If you look at all the big brands around the world, whether it be Nike, Adidas or Apple, they are all, at the end of the day, business ventures trying to generate revenues and profits in the best possible manner. One of the major reasons why these businesses have been able to carve out a huge chunk in their particular niche is because they have been branded well. Before going ahead, it is imperative to understand the meaning of a brand first.
What is a Brand
It is the way your business is perceived by the customers. It is the reputation that you have built for yourself in the market. According to Jeff Bezos, the founder of the retail giant, Amazon, the brand is basically what is being talked about in your absence. Now, branding does not apply to big business ventures with a lot of investment potential. Even moderate to small businesses should aspire to follow a certain model or protocol to build their brand. It takes only around 10 seconds for people to understand your brand.
There is no denying the fact that brands are not built overnight. It is a long term process, which is heavily reliant on your communication skills and the experience that you are able to utilize to the maximum potential. The main aim is to build a long-lasting relationship with the customers so that they associate with your brand and perceive your business with trust and credibility. Your brand is nothing but your reputation.
When you are trying to build a brand for your business, what you are trying to do is to create awareness among the people about what your venture has to offer and how customers can benefit from it. It is mainly in the form of market strategies.
Here are a few simple steps that you can follow to convert your business into a successful brand.
Find your target audience first
First of all, you need to understand that you cannot serve one and all. Stratification of your customer base is very important. The reason why this is important is that you will develop strategies for the brand building based on the type of audience it is meant for. For example, branding for products for college goers and first-time mothers or IT professionals will be very different.
It has to be done in such a way that they relate to the idea you are trying to sell to them. The personality of the buyer is an important thing to consider here and it is dependant on parameters like the age, sex, geographical location etcetera. This adds to the significance.
Establish a statement for your brand
If you are really passionate about your business and brand, one potent way of expressing it to the people is through a statement. It is basically a mission that effectively emotes the reason why your brand exists and will be able to strike a chord with the people. The purpose here, again, is to gain the trust of the customers so that they can make a purchase willingly.
For example: The tagline for Nike is “Just Do It.”
The mission of Nike is, “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.” Nike has even gone further with the brand mission, “If you have a body, you are an athlete.” The Nike mission can be spotted almost everywhere, and it is a huge identity of the brand. In fact, they are able to reach several target consumers with this disclaimer.
Do proper research about other brands in your niche
It is always a good idea to know your competitors well. The purpose is not to imitate from them but to be aware of what they are offering and if there is something that you can offer to your customers. This can be an important upper hand for you and will help you stand out from the rest. It will also help you set a benchmark about your brand as anything below it is not acceptable.
You can keep some brands as a source of inspiration as well and aspire to reach their level. This is only possible when you have done proper research about these other brands in your particular niche.
Concentrate on the features that your brand offers
It is not always possible to compete with all brands in a particular niche as there will always be someone with a bigger budget and resources of superior quality. However, this should not demotivate you in any way. You should know about all the features of your business that you can effectively use for brand marketing.
A few examples of these features that you should concentrate on are:
- Customer services of the highest quality that is fully transparent and authentic. 73% of the audience loves brands because of good customer service.
- A better manner of supporting productivity.
- Reduction of the cost of production with more affordable options.
- Saving a lot of time on tasks.
These features will help your business rank higher than the ones that are your direct competitors. So put enough emphasis on them as well.
For example: You already know that Apple is undoubtedly one of the biggest brands and one amazing quality that they keep focusing on is a clean design. Another important benefit that they do not miss out on is the ease and simplicity of use. Right from the packaging to the announcement of particular events, Apple is constantly reminding the customers that their products can be used right after unboxing them.
Apple’s slogan was “Think Different”, and this notion continues to date.
Have a logo and tagline ready
It is very common that a visual representation of anything stays in your mind longer than normal. Thus, doing something along the same lines will definitely prove to be extremely beneficial as well. One of the most exciting parts of building brand strategy is to design a logo and a tagline. The main criteria should be that it should be easy to remember and replicate. It will be associated with everything related to your brand and business, whether it be your cards or merchandise.
Choosing a signature color for the brand and the logo helps in increasing recognition by almost 80%.
It will basically become the identity of your business. It might be a good idea to hire a design expert to make the logo and tagline for your brand as they will be more efficient in the job. You should be liberal in investment in this step as it is needed. It will be integrated into every aspect of your brand and you should be able to carry it off with pride and confidence.
A strong style guide normally includes:
- The size of the logo and the placement
- Color palette
- Fonts and typography
- Image/photography style
- Web elements
Form the brand voice
The voice of your brand is dependent on the mission of your company, your audience, and most importantly the industry that you belong to. The voice is how you are going to communicate with the present as well as potential customers and how they will be responding back. Your brand voice can be:
For example, Virgin America, one of the most renowned brands, is known all over the globe because of the reliable and friendly customer service, and also the voice, that is responsible for building their brand.
Concentrate on building a brand message along with an elevator pitch
When you are building your brand, you should succinctly tell your customers exactly who you are. Make use of the voice that you have selected for the brand. The brand message needs to be associated intricately with the brand, and make sure you are conveying it in only a single or two sentences.
This important part of developing your brand extends beyond the tagline and logo and define the important aspects associated with:
- Who you are
- What you have to offer
- Why should people care about you
Your brand message is the opportunity of turning your brand into a human and helps you to make an emotional connection with the customers. Make sure that your brand message is clear and simple.
For example The brand message of TOMS Shoes is “Improving lives. With every product you purchase, TOMS will help a person in need. One for One.”
Let the brand personality shine
You need to know and understand that customers are not looking for a brand that already offers the same products and services as other brands. They are looking for a unique brand that offers unique services and products. Take care of the following things when you are helping the brand personality shine:
- A voice that is conversational.
- Sharing interesting behind-the-scenes content.
- Narrating stories about real and trustworthy experiences.
- Describing your services and products in a quirky fashion.
Have a good brand ambassador
A brand ambassador is another important concept for ensuring that your brand flourishes. It can be someone who is closely associated with the brand in general or a famous personality or a celebrity that customers can relate to. The main idea here again is to make the viewers believe that these influencers trust your business and services and it will reciprocate on them as well.
Be true to your brand building
Last but not least, once your brand has gained some impetus and started to get some substantial hold on the market, you should believe in it and stick to the philosophies, no matter what the circumstances, and look at effective ways of moving forward.
Be the biggest advocate for your brand
As soon as you build your brand for your business, you are undoubtedly the best advocate for marketing your brand. It is obvious that you know best about your brand, and hence, you can spread the ideal knowledge.
Building a brand is super important for your business. Make sure that you are following the steps that have been mentioned above so that the process of building the brand is going to be hassle-free for you.