Solid Branding – Best Practice

By July 9, 2019 October 2nd, 2019 No Comments

Solid Branding - Best Practice

Developing a successful brand should be one of your business’ top priorities. Having a popular brand associated with positive consumer experiences and favourable emotions will make selling your products and services simple.

In this post, I’ll be sharing some of the key benefits of building a successful brand. I’ll also share the best practice process for building a brand, from initial research phase to the brand’s launch.

What is a brand?

The basic definition of a brand is a name, logo, design, slogan, symbol, or any other feature that differentiates a product or service from what other sellers are offering. However, a brand is also what a prospect thinks when he or she sees your brand or hears your brand name.

Successful brands will do much more than simply differentiate a product or service. They trigger positive emotions and memories in consumers. They also fully encapsulate the idea of a product or service, conveying its intrinsic value to consumers. Well constructed brands can eventually become a business’ most valuable asset.

Benefits of having a strong brand

Building a strong brand is essential for the long-term success of a business. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Customer recognition
    Having an attractive, eye-catching brand will help customers remember and recognise your brand when they see it.
  • Differentiation
    Branding helps you stand out in a crowded market place and make the customer feel like you are offering a product or service which is more valuable than other businesses.
  • Branding makes it simple to add new products
    If you have a strong brand that has attracted loyal customers, it is much easier to launch new products.
  • Customer loyalty
    Once a customer has a positive experience with your brand, they are much more likely to remain loyal to it.
  • Ease of purchase
    Consumers find it much easier to purchase their favourite product if they are familiar with the brand. They will know what colours, logo, packaging style, or name to look for.
  • Credibility
    Having an attractive and professionally designed brand adds credibility to your products or services.
  • Premium pricing
    If your brand proves to be popular, consumers will be willing to pay more for it, bolstering your profits.

The brand building process

Step 1: Research the brand’s target audience

Target audience research is the foundation upon which brand building resides. It will help you make countless decisions about the direction of the brand and ensure the brand is a success. Some aspects to research include:

  • Audience lifestyle
    Are you selling to tech savvy college students, middle-aged businessmen, bored housewives or retirees who holiday in Europe each year?
  • Demographics
    What is the audience’s age, gender, location, income, and education level?
  • Persona
    What are the audience’s motivations, goals, influencers, and pain points?

Step 2: Create a brand mission statement

Write a short description of what you want your brand to convey and what it should achieve. For example, a bank might want a brand that conveys a feeling of safety, authority, and reliability. They will then achieve this mission through the use of appropriate logos, colours, mottos, and ad copy.

Some companies have more abstract brand mission statements. Steve Jobs defined Apple’s mission in the 1980’s as “Man is the creator of change in this world. As such, he should be above systems and structures, and not subordinate to them.”

If you reflect on this seemingly abstract mission, you will soon realise that his primary focus was on encouraging human creativity, innovation, and usability. If you look at the branding from that time, it shows Apple computers as being a tool for creating new experiences and discoveries that can change the world.

Step 3: Research your competitors

Because differentiation is an important aspect of any brand, you must take a closer look at what your competitors are doing. Ideally, you brand should be unique and have a different approach to what they are presenting to consumers. Looking at your competitor’s brands can also be useful for discovering new ideas.

Step 4: Create a logo and tagline

This is one of the most daunting parts of the branding process, because a logo and tagline will be a major part of your brand. For your brand to stand out, you should use a professional logo that has created by a designer as opposed to a logo made using a template builder.

A branding agency will also be helpful as they will help you craft a logo that encapsulates your business’ identity and is effective at reaching your target audience. They will also help you develop a style guide, which contains information about the visual elements used to represent your brand, including colours, logo placement, fonts, photographs, and so on.

Step 5: Think about brand personality

The way a brand communicates with consumers is also very important. Businesses like accountants and chemists usually take on a very professional and authoritative brand personality, where every sentence is carefully constructed. On the other hand, hip restaurants and nightclubs might take on a more casual brand personality that is attractive to their younger audience.

Take a look at this brand personality spectrum and think about where your brand should reside. Is it more personable and friendly or corporate and professional? Accessible to all or exclusive?  Fun or serious? Defining a brand personality will make it easier to create content that reinforces your brand.

Step 6: Consistently apply your brand

It’s important to consistently apply your branding across all aspects of your business including websites, social media profiles, stationary, physical stores, product packaging, advertisements, and clothing. It needs to be everywhere and you need to use it in a consistent fashion to have an impact and be memorable.

Step 7: Be an advocate for your brand

Once you have a strong brand in place, make sure everyone in your business continues to reinforce it. Create an internal culture that promotes the brand. Hire employees that have the right attitude, skills, and experience to be brand ambassadors.

You should also share the brand’s mission, values, and vision with your team regularly to remind them what your business’ objectives are. Encourage loyal customers to be advocates for your brand.  Continue building up your brand until it is globally recognised.

I hope you enjoyed reading Solid Branding – Best Practice. For more information on branding your business, contact us today