR SUCCESS
1. IDENTIFY YOUR POSITIONING
We all love coming first, don’t we?
Turns out, it is actually a primal need. It has helped evolution and it’s a mixture of survival instincts, motivation and tangible benefits.
Hence, it’s obvious that you want your brand to own the foremost position in the consumers’ mind.
But first you will need to understand where your brand stands in the market. In order to identify your brand’s position, think about what makes your company unique. It is all about where your products, service, and culture are positioned in the market, i.e., the consumers’ mind.
For example, Apple uses its high-end innovative company culture and products to create a unique brand experience that evokes the feeling of style and status amongst its customers.
2. DEFINE YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
Building a brand strategy without a target audience is like going on a wild goose chase.
You need to have a defined target audience so you can create a focused brand strategy.
By keeping in mind your target audience, you can create a brand identity that your audience can understand and relate to. You should also tailor your mission and message to meet their specific needs.
Doing this will help you attract the prospective customers who are interested in your business and searching for the services you are providing. These people will also be the ones who will click on your ad and subscribe to your emails.
3. FORM A MISSION STATEMENT
A mission statement defines an organization’s core purpose of existence.
Let’s take the example of the leading automotive and energy company, Tesla, Inc. Its mission statement was “to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable transport.” However, sometime in mid-2016, they changed it to “to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.”
Being an automotive company, they could’ve written their mission statement to focus more on cars, energy and the driving experience. However, by focusing on the world’s transition, they make it sound like they’re on a mission to help save the world by switching to renewable and sustainable energy. This mission statement captures their brand identity, their purpose and tells us where they see themselves in the future.
Hence, a mission statement should encompass everything from your logo, to tagline, voice, message, and personality of a brand.
So, we suggest that you start small and always focus on your target audience while defining the brand mission.
4. RESEARCH YOUR BIGGEST COMPETITORS
Don’t skip this step as it’s a crucial one.
We are not asking you to copy what the big brands are doing. But it is good to be aware of what they do. Study the competition and improve your brand strategy. After all, you are in the same business and going after the same customers, so there could be some things you could take inspiration for.
Another benefit to studying your competitors is that it’ll help you understand which tactics work and which failed big time. Of course, something that didn’t work for them might work for you but it could be something that you can learn and modify in your approach.
The end goal is to differentiate from the competitor, and to convince a customer why they should choose you over your competition.
5. OUTLINE THE SIGNIFICANT QUALITIES AND BENEFITS OF YOUR BRAND
Not all brands are created equal.
Even if the service or product you’re offering is same as other brands, there must be something unique about your brand. Great brands become great through careful, unique positioning of their brand in the market.
Think hard about what you offer, that no one else is offering. Then figure out how what you are offering will add value to the lives of your customers. Focus on the qualities and benefits of your brand that make your company unique.
6. DESIGN A LOGO AND TAGLINE
This is a no-brainer!
Creating a logo and tagline should perhaps be the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about building a brand. Because the logo of your brand appears in everything that relates to your business, it is essential.
So, be willing to invest time and money to create something that will help you reinforce the visual identity of your business. Hire a Corporate Identity design agency, if the need be.
7. BUILD A BRAND MESSAGE
Firstly, make your brand message simple and clear. It should not be about what your product can do, but why and how it is important to the consumers.
It is an opportunity to have a direct emotional connection with the audience, so make the most of it. The brand message is an integral part of creating a brand strategy since it will help you explain how your brand cares about providing value beyond the point of sale.
Your brand message should encompass three things:
- Who you are
- What you offer, and
- Why people should care
8. APPLY YOUR BRAND STRATEGY IN EVERY ASPECT OF YOUR BUSINESS
Be it social media platforms, your website, your office, or your products. They should all reflect the same brand identity.
Your brand should be reflected in everything that your customers see, hear, and read. Starting right from business cards to advertisements, to packaging and products; everything should have the logo of your business. Also, for digital platforms, make sure there is a consistency with colors, fonts, photography, etc.
Posting something on Facebook just because you found it funny can confuse your audience big time.
9. BE CONSISTENT
Once you have your branding strategy in place, don’t keep changing it, as inconsistency only leads to more confusion amongst your customers.
Until you decide to change your brand into something that is more effective, stick to your existing strategy. And even when you decide to change your brand’s voice, ensure that it is being done only after careful evaluation of your consumers’ response.
So, make sure you document your branding guidelines and distribute it internally.
10. DEFINE A BRAND VOICE
Being amongst the top Branding agencies of Ahmedabad and having worked with hundreds of clients, we highly recommend forming a brand voice.
A brand voice can depend on various factors like your mission, industry and your target audience. It’s the way you connect with your customers. Depending on the factors mentioned above, a brand voice can be friendly, promotional, technical, professional, etc.
Maintaining a consistent brand voice, especially when publishing blog articles or social media posts, can help customers recognize your brand.
11. BE YOUR BRAND’S BIGGEST PROMOTER
No one knows your brand as well as you do. So take the mic, get on the rooftops and promote your brand like anything.
Also when hiring new employees, make sure that they are a fit for your company culture, mission, and values. That they too will pick up the mic and get on the rooftop with you when the time comes.
12. MEASURE REGULARLY AND EFFECTIVELY
One of the important steps in branding is to know whether your strategy was effective or not. That’s why you need to measure it before, during and after implementation.
There are ways to find that out. You could start by measuring conversions on landing pages or checking the total social media shares. You can also become well versed with tools like Google Analytics.
As a result, this will help you measure your efforts and optimize them in the future for building a better brand strategy.
WHAT’S OUR TAKE?
Brand building is one of the most important things you can do for your business. Without a brand, the business lacks an identified purpose. That’s why a lack of brand can severely hamper your business. It can also prevent you from standing out from the competition.
And that’s not what you want!
A strong brand strategy can help build a deeper level of trust among your customers. So, put your efforts into developing a consistent brand message and visual identity to reinforce your business’s mission.
You can always take help of corporate brand development expert, but on the contrary, you can start working on brand building on your own.
Just remember the following steps to build a kickass brand strategy
- Identify your positioning
- Define your target audience
- Form a mission statement
- Research your biggest competitors
- Outline the significant qualities and benefits of your brand
- Design a logo and tagline
- Define a brand voice
- Build a brand message
- Apply your brand strategy into every aspect of your business
- Be consistent
- Be your brand’s biggest promoter
- Measure regularly and effectively
So are you facing hurdles in building your brand strategy? Do you have any examples of mind-blowing brand building that you’d like to share? Comment below!