Some brands are recognizable anywhere. So even if you do not use the products, you can quickly identify them.
Do you know why? Simple really, they have managed to build brands. For them, it is not only about the excellent products. Rather, they enjoy positive perceptions amongst audiences. That, in itself, is the simplest definition of what a brand is.
Brand building is a process that takes time and patience. But, it is possible to establish a strong brand, and we will show you how.
Start By Understanding the Real Meaning Behind the Brand
Think about a company like Apple. It has some fantastic products that customers flock to buy. They are synonymous with some of the best phones and computers.
So if you were to describe the Apple brand, what are some of the words you would use? Innovation, aspiration, passion, and hopes may be some of them.
A brand is intangible; you cannot hold it in your hands or see it. Instead, it is that emotional connection stakeholders have with your company.
To achieve what Apple has, you must go back to the basics. It requires peeling back layers to understand your company and reason for being true. But, first, have clarity on the following.
- Discover the purpose of your existence
- Have something that differentiates you from the competitors
- Be clear about the value you add to your customers
- Ask yourself why people should care that you exist
With such insights, it becomes easier to start the process of brand building.
Do Your Market Research
How can you build a brand without knowing the market you exist in? Research is a critical process that will help provide clarity. It should cover the following areas.
- Start with a SWOT analysis. You will know the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that you face.
- Carry out a competitor analysis. There is a lot to learn by asking the right questions. What are these companies doing well? What are their failings? What are the market and their customers saying about them? Why should a customer choose you over them? All these questions are critical to helping you establish yourself within the market.
- Have an in-depth understanding of the target audience. Who is your customer? What do they like? What are their problems, and how can you help provide a solution?
- Carry out an audit to determine your brand perception. Since you already exist in the market, what do people think about you? Do they even know that you exist? The audit can be challenging because it may reveal things that you did not know. You must be willing to accept the insights you get with an open mind. It provides a fantastic opportunity to improve what may not be working.
Market research is a step you should not, under any condition, skip. The online space has tons of resources that you can use to your advantage. However, you will also need to do a little leg work for a more in-depth exploration.
It is not an easy process, nor one you can achieve overnight. Give yourself enough time to do it well. All the data and insights will guide all your brand-building strategies in the future.
Know the Importance of Visual Elements
Your brand-building strategy should focus on the visual elements. They provide an effective way to capture attention, build brand recognition, and improve perception. So, what are we talking about here?
Visual representation includes much more than design and colors. You have to be consistent to get a better resonance with the audience.
Focus on being unique and memorable so that you differentiate yourself from the competitors.
Here are some things to pay attention to.
- Your logo should appear in all company branding material. We could be talking about banners, brochures, and flyers.
- Choose the right office collateral for communicating with clients. Do you, for example, know there is a method to choosing the right business envelopes? You should pay attention to:-
- Prominent positioning of the company branding elements like the logo and themes
- Do you want plain or window styles? The latter gives a hint of communication. Thus, they are ideal for invoices and statements.
- Size depends on what you want to use it for. If you, for example, prefer not to fold the paper, go for A4 size
- Custom features like specific themes, paper type, and so much more.
- Be consistent with your color palette. For example, look at the application of Coca-Cola red on all images, text, and designs.
- The font should match your brand personality. Comic sans, Arial, and Times Roman, for instance, are very professional.
Define Your Brand Personality
We have talked about Apple above. What you realize is that distinct words can define a brand. That is what you need to do when brand building. Look at your company as a person who has specific traits you want the public to see.
Let’s say you want your personality to come across as warm and personable. So all your messaging and tone must convey the same feeling. Even your branding, colors, designs, and images must have the same consistency.
Remember, your brand personality should be the differentiating factor from competitors. Think of it as a character with unique attributes. Such could include witty, serious, professional, or even witty.
Think of the target audience as well. What kind of character are they likely to resonate with. If your target is older or executive demographics, a professional personality is your best bet. Younger audiences would want a cool, witty personality. A severe group would prefer
Be Sincere in Your Brand Promise
Anyone operating a business today is talking to a very informed customer. The modern customer is very demanding of quality products and services.
Further, technology has opened up a world of information. They will research brands and products before using them. They also want total transparency and honesty from companies.
You cannot, for example, say you use 100% organic products if you don’t. The customers may research the ingredient list and call you out on any lies. So when thinking about your brand promise, be sincere.
Under-promise and over-deliver should be your mantra at all times. Every time you exceed customer expectations, you get brownie points. You will generate a lot of positive feedback. Such will impact the overall perception of your brand.
Your Employees are Your Brand Ambassador
Brand building is not something that happens at the management level only. It must trickle down to the staff members who are the brand ambassadors. Happy employees will speak well about the company. They will also do their best to make customers happy.
Make sure everyone in the company is on the same page about what you’re trying to do. It would be best if you got their input to feel like they are part of the process. Remember, it is about collaboration and not trying to force ideas down anyone’s throat.
Keep Up With Monitoring And Auditing
Even if things seem to be going right, do not get comfortable. It is crucial to keep up with monitoring and auditing all your strategies. Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) that work as benchmarks for measuring success.
It helps to know what is working so you can improve upon it. You may also want to switch some of the things that are not giving any results. Pay attention to feedback from all stakeholders. These include customers, staff, suppliers, and anyone who you deal with.
Brand building is critical for any business. With a positive market perception, you stand a higher chance of succeeding.
Understand your brand, market, and target audiences. Develop a brand persona that embodies how you want the public to perceive you. Only promise what you can deliver so that you do not come across as insincere.
Be consistent in your messaging so that you are easy to identify. Remember to include your employees in the processes. Proper brand building is not the sole responsibility of managers.
Finally, keep up with brand monitoring to know if your strategies are working.