As the time goes by, it is becoming increasingly hard to have any kind of serious business-related conversation without mentioning the word “brand.” As a matter of fact, you will probably hear it a lot more times than price, customer service, or even a product. But what is the meaning behind this powerful word? If would search for an answer in a dictionary, we would find out that brand is “a class of goods identified by name as the product of a single firm or manufacturer”. In reality, brand means so much more. We can even say this word covers every single aspect of your business, and the way how the world perceives them.
Why is Branding so Important?
The short answer would be – Because that is the way how the entire world perceives your business. Because of that, branding occurs whether you are investing an effort into it or not. It goes without a saying that famous businesses which are usually associated with successful branding, like Coca-Cola, Apple, and McDonald’s, not only did not let this important process envelop out of their control. On the contrary, they invested a lot of effort to build their public image how they saw it fit. What did they get in return?
- Strong brands have better market share, and they are able to charge their products more;
- Wider exposure amounts to better familiarity, and stronger customer loyalty;
- Strong brands are able to easily launch new products, and branch out to new business areas;
- Strong brands create niches and dictate the market trends;
- Strong brands can help nonprofits promote their cause better;
- Strong brands attract and retain more quality employees.
Discovering Your Brand
In order to enjoy all of these benefits and strengthen your brand, you will first have to discover what your brand stands for. These initial decisions are very important because they will determine the public image of your brand throughout the rest of its existence.Very few successful businesses managed to reinvent their public image, once they failed to assess their identity in the first place. So, keep these questions in mind while thinking about your brand’s image:
What is your brand’s audience?
Determining your initial customer base may be the single most important task your brand will ever have to accomplish. In order to do that, you will have to conduct a very thorough research of the market, see to whom your direct competition is reaching out, and eventually find some less crowded space to launch your brand. Do not worry if that space is too narrow; once you establish a core customer base it will be much easier to branch out.
What your brand stands for?
Or in other words, what kind of attitude your brand will have. Depending on the product you are selling, and the audience you are going to sell it you may have to play the role of good neighbor, charismatic underdog, headstrong climber, or maybe something else. Just make sure your brand’s personality is consistent, coherently applied throughout the entire business, and your employees are your brand’s ambassadors.
How your brand looks?
This questions deals with your brand’s logo, and the entire design language. Current trends are going for the minimalistic and solid color solutions, but if you opt for this particular style, be sure not to go overboard with it. The trends are constantly changing, so instead of trying to be 100% true to current developments, try making something with more timeless appeal.
Image credits http://www.draward.com/
Marketing Your Brand
Once you have found the answers to all of these questions, and discovered what your brand is actually about, you will have to make sure to showcase it to its predetermined audience. It should not be a bad idea to start your marketing with cleaver guerrilla tactics, suited to your brand’s personality. You will sprout much curiosity and make an impression on greater amount of people than just your core audience. Once you have hyped your product enough, continue your marketing campaign with the usual online and offline methods. Be sure that both of them are pointing out to your social media profiles, though. There, your brand will have an opportunity to reach its full potential.
Brand is a Promise Delivered
Finally, you should make sure that you have backed up your marketing messages with the product which actually delivers the given promise. If your product is not up to par, or you are simply overselling it, you will have no chance of creating a sustainable word-of-mouth. In order to avoid that, keep these two things in mind:
– Your marketing always needs to be in line with your products;
– You messages need to be as transparent as possible. You can always present them in some nice way, though.
These days, audience is growing increasingly passionate about the things they enjoy. Let your brand be one of those things. If you manage to couple your product with powerful personality, appealing visual identity, and meaningful marketing message, you will find no problem in capturing their attention in times to come.